Swiss world tennis number one Roger Federer has beaten Spanish arch-rival Rafael Nadal to win Wimbledon for a fifth time.This content was published on July 8, 2007 - 19:00
Federer defeated Nadal 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 in Sunday's thrilling final – said to be one of the best ever - to match Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg's five consecutive Wimbledon victories.
The Swede watched the match from the Royal Box with other past champions and applauded as Federer fell to the ground after an overhead smash on match point.
"Each [final] is special there's no doubt. To play a champion like Rafael in the final, of course, it means even more to me and equalling Björn's record as well..." said Federer after the match.
"It was such a close match, I told Rafa at the net he deserved it as well. But I'm the lucky one today."
A visibly disappointed Nadal, the world number two, congratulated Federer.
"Five titles in a row, so, fantastic," he said. "Well, anyway I lose today, but I play great [for] two weeks."
He said it had been tough because of the rain – it was one of the wettest Wimbledon tournaments ever.
It was Nadal's seventh straight day on court, in a run of matches that had included two other five-set games.
"I hope to come back next year and try my best," added Nadal.
Federer looked about to crack under the strain during the epic five-set match, but found his form at crucial moments.
Nadal stormed through the fourth set despite treatment for a knee injury to extend Federer to five sets for the first time in his 13 grand slam finals.
The Spaniard also used the "Hawk-Eye" replay technology, which was making its debut at Wimbledon.
A call reversal in the fourth set infuriated the normally placid Federer so much that he complained to the chair umpire.
The decisive moment came in the sixth game of the decider when Federer broke serve with a forehand winner.
It all ended two games later when the Swiss smashed a ball into the open court.
French Open blues
The rematch of last year's final came shortly after 21-year-old Nadal beat Federer for a second time at the French Open, the only grand slam title to elude Federer. The Spaniard has won Roland Garros three times.
Federer has only beaten Nadal five times in 13 meetings.
With his victory on Sunday, the 25-year-old Swiss stretched his record grass-court winning streak to 53 and his Wimbledon game-winning streak to 34.
With 11 grand slam titles he is now tied with Borg, who won Wimbledon from 1976 to 1980. Pete Sampras, who won half his record 14 grand slam titles at Wimbledon, was stopped at four in a row – by Federer in 2001.
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In 2001 Federer ended Pete Sampras's 31-match winning streak at Wimbledon in the fourth round of the tournament.
By winning Wimbledon in 2003, Federer joined Stefan Edberg, Pat Cash and Björn Borg as the only players to win both the juniors' and men's Wimbledon championships.
Federer has won five consecutive men's singles titles at Wimbledon (2003-2007), a feat only ever accomplished by Borg.
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