Switzerland’s Roger Federer has taken the Wimbledon tennis crown for a second successive year, beating Andy Roddick of the United States in a thrilling final.This content was published on July 4, 2004 - 20:27
The world’s number one player defeated second seed Roddick in four sets 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. He picked up prize money of £602,500 (SFr1.36 million).
The 22-year-old top seed, who also won this year’s Australian Open, recovered well after an aggressive start by Roddick to secure his third grand slam title.
“This is a truly unbelievable feeling,” he told the crowd after being presented with the coveted Challenge Cup trophy on Centre Court.
“It’s still very difficult to believe it but I am definitely enjoying this moment as much as I can.”
“Twice is incredible”
“To have won my favourite tournament already twice in my career is just incredible,” he added.
Despite two rain interruptions, the match lived up to its expectations with US Open champion Roddick taking the match to Federer at the outset with his powerful serve.
“He [Roddick] played very, very aggressive. I got surprised; everyone knows his power,” Federer commented.
But although looking shaken after losing the first set, Federer gradually took over in the second when two consecutive faults from Roddick gave the top seed a 2-0 cushion.
With the momentum clearly behind him, Federer raced into a 4-0 lead and eventually took the set with a majestic forehand winner after breaking his opponent for the third time in the set.
Third set tiebreak
The third set went to a tiebreak before Federer played some of his best shots to clinch it 7-3 with a breathtaking down-the-line winner.
At two sets to one down, Roddick desperately looked for a breakthrough in the armour of Federer, who had won his last 23 games on grass. But it was to no avail.
Having survived a scare at the beginning of the fourth set, Federer ruthlessly punished Roddick as the American dropped his serve to love in the seventh game.
With Roddick left to shake the net in frustration, Federer kept his calm to seal victory in two hours and 30 minutes.
Despite the setback of losing on US Independence Day, Roddick was gracious in defeat.
“Just too good”
“Roger just played too good today,” said the American, who was beaten by Federer in last year’s semi-finals.
“I threw the kitchen sink at him but he went to the bathroom and got his tub.”
“It is definitely tough losing but I forgive myself. I left everything out here. Roger’s a great champion and hopefully we will get to do this again sometime,” he added.
Federer now leads 6-1 in their head-to-head clashes and Roddick admitted: “I’m gonna have to start winning some of them to call it a rivalry.”
swissinfo with agencies
Roger Federer has been the world’s number one tennis player since February this year.
He has won 17 international tournaments to date.
Federer has played without a coach since last December.
He was named Swiss sports personality of the year in 2003.
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