Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon and Self Confidence

Wimbledon.  Rafael Nadal.  Roger Federer.  An epic match.

Did you watch yesterday?  What did you think?

I was traveling, but got to see parts of the match in various airports.  I saw the fourth set tie break.  Nadal was up 5 – 2 with two service points.  He could have won right there.  Federer won both points and then went on to win the tie break.  Nadal could have packed it in right there.  Yet he sucked it up and won the fifth set 9 – 7. 

I blog about the importance of self confidence to success every Monday.  You’ll never see a better example of this than Rafael Nadal’s win yesterday at Wimbledon.

The Associated Press says it well.

“Nadal managed to  regroup after blowing a two set lead, managed to recover after wasting two match points in the fourth set tiebreaker, managed to hold steady when Federer need only two points to end the match while ahead 5 – 4 in the fifth.”

If you read this blog, you know that I think The Optimist Creed is a great success guide.  The sixth point of The Optimist Creed says “Promise yourself to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.”  I have copies of The Optimist Creed that are suitable for framing.  If you want one, send me an email at Bud@BudBilanich.com with the words “Optimist Creed” in the subject line.

Rafael Nadal did this yesterday.  He could have given up after the fourth set tiebreak.  Yet he didn’t.  He beat Federer, the world’s number 1 tennis player on Wimbledon’s grass surface.  Federer had won the previous five Wimbledon titles.  He hadn’t lost a set this year until his match with Nadal.

As I watched parts of the match yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel that Nadal was going to win, because he looked the more confident of the two players.  He kept his head up after losing points.  On the other hand, Federer looked shaken and frustrated to me.  I don’t know for sure what was going on in either players head, but Nadal looked to be the more confident of the two yesterday.

What’s your take on this?  Do you agree that Nadal seemed to be the more confident of the two players yesterday?

The common sense point here is simple.  Self confidence is critically important to success – in tennis, and in your life and career.  The ability to shake off mistakes, failures and lost opportunities is key to self confidence.  On Sunday, July 6 2008, Rafael Nadal demonstrated an unshakeable self confidence that propelled him to victory in the most famous tennis tournament in the world.  This is one they’ll be playing on ESPN Classic for many years.  Watch it if you can.  You’ll see an impressive display of self confidence.  Remember this match when your confidence is shaken.  Act like Nadal, forget about what could have been and concentrate on what can be.

That’s my take on yesterday’s Wimbledon final.  What’s yours?  Thanks for reading.  As always, I welcome and encourage your comments.  Please let me know that you think.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Sebastian says:

    Surely Nadal demonstrated a great deal of self confidence in Sunday’s match, but I find Federer’s comeback in the 3rd and 4th sets even more impressive. As the no. 1 ranked player in the world and winner of the tournament 5 consecutive years, it takes a lot of self confidence to pull yourself together and win two sets (even stopping 2 championship points) after nearly getting run over by Nadal.

  2. Sebastian:
    I agree with you — especially the fourth set tie break. That took lots of self confidence, will and courage on Roger’s part.
    On the other hand, with the exception of this year’s French Open, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Roger so down on himself.
    I am a Federer fan. I was pulling for him on Sunday. But, I think that Nadal is, and will be, a force to be reckoned with.
    I think their rivalry is great for tennis.
    Thanks for posting a comment.
    All the best,

  3. Bud: It was a great match. It will remain a great match for a long time to come.
    Nadal surely is an inspiration on the self-confidence. None could’ve withstood #1 player who won 5 consecutive times.
    I’m not sure if you remember Goran winning Wimbledon. He entered as a wild card but kept telling everyone that he is gonna win Wimbledon and he did, against all odds.
    Of course I’m not comparing Nadal & Goran. But since the topic is of self-confidence, I couldn’t think of comparing them.

  4. Joseph:
    Of course I remember the year Goran Ivanisevic won Wimbledon. You’re right, he was supremely self confident. This was before September 11 2001, when the term 911 meant the number you called for an emergency. I remember him saying that when things weren’t working very well in a match, he “calls 911 Goran” and every thing would work out. He had a great sense of humor that tournament. He was fun to watch — and he was supremely self confident.
    Thanks for this comment. I appreciate all comments, but this one brought a smile to my face as I remember that year’s Wimbledon.
    All the best,

  5. hello excellent web site i will definaely come back and see again.

  6. hi, fantastic post, and an amazing understand! just one for my book marks.

  7. Thanks for your kind comments.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.