London: Switzerland’s Roger Federer beat inspired American Andy Roddick 5-7 7-6 7-6 3-6 16-14 in a marathon Wimbledon’s men’s singles final on Sunday to claim a record 15th grand slam title of his extraordinary career.
Federer was stretched to the limit in an unforgettable duel of enery-sapping tension, losing the first set and then trailing 6-2 in the second set tiebreak before digging himself out of trouble to win six consecutive points and level the match.
He could make no headway on the Roddick serve but remained solid on his own delivery to win the third set on another tiebreak. Roddick, beaten twice in previous finals here by Federer, refused to buckle and broke at a crucial moment of the fourth with a great backhand to set up an enthralling decider.
With American Pete Sampras, the only other man to win 14 slams, watching intently from the Royal Box, Federer kept his nose in front in a nerve-racking decider and clinched victory after over four hours when Roddick dropped serve for the only time in the match at 14-15 when he mishit a forehand.