In most sports, the winning score usually comes as a surprise, but right before Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are finally finished another epic tennis final, the umpire announces, “Championship Point!”
Championship Point! That’s what the umpire says just before the ball is served and one tennis player can win the match. If he wins the next point.
It’s rare in sports for the announcer to be able to tell you which play will be the one to win the championship. Most times the end happens suddenly: He shoots, he scores!
Even in football, though you now when the play starts, you never know which play will be the one to decide the game. In baseball you can only know afterwards which was the most important pitch or at-bat.
But when Roger Federer throws the ball up in the air to serve a Championship Point, Rafael Nadal knows that if he doesn’t win the next point he’ll lose the tournament. He also knows that if he wins this point, and keeps on winning them, he can come back and take the title on a Championship Point of his own. In the fantastic 2008 Wimbledon final, Federer fought off two championship points in the fourth set, only to finally lose in the fifth set to Nadal.
You have to wonder if the announcement of championship point makes the players more nervous, or if sets them free to know that okay, this is it!. The announcement seemed to relax Federer. He fought off the second of Nadal’s Championship points with what the BBC called an “an outrageous backhand winner.” And even in the fifth set, it took Nadal a couple of attempts to finally win a Championship Point.
Often times when a player is up two or three points , 40-Love or 40-15, you have triple or double Championship Point! The pressure must weigh heavy on the server as he thinks about the last bit of effort he needs to take just one of the chances he has to win! The return man must say to himself, "This is my last chance, I had better rear back and fire with all I have! It’s Championship Point!"