Roger Federer was not able to defend his Hamburg title when he was defeated by Rafael Nadal on May 18, 2008 in Hamburg, Germany. The scoreboard reflected 5-7, 7-6 (3), 3-6.
At first, the match was favorable on the part of Federer taking an early lead of 2-0 and later on going to 5-1. However, Nadal came back remarkably after a time-out due to pain in his thigh. The latter then won the next five games and the first set. On the second sent Roger showed a great display of willpower as he try to break the tie. On the 3rd set, Roger fell behind 1-4 and was not able to stop Rafa Nadal from winning his 26th career title.
Nadal previously won in Monte Carlo beating Federer in the finals and Barcelona this year. “That was a very strange match” Nadal said. “Roger made some mistakes in the first set that helped me. It was important to win because it was the last big clay-court tournament I never won” he added.
Federer had lost his 7th match this year and he only won one title on a relatively minor clay court tournament in Portugal.
During their tournament Federer led by 5-2 from the first set and had wasted two set points right before Nadal recovered and then won seven straight games.
Federer had a three-hour match with Nadal which appeared last Sunday May 18, 2008. “I’m Happy that I won and that I beat the number 1 in the world and best player of the year.” Nadal said who was referring to Federer and Djokovic, respectively.