Newspapers in Switzerland were united yesterday in seeing the defeat of Roger Federer at Wimbledon as the story of a fallen king.
Rafael Nadal's epic five-set victory Sunday was the first time since 2002 that the 26-year-old Swiss star did not win the men's singles title on Centre Court.
His hometown newspaper, the Basler Zeitung, announced "Nadal Dethrones Federer" on its front page while the Zurich-based mass circulation tabloid Blick proclaimed "A drama and a new king."
Blick hailed a 'frenzy' of a match and asked readers "How to find words for this madness?"
The quality broadsheet Le Temps, based in Geneva, led its front page with the headline "Nadal the conqueror."
The French-language Tribune de Geneve described Federer on its front page as "Le Roi Nu" - the naked king.
It said that while the Swiss would keep his No. 1 ranking for the moment, this loss to Nadal on his favoured grass court meant he must carry the racket of his great Spanish rival.
"From now on he (Federer) is not alone in the world. He must get used to it. And all of us, too," the Tribune's editorial said.
It also suggested that Federer's myth was broken by Nadal during a heavy defeat in their French Open final in Paris a month ago.
Federer came to Wimbledon and "played double or quits. And he lost."
The Basler Zeitung said Nadal was being urged on to achieve greater heights by Federer's standards.
It noted that a great series of titles was ended in the same way, by a left-hander, just like when five-time defending champion Bjorn Borg lost in 1981 to John McEnroe.
'The king forfeits'
The Lausanne-based tabloid Le Matin headlined its back page with 'The king forfeits'.
Its tennis correspondent said Nadal would "steal" Federer's number one ranking in the next few weeks or months.
While Federer had lost his stranglehold on the game, he had left his mark in tennis history "in indelible ink."
The most defiant note was struck in Tages-Anzeiger, a German-language broadsheet from Zurich.
Tennis correspondent Rene Stauffer, who has written a biography of Federer, said the defeat was not the end of an era.
"The Swiss is too motivated, too talented, too strong, too fit, too professionally organised and too proud to give up working toward winning the biggest titles," Stauffer wrote.