Federer breaks record with epic Wimbledon win
Swiss great sees off the heroic challenge of Andy Roddick to win a record 15th Grand Slam title after longest ever men's final
For the second successive year the Wimbledon tournament served up an epic finale as Roger Federer won a record-breaking 15th Grand Slam title after the longest men's singles final in terms of games played, leaving his opponent Andy Roddick holding back the tears.
The end came at 6.30pm after a match that lasted 77 games and more than four-and-a-quarter hours, when Federer took the final set 16-14.
After the heartbreak he suffered last year Federer showed resolve to hold off Roddick's dogged challenge and reclaim the trophy he lost to Rafa Nadal in 2008.
Federer's victory gives him one more Grand Slam title than Pete Sampras, who was in the Royal box alongside other past champions including Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver, Manolo Santana and Ilie Nastase, after flying in from California to watch.
Federer and Roddick were neck and neck from the off, but with a tie-break beckoning in the first set the American earned himself a solitary break point at 6-5 up, and capitalised to take the lead.
There was more heavy hitting in the second set as both men showed off the power and accuracy of their serves. This time a tie-break was required and Roddick appeared to have it won when he took a 6-2 lead, giving him four set points. But Federer responded with an astonishing run of six straight points to level the match at a set apiece.
The third set followed the same familiar pattern and again went to a tie-break. This time Federer raced into the lead and held on, despite Roddick's rearguard action, to take a seemingly decisive 2-1 lead.
Yet Roddick refused to buckle under the pressure and stole the fourth set. The Swiss player appeared to be on top, but he simply could not find a way to break the American, and in the fourth game of the set Roddick's sheer persistence earned him two break points, the second of which Federer netted. After that Roddick served out the set to take the match into a decider.
As the game entered its fourth hour both men were tiring and struggling to return their opponent's huge serves. Incredibly the two players slugged it out for more than 90 minutes, with Roddick serving to save the match every time he stepped up.
The end eventually came when the Roddick serve cracked for the first time in the entire match - handing Federer a remarkable 16-14 win in the final set. ·
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