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Nadal ready to end Federer’s five-year-winning streak

Published on 03/07/2008

3 July 2008

WIMBLEDON – Look out, Roger. Rafa says he’s never played better at Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal, who lost to five-time defending champion Roger Federer in the past two Wimbledon finals, reached the semi-finals at the All England Club on Wednesday with a dominating performance over Andy Murray, winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

What, Nadal was asked, pleased him the most about his play?

"Everything," Nadal said. "Everything."

He considered the middle portion of the match the best tennis he’s ever played at Wimbledon.

"I am doing a lot of things better than last year," Nadal said. "Slice better. The position on court, in my opinion, I felt like this is better. Playing more aggressive with the forehand all the time, and the backhand is feeling well, too."

That all bodes well for the second-ranked Spaniard, who stretched Federer to five sets in 2007’s final. But, once again, the four-time French Open champion didn’t have enough to beat the top-ranked Swiss on the Wimbledon grass.

"Last year was close," said Nadal, who wasted four break points against Federer in the fifth set. "Only one more point and probably I have the trophy in my home."

Before Nadal gets another chance, however, he’ll have to beat Rainer Schuettler or Arnaud Clement. Their quarterfinal was at one set apiece Wednesday when darkness suspended play.

"I don’t want to think about the final," Nadal said. "Not yet."

Federer isn’t in the final yet, either. He beat Mario Ancic 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 Wednesday and faces two-time major champion Marat Safin in the semi-finals.

[AP / Expatica]