Following a screening of the documentary Strokes pf Genius, tennis icons and multiple Grand Slam champions John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova were at Deadline’s Awardsline Screening Series to speak to a packed house about the significance of the history-making Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal 2008 Wimbledon Final.
“I didn’t think it would be the best match I ever saw when it started,” said McEnroe.
The film deconstructs the ongoing rivalry of icons Federer and Nadal through the prism of their epic 2008 Wimbledon championship, considered by many to be the greatest match of all time. The documentary highlights the polar-opposite approaches — Federer’s regal calm and Nadal’s swashbuckling intensity — of two competitors who seem predestined to counterbalance each other in the tennis arena.
“It reminded me of my match when I played [Björn] Borg and got to the fifth set, McEnroe said. “I realized that was the only time I was on the court going, ‘This is something special.’ This doesn’t happen very often, maybe a couple times in your career. You could feel that with Nadal-Federer.”
Emmy-winning announcer Ted Robinson and Jon Wertheim, author of the book upon which the doc is based, also were at the screening.
Check out the video above.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.