WIMBLEDON, England - He said he was more nervous than usual Sunday. The finest men's player in tennis was worried. "So I don't know," Rafael Nadal mused, "I just try my best at every moment, every point."
His best is unbeatable. Nadal won Wimbledon a second time, and for a second time turning a rare double: championships on the clay at Roland Garros and then on the grass of the All England Club.
Nadal, seeded No. 2, was aggressive and dominant in the final, never losing serve and needing only 2 hours, 13 minutes to defeat No. 12 seed Tomas Berdych, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
The 24-year-old from Spain's island of Mallorca now needs a win in the U.S. Open to complete a career sweep of the Grand Slam events, but there are other things on his mind.
"Right now, I'm very happy with Wimbledon," said Nadal, who had regained his No. 1 ranking last month. "We're going to think about the U.S. Open in one month. The U.S. Open is one of my goals, but right now, the goal is to enjoy the beach, fishing, golf, friends, party and Mallorca."
Berdych whipped six-time champ Roger Federer in the quarterfinals and the world's No. 3, Novak Djokovic, in the semis, but he couldn't do anything against the quicker, stronger and more experienced Nadal.
"He was really good," the 24-year-old Czech said. "I mean he was strong. I think the biggest difference between us was that when he gets a chance, he just took it. He gave me one in the second set, one in the third, and none of them I can bring to my side and just make a break."
"That shows how strong he is. I think it really was just about the small difference."
Which made a huge difference.
These are great times for Spain. Nadal is beating everyone. His pal, Pau Gasol, helped lead the Lakers to consecutive NBA championships. Alberto Contador is defending champion in the Tour de France, now under way. And the Spanish team is into the semifinals of the World Cup.
"We are probably in the best moment of our history in sport," Nadal said.
He's in his best moment in tennis. A clay-court specialist, he learned to compete on the lawns at Wimbledon, his wicked topspin forehand keeping everyone off balance. After missing 10 months last year, including Wimbledon because of tendinitis in both knees, Nadal has been on a tear in 2010, winning 31 of his last 32 matches.
"To miss last year," said Nadal, who was a Wimbledon finalist in 2006 and 2007, then a winner in 2008, "was one of the toughest moments in my career.
"But after a difficult year, it was my dream to have the trophy in my hands."