Federer Outlasts Roddick in Wimbledon Final for Record 15th Slam Title
Monday, July 6, 2009
WIMBLEDON, England, July 5 -- It was a day for making history.
Roger Federer won his sixth Wimbledon title in the last seven years Sunday, turning back a resilient Andy Roddick, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 16-14, and setting two records in the process.
It was the longest Grand Slam final in history, capped by a fifth set that lasted 95 minutes -- seven minutes longer than Saturday's women's final.
And with his idol Pete Sampras looking on, Federer broke his tie with the former great and moved into a class of his own as holder of a record 15 major titles.
"I know how much the record means to him, and he knows how much the record means to me," Federer said afterward, thanking the seven-time champion for flying in from California for the occasion. "In a way I still feel like we share it, just because he was such a wonderful champion."
Federer hailed a teary-eyed Roddick as "an unbelievable guy" and unbelievable player during his post-match remarks and urged him not to lose faith that he would win Wimbledon one day.
"Today, I was on the lucky side," said Federer, who finished with 107 winners and 50 aces.
And Roddick bore his disappointment admirably, telling the capacity crowd of 15,000 who honored him with a standing ovation, "I'm one of the lucky few that gets cheered for."
Then he turned and apologized to Sampras, half in jest, for not being able to keep the Swiss from overtaking his record. "I tried to hold him off," Roddick said.
And he spoke of the honor he felt in playing tennis in front of such great champions as Sampras, Manuel Santana, Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg, who sat shoulder to shoulder in the front row of the Royal Box.
"I hope one day my name will be up there with theirs," Roddick said.
Wimbledon opened this year on a down note because of the last-minute, injury-related withdrawal of defending champion Rafael Nadal, who defeated Federer in a five-set final that many hailed as the greatest match in history.