Wimbledon Flashback: Roger Federer beats Andy Roddick after epic battle



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Wimbledon Flashback: Roger Federer beats Andy Roddick after epic battle

Roger Federer claimed his first Wimbledon title at 21 in 2003 and has been a player to beat at the All England Club in the upcoming years. Roger reached seven consecutive Wimbledon finals between 2003 and 2009, losing the title clash in 2008 and returning stronger a year later.

Federer lacked the finishing touch in the early months of 2009, losing to Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka in the closing stages at the Australian Open and Masters 1000 events. Roger changed that in Madrid after defeating tired Rafael Nadal in the title match.

More significantly, Roger went all the way at Roland Garros, beating Robin Soderling in the final to complete a career Grand Slam and grab the elusive title that had been running away from him for many years. Skipping Halle and enjoying the trophy from Paris for a couple of days, Roger set his eyes on Wimbledon glory that stayed out of his reach 12 months earlier, seeking the sixth All England Club crown and the record-breaking 15th Major.

The Swiss was the last man standing on July 5 after an epic battle with his old rival Andy Roddick. Federer prevailed 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14 in four hours and 16 minutes in the most extended Major final in terms of games played.

Philipp Kohlschreiber, Robin Soderling, Ivo Karlovic and Tommy Haas were there to challenge Roger before the Roddick clash. He passed all the obstacles to advance into the seventh straight Wimbledon final. The beaten finalist from 2004 and 2005, Roddick had to work hard in the first six encounters.

He dropped six sets and overpowering Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Murray (those two matches lasted for seven hours combined) to set another Wimbledon final with Federer, hoping for better fortune than in the past. Ready to leave his 120% in his last Major final, the American pushed the Swiss to the limits from start to finish, winning only ten points less than the great rival and suffering one break.

That would have been enough to claim the trophy against any other opponent, but not against Roger.

Roger Federer claimed the 15th Major title over Andy Roddick at Wimbledon 2009.

Federer lost serve twice and prevailed in the crucial moments to write his name in the history books.

Andy had a 6-2 lead in the second set's tie break that could have pushed him two sets to love up. He squandered two break points at 8-8 in the decider and suffered a heartbreaking loss after the only break of serve that Roger delivered at 15-14!

They blasted 186 service winners in 436 points, and around 300 exchanges never reached the fourth stroke, keeping the rallies short and swift. There were about 15 points with double-digit strokes, with both players eager to keep the points on their racquet and impose their shots.

Federer had more winners, mainly thanks to his forehand, but Roddick forced more errors to stay in touch, battling with Roger like almost no one before at Majors and falling short in the end. Ten commanding holds led them towards 5-5 in some 25 minutes before Roddick experienced first trouble on serve in the 11th game.

He repelled four break points (three with service winners) and secured the opener with a break in the next game after forcing Federer's error. Nothing could separate them in set number two, producing 12 powerful holds for a tie break where the pressure was on Roger, especially after falling 6-2 behind!

With no room for errors, the Swiss fired three winners to reduce the deficit before Andy squandered the last set point after a terrible volley at the net that probably has been coming back to him ever since. Federer stole the breaker 8-6 after a backhand error from Roddick, taking the last six points and gaining a massive boost ahead of the rest of the encounter.

Andy saved a break point at 2-2 in set number three to set up another tie break, as the returners had no chance to challenge the servers. Federer claimed it 7-5 with a forehand winner and moved two sets to one in front after two hours and ten minutes.

Ready to fight until the end, Roddick broke in the fourth set's fourth game when Federer failed to control the rival's backhand down the line bullet. The American held after deuce in the next game to cement the lead and settle into a fine rhythm.

From 30-0 down, Roddick won four points in a row in game nine and closed the set with a service winner to send this thrilling clash into a decider. An incredible backhand winner gave Roger a break point in the second game, denied by Andy's service winner.

The American had a colossal opportunity to grab a break at 8-8 and serve for the match. Federer saved two break points with winners to get out of jail and stood as the more dangerous rival in the rest of the clash. Roddick wasted two game points at 14-15 and hit a loose forehand to propel Federer over the finish line and toward tennis glory.