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Federer retains Wimbledon crown
Pritha Sarkar | July 04, 2004 22:55 IST
Roger Federeráretained his Wimbledon title with a riveting 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 victory over American Andy Roddick in the men's final on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Swiss top seed, who also won this year's Australian Open, recovered after a ferocious startáby Roddick on Centre Court to secure his third Grand Slam title.
Despite two rain interruptions, the clash between the world's two best players did not disappoint and U.S. Open champion Roddick's breathtaking power gave him the edge early on.
Federer, though, had come into the match having won his last 23 games on grass and gradually the world number one took control with his fluid strokeplay, wrapping up victory with his 12th ace before collapsing to his knees in triumph.
Second seed Roddick had begun the match in blistering form, firing three aces in his first service game before breaking Federer for a 2-1 lead after the Swiss had sailed a forehand long.
Federer had four break points to level the set in the next game but was foiled by Roddick's thunderbolt deliveries, one of which was measured at 145 miles per hour (233.3 kph).
A 35-minute rain delay failed to put Roddick off and he kept up the relentless pace to win the first set when Federer slapped a forehand into the net after 31 minutes.
Federer quickly turned things around in the second when two consecutive double faults from the U.S. Open champion gifted the top seed a break for a 2-0 cushion.
With the momentum clearly behind him, the 22-year-old raced into a 4-0 lead as Roddick tried his best to recapture his form from the opening set.
The American finally registered on the scoreboard in the fifth game after breaking Federer's serve on his fourth break point with a scorching forehand winner.
Federer appeared to lose his focus and allowed Roddick to get back on level terms after mis-firing a backhand wide.
But Federer took the set with a majestic forehand winner after breaking his opponent for the third time in the set.
Roddick gained the psychological edge early in the third set with a break for a 2-1 lead when Federer whipped a forehand long to drop his serve for the fourth time in the match.
However, a second rain disruption, this time for 40 minutes midway through the set, allowed Federer to regroup.
When play resumed, Federer wasted little time in attacking Roddick's serve and levelled for 4-4 after forcing the American to hit a forehand wide.
Federer was at his sublime best in the tiebreak, clinching it 7-3 with a superb backhand down the line winner.
Inexplicably, Federer started to struggle with his serve in the fourth set as Roddick desperately looked for a breakthrough.
The Swiss survived a flurry of brutal blows from Roddick to save four break points at 1-2 down and two more in his next service game.
Having survived the scare, 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 cool to seal victory in two hours 30 minutes.