Rafa dominated from first point on and defeated Tomas Berdych in straight sets 6-3 7-5 6-4. The win gave him an eighth career major title just past the age of 24. Nadal joins a list of greats that includes Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall. Just 5 players won more majors than Nadal: Rod Laver (11), Bjorn Borg (11), Roy Emerson (12), Pete Sampras (14) and Roger Federer (16).

The world number one struggled in the early rounds, but played his best tennis when needed, especially against Andy Murray in semifinals and Berdych in final.

I think the biggest difference between us was that when he get a chance, he just took it, you know. He give me one in the second set, one in the third set, and none of them I can, you know, bring it to my side and just made a break.
That just show how strong he is. I think it was just really about the small difference.

Next goal for Rafa: to win the US Open, the only trophy missing to his impressive collection.

One year earlier, Sampras had beaten his archrival Agassi in final, and equalled Emerson’s record of 12 Grand Slam singles titles. He was expected to break the record in front of the US crowd, but had to withdraw just a few days before the 99 Us Open due to a back injury. Beaten in the semifinals of the 00′ Oz Open and in the first round of Roland Garros, Sampras entered Wimbledon injured (shin inflammation).

Had this been any other tournament, Sampras said following the final, he would have pulled out. But Wimbledon is not just another tournament and instead he decided to skip practice sessions. And it proved to be a good decision as he benefited from an easy draw. Before the final, the highest-ranked player Sampras faced was No. 56, Jan-Michael Gambill. His opponents were in succession Jiri Novak, Karol Kucera, Justin Gimelstob, Jonas Bjorkman, Jan Michael Gambill, Vladimir Voltchkov and the popular Aussie Pat Rafter in the final.

Pete Sampras
Pete Sampras

Pat won the first set 12-10 in the tiebreak, then lead 4-1 in the second set tiebreak and had two set points. But Rafter blinked, Sampras escaped to level the match, and there was nothing left to do: Sampras was in the zone and nobody could have stopped him. Sampras captured his 7th and final Wimbledon title and broke Emerson’s record, defeating Rafter in four sets 6–7(10) 7–6(5) 6–4 6–2.

Nice to see a very emotional Sampras (for once):

Pete Sampras

Sampras parents Sammy and Georgia:

Sampras' parents

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