Roger Federer Wins Wimbledon; Sets Record
Roger Federer made history on Sunday by winning his 15th Grand Slam tennis tournament, more than anyone in the history of the game. Everyone seemed prepared for it. Pete Sampras showed up in case it happened. Nike was certainly prepared and wasted no time by running a TV advertisement immediately followign the match. The show company collected a few of sport’s greatest athletes including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Pete Samprasm John McEnroe and Serena Williams to salute Federer in a 30 second spot. Net Jets, a luxury private airline company also ran an ad saluting Federer in an ad showing his collection of trophies, though I have to admit it was not the first time the ad had run.
I will admit though, I wanted Andy Roddick to win Wimbledon’s top prize. It would have been a true victory for the underdog. How could a Cubs fan root for anyoen else? It was Basil, Switzerland vs. Omaha, Nebraska and I wanted the guy from middle America. If the experts were not with Roddick, I felt the fans certainly were. NBC’s television broadcast showed a fan’s sign that read “A-Rod you deserve it.” You could hear a little more oomph from the fans when cheering winning points in the match. On the other side of the coin, The Sports Reporters on ESPN Sunday morning conversation never gave Roddick a chance in their discussion. Even the ATP web site on Sunday even had a story on the front page that read “Federer Poised for 15th.”
I guess if I were in the predicting business, I would probably have gone the same way. In 20 career meetings between the two players, Federer had come out on top 18 times.
Roddick was going for his first Wimbedon championship. Federer wanted his sixth. With the exception of last year vs. Rafael Nadal , you could have engraved Federer’s name on the cup ay the start of the tournament for most of this decade. He had won it in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
This is not a typo — four hours and seventeen minutes later, Federer came out on top 7-5, 6-7, 6-7, 6-3, 16-14. Thirty games in the fifth set. Combined, it was like they played seven sets. I looked up most games played in a men’s fifth set final and according to “All About Tennis“ this was a record-setting match, dating all the way back to 1887.
Andy Roddick stayed right with Roger Federer in one of the most entertaining men’s tennis matches I have ever seen. This includes the classic 1980 match between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe where the fifth set went to 8-6. Sure, Nadal and Federer battled 16 games in the fifth set a year ago and Nadal won it all. This year was something special since no one ever gave Roddick a chance. The first three sets were decided by a total of four games with tie breakers in the second and third sets. Fast forward to the fifth set and the fans were howling for more. I wanted to see the trends online and the match quickly made the top 10 trending topics on Twitter as well as a top 5 trend on Google Trends.
Roddick, was seeded sixth at Wimbledon while Federer was number two. This center court duel culminated a terrific Wimbeldon run for both the men and many wanted to be in attendance to witness history. This included former tennis stars Rod Lavor, Bjorn Borg, Samras and John McEnroe who were all in the house. What no one really planned for however was that breakfast at Wimbledon turned into dusk before it was said and done. The shadows started to become a factor on center court. Federer kept serving up aces. Roddick refused to lose his serve. At three hours and 52 minutes in the final set, the scoreboard showed a tied heat at 11-11. The fact that Roddick was serving second in the first set and had to match Federer’s brilliance was nothing short of amazing.
Tennis legend turned broadcaster John McEnroe said it best late in the fifth set when he said,” you just hate to see this thing end.” But it had to for two terrific tennis players. In the end, Federer took home another trophy and Roddick left with his third runner up silver platter and a lot of heartache.
He also left with one more fan. I hope to see Andy Roddick back at Wimbledon in 2010 and next time, alone at the top.
Here is a picture of recent matches between Federer and Roddick.
You can click on the image itself for a larger photo or go straight to this link at the ATP Tour for a complete breakdown.