The 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14 victory in the men’s singles final of the 123rd championships on Sunday saw Federer ease past the greatest Wimbledon champion of modern times.
His sixth Wimbledon title saw Federer move back to the No.1 spot ahead of Rafael Nadal for the first time since August 2008 when the Spaniard eased past him. It was also a record 20th Grand Slam final for the man who had held the No.1 ranking for 237 consecutive weeks.
After receiving the Cup, Federer turned to the Royal Box and said, “Pete, thanks very much for coming. I know it is a long way. This is a great record to have.”
When he leaves the game, it will of course become the greatest record to have for the future generation of champions. Who knows how high that mark would be?
“Sorry Pete, I tried,” said Roddick. “It was a pleasure to play here today in front of so many great champions.”
It was a great match. To say anything else would mean stripping it of its dignity. Challenging each other over every inch of the turf, Federer and Roddick dished out a final that was invariably special and occasionally alluring.
Both men served with great power and depth, unfurled strokes of transcendental majesty and it was a question of who would blink first in the decider.
Neither did before the American’s resistance finally came to an end rather tamely, considering everything that had gone on before.
“Great players make it happen. Average players don’t,” the remarkably candid golfer Kenny Penny had said after he made two bogies on the last two holes to lose the Augusta Masters championship.
On this day, making it happen took some doing for Federer. Through irresistible passages of play, it was Roddick who looked the better player. He not only took more risks, but his ground-strokes seemed have greater penetration and he covered the court with tremendous speed.Huge miss
After he broke Federer’s serve in the 12th game with a forehand winner to take the first set, the momentum was very much with Roddick but he blew a great chance to go up two sets, losing the second set tiebreak after being 6-2 up.
You don’t offer such gifts to Federer, especially on an occasion such as this and soon the Swiss maestro had the second set in his pocket.
But Roddick did well to play himself back into the contest as he broke Federer’s serve in the fourth game of the fourth set with a backhand pass.
What is more, he had a great opportunity to serve for the championship as Federer went down 15-40 on serve in the 17th game.
But, staring down the barrel, the great man found the answers with big serves.