It was a match nobody deserved to lose. Unfortunately, somebody had to win. Tennis can be a very cruel game and it was Sunday afternoon at the All England Club. Roger Federer won his his sixth Wimbledon title and record 15th Grand Slam championship earlier today, defeating Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 in a 4-hour and 16-minute marathon. Pete Sampras, who shared the previous record of 14 major titles, flew in from Los Angeles, arriving during the changeover after the third game, to be on hand for the occasion. Federer, seeded No. 2, served a personal record 50 aces, but still lost his serve twice. Roddick was broken just once, in the 30th and final game of the fifth set, and actually won more games than Federer, 39 to 38. The No. 6-seeded American, playing with dogged tenacity, hit 27 aces and threw everything he had at Federer, but still it wasn’t enough. “I’m happy I broke the record here because this is always the tournament that meant the most to me,” said Federer. “It definitely feels like coming full circle, starting it here and ending it here.” Federer saved four set points in the second-set tiebreaker, rallying from down 2-6, and two break points at 8-8 in the fifth. Roddick had to hold serve 10 straight times from 4-5 in the final set to stave off elimination. “I was just trying to survive each time and give myself a shot,” said Roddick. “It didn’t work out, but I definitely gave myself a look.” Roddick did more than that. He played like a warrior. Federer will reclaim No. 1 in the world tomorrow when the ATP releases its new rankings. No. 1 Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, had to withdraw from the tournament because of knee tendinitis. “I’m aware that Rafa didn’t play here,” Federer said. “Injuries are part of the game, unfortunately, but I’m happy I became No. 1 in the world by winning this title because this is the biggest one there is out there. I love playing here.” Sampras, who hadn’t been back to Wimbledon since 2002, his last year on the tour, was gracious while seeing his record eclipsed. “He’s a stud. He’s only 27,” said Sampras. “He’ll contend here for many years, and the U.S. Open, and all the majors. If he just keeps it going and stays healthy, he could go to 18, 19 potentially. The guy, he’s a legend. Now he’s an icon.” And arguably the best player ever.
Federer Edges Roddick in Wimbledon Final for Record 15th Slam
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