Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - 15
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15 07/05/2009 - 5:43 PM


By Pete Bodo

Ultimately, it may be remembered by tennis historians and students of the game as The Tiebreaker, II (That Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe 18-16 fourth-set tiebreaker in the 1980 Wimbledon final will always lack a numeral). Only this time, the theme wasn't the ferocity of the clashing wills or the velocity of the serves and passing shots. The Tiebreaker, II, will be discussed in hushed tones, always with a hint of pity (among the kind) or triumphalism (among the callous), because of the enormous, nearly tragic error it embodied, and the way that critical misjudgment by Andy Roddick opened the floodgates of glory for Roger Federer.

It happened like this: Roddick, playing at the peak of his game, had won the first set and capitalized on two errors by Federer to build a 6-2 lead in the second-set tiebreaker - four set points for a two-set lead. Federer wiped away the first three of those points with a clean backhand winner, an ace, and an unreturnable service. Roddick had one more chance, and he went bold. He hit a second serve and set up a perfect forehand approach. As he hurtled toward the net behind his crisp shot, Federer hit a forehand down the line. The ball looked as if it were going out. Pete Sampras, whose surprise appearance a little earlier in the Royal Box had sent a restless murmur through the crowd, certainly thought it was heading that way. "It looked to me like Andy just changed his mind," Pete told me later. "That was a huge moment."

Roddick speared the awkward, high-backhand volley and drove it way wide. He explained later: "There was a significant wind behind him on that side. It was gusting pretty good at that time. When he first hit it, I thought I wasn't gonna play it. Last minute, it looked like it started dropping. I couldn't get my racket around on it. I don't know if it would have dropped or not."

Nobody will ever know - the waters bursting forth carried away that shot - as they did so many other breathtaking winners and agonizing errors hit by the two men. It took those waters a long time to reach flood stage and sweep Federer into the vault of history, and for that we must credit Roddick. He miraculously recovered his composure almost immediately, and continued to play commanding tennis on equal terms with Federer for the rest of the match. He surrendered the bone when he was broken for the first time, in the 77th and final game of the match. The final score was 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14.

By the time it was all over, the sky over Hampstead Heath bore traces of evening rose and the elapsed time stood at 4:08. The match was so long that it seemed as if The Tiebreaker, II had occurred in another time and another place, perhaps when men wore those long white trousers Federer had on in the warm-ups through an entire match. And to his credit, Roddick found the determination and composure to make it seem that something as ghastly as that second-set tiebreaker could only have happened to someone else - not the 26-year old Yankee who on this day matched Federer's ground play, and was unperturbed by seeing Federer nearly double his own ace count, 50-27.

So much for the universally-held idea that this was to be a battle of Roddick's monstrous serve against Federer's return and his fetching arsenal of groundstrokes. Roddick put it this way, when I asked if this reverse mirror-image surprised him as it did most of us. "I don't know. You know, he served great. I didn't get a lot of second looks. I felt like when we were in rallies for the last couple of sets, I was actually doing all right and holding my own, if not more. But he just served great. He did what he had to do. If he wouldn't have served as well, I'd probably be sitting here in a better mood."

88828155 Here are some numbers to play with: 42 percent of Roddick's serves went unreturned, compared to Federer's 46 percent. Roddick put 70 percent of his first serves into play, compared to Federer's 64 percent (put into context with Federer's ace count - this is a tribute to Federer's superb placement). Roddick's fastest serve clocked in at 143 mph, but Federer was right up there with 135. Yet all of this wonderful serving - and trust me, it was like watching twin, competing fireworks displays, the engineer behind each determined not to be outdone by the other - was mere background for the battle of will and nerves.

Roddick's greatest triumph was his ability to rebound from that devastating second-set tiebreaker and continue to play what may be remembered as the match of his life. Federer's towering achievement (leaving out the little detail about this being his record 15th Grand Slam title) was his ability to escape the second-set gallows and then never, ever grow discouraged as Roddick rained down hail fire and whistled Nadal-esque rockets past him from the baseline.

There was, however, one oddity about this confrontation: the lack of serve-and-volley play by both men on a day when they both served lights-out. Roddick won three of his four serve-and-volley points, while Federer won four of his seven direct advances on the net. Roger seemed determined to show that he would, over time, win off the ground; Roddick appeared to reply, "No way." At first it appeared suicidal, but it slowly morphed into a monument to Roddick's improved game and his combative spirit.

Federer's poise underscored a reality of the Swiss gentleman's career that is easily neglected while everyone focuses on the apparent ease of his game and his signal aplomb. Roddick put it best when he was asked to comment on Federer's qualities as a champion. "I don't know where to start there. . . He was having trouble picking up my serve today for the first time ever, but he just stayed the course. . . You didn't even get a sense that he was even really frustrated by it. He just toughed it out. He gets a lot of credit for a lot of things, but not how a lot of the time, how many matches, he kind of digs deep and toughs it out. He doesn't get a lot of credit for that because it looks easy to him (sic) a lot of the times. But he definitely stuck in there today."

For his part, Sampras said: "Roger has that ability to make the tough things look easy. He was also a little lucky today, but that's not surprising. The great ones are always a little lucky."

Ultimately, the kind of patience to which Roddick alluded - "patience" being a word not frequently applied to a man as mercurial and fleet as Federer - was not just the key to this match, but to the new champion's entire year so far. Here was a man many were willing to write off as a spent cartridge after his game and customary sangfroid and confidence appeared to utterly desert him in the Australian Open final.

Here was a man who seemed in utter disarray during the early U.S. hardcourt season, the pliant and easygoing genius devolving into a racket smashing, suddenly introverted and belligerent champion who appeared to feel - for the first time - the full weight of his obligations as the greatest player of his and perhaps any time.

Here was a man who struggled, sometimes mightily, when the one major title that eluded him - and which held the key to his legacy - was offered up to him on a gilt-edged plate by virtue of Rafael Nadal's shocking loss on Parisian clay.

Here was a man who was thrown an assortment of knuckle and curve balls in the way of opponents and twists and turns of fate on the road to his French Open and Wimbledon titles.

Through that entire period, Roger was sometimes moved to say what he must have felt - that not even a champion of his caliber is absolved from the ups-and-downs of life. There's nothing wrong with Roger Federer. There was nothing amiss in his life or game that the challenge presented by Grand Slam events couldn't dispel or relegate to the deep background. There was nothing wrong with his attitude, nor any game-changing power shift threatening to deny him his place in history.

That's patience: the singular characteristic of every great champion who's ever hefted a racket.

By contrast, the most menacing emotion a player of any level has to deal with is fear, or succumbing to nerves when it most counts. Today, by the time the match rose to the plane of an epic, Federer was insulated from trepidation by his patience and experience. As he said:

"I used to get nervous when a friend would come watch me play as a kid, and then it was my parents, and then it was legends and people I really - who mean something. Today, it's okay. Today, anybody can come and watch me play. I don't get nervous anymore. Today with Pete (Sampras) it was a bit special, you know. When he walked in and I saw him for the first time, I did get more nervous, actually."

After sheepishly confessing this apparent contradiction, Federer also revealed that he took the trouble to mumble a well-disguised "hello" to his pal Sampras, in one of his moments wandering at the baseline below the Royal Box. "That's unusual," he admitted. "But I thought, I don't want to be rude, you know?"

As is often the case when great accomplishments are logged, there was a sort of tristesse after Federer secured the title. This was less evident in the winner's press conference (at times, it was downright jolly) than in the spent atmosphere hanging over all of Wimbledon. This was a sort of symbolic victory for Roddick; he fought so well, so hard, and so bravely that the quality of the match overshadowed even the majesty of Federer's achievement. Not that Federer begrudged him. He didn't need to ride out of Centre Court in his white military-style jacket, on the back of an elephant.

Federer was rather idiotically asked if he felt like he's the "happiest person," and he fielded the question with more attention than it probably deserved: "I don't know. . . I mean, I'm very happy. I don't know if I'm the happiest person in the world. I don't think so. I think there's many happy people out there. Tennis doesn't make you - it doesn't do it all. There's more to life than just tennis. But I feel great."

The obligatory question about Rafael Nadal's absence from the draw was bound to come up, and when it did, Roger said he didn't feel the situation diminished his achievement by one iota. "I don't think it should," he said. "Everybody expected (Andy) Murray to be in the finals. He wasn't there. It's not the mistake of the one who wins in the end. . . You never know how he (Rafa) would have played, but it's sad he couldn't even give it a fair chance. Tennis moves very quickly, you know."

Yesterday, it moved very quickly indeed - at about 143 and 135 mph, respectively. But the most impressive number on this historic day was a much smaller one, 15.

Good night, everyone - travel day tomorrow. See y'all on Tuesday.

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Posted by Master Ace 07/05/2009 at 05:53 PM

Yes, the number 15 reign supreme but Andy fought very well and outplayed Roger except that Roger started to hold easily after Andy had 2 break pts at 8-all,15-40. Roger did not even give Andy a chance to break as he made 2 good first serves when needed.

Posted by jewell - Campaign for Fedal Disarmament 07/05/2009 at 05:59 PM

Hey Pete and everyone. :)

Haven't time to give this the attention it deserves, but wanted to say I enjoyed it very much...fabulous and intriguing match.

Agree with Roddick that Roger doesn't get enough credit for toughness in these things, always have - agree with Roger that Rafa's absence doesn't diminish his achievement.

Great guys, so sporting. So sad for RAndy, too. *hugs Roddick fans*

And congratulations again to Roger fans - #1, 15, channel Slam, career slam - pretty good tennis year, no?

Thanks for all the fine posts, Pete, hope you had a good time. :)

Posted by Emma (insertwittymantrahere) 07/05/2009 at 06:03 PM

Great Job Pedro. Thanks for all your great pieces over the past week or so, I especially loved the one on Devin Britton.
Safe journey home!

Posted by Jimmy P 07/05/2009 at 06:06 PM

Was hoping you might analyse why Federer seemed incapable of hitting ground strokes for most of the afternoon. Fantastic mental strength to hold it together when his ground game had deserted him, but why? Why the passive backhand slice on every point? Why the lack of winners even when an open court presented itself.

I recall you ruffling feathers by saying Federer never had a warrior moment. This match, when he clung on without either a back hand or forehand to rely on, is surely a warrior performance if ever there was one. Far more impressive than the Sampras Corretja match, IMHO

Posted by fedfan 07/05/2009 at 06:07 PM

Great Post. So sorry for Roddick. Almost wanted him to win. A heartbreaker.

Posted by Joao 07/05/2009 at 06:13 PM

It's a good post by pete, but why start from the second set tiebreak and not from first set narrow missing of breaking Roddick serve that include Hawk-eye using?
If Roddick didn't ask the using of it or if Federer didn't narrow missing it probably he would win in 3 sets. Tennis is that, missing shots and turn around, we never know what going to happen next, each point as the capacity to change everything. So saying if "this" do not happen "that" would happen it's not good journalism but makes a nice piece of condescending, i concede.
Anyway Roddick didn't deserve to loose, but sport is not about deserving but achieving.

Posted by olive 07/05/2009 at 06:18 PM


Posted by Almond49 07/05/2009 at 06:22 PM

Bodo will never claim that Fed had a warrior moment today. I feel that he will never get the credit and respect he has earned...EVER.

Posted by Eric 07/05/2009 at 06:29 PM

Does anyone know:

Can we buy that "15" track jacket from NIKE ? Somehow I doubt it... We should petition NIKE lol

Posted by Mr. X 07/05/2009 at 06:30 PM

I absolutely agree with your analysis of the match, Pete. When Roddick doubted and missed that volley, something told most of us Fed was gonna win, in my opinion. But it tells a lot about Roddick's game today and his determination to keep fighting till he had absolutely nothing left, that it took Fed so much to win it. The % of unreturned serves tells a more accurate story about how well these 2 guys served than the ace count, in my opinion.
It's very true that Fed has won some matches more with toughness than with elegance in these last 2 GS. Delpo and today are the best examples of that, combined with his great fitness.
15 is just remarkable, and we all know he's not gonna stop there.

Posted by AB 07/05/2009 at 06:31 PM

Roddick deserved to win.

Posted by Mr. X 07/05/2009 at 06:32 PM

By the way, that shot might be the wrost i have ever seen a grass court look. I mean, look at the left down corner. Patched, dry and cracked. Maybe the weather was too dry this year.

Posted by Mr. X 07/05/2009 at 06:34 PM

"the worst" and not "the wrost"

Posted by Philippe Igoa 07/05/2009 at 06:36 PM

Sorry to see Andy lose, and thats coming from a huge Fed fan!This is the only player I wouldn't mind see Roger lose to-I can't believe I said that, but I truly developed a new sense of respect for A-Rod. He definitely had a game plan, should have wrapped up the match in straight sets, had his chances at 8-8 and 15-40 on Fed's serve in the fifth, but what can you say. Fed came up big on his serve, outserving the biggest server in the game! And he definitely needed each and every one of those aces/service winners cuz the groundies weren't working too well and Andy's passing shots-especially on the backhand wing was exquisite. You gotta wonder what that does to Andy's confidence from here on out. There's still the USO, but I give other players as much of a chance, Joko, Murray, Del Potro, just to name a few. Andy, as many people have said just had the unfortunate bad luck of being born in the same era as TMF. Otherwise, it would be talking about at least 5 or 6 majors.That one slam wonder talk is looking more and more like a reality. As long as TMF is across the net. Just a shame that there had to be a loser today. Where does Roger go from here, now that he has the alltime record? He's made it clear that he's not done yet, that he still loves the game. That's not what Andy and the rest of the tour want to hear I'm sure. Winning the USO for a record 6th in a row would be a wonderful way to close out the year. Looking to next year, there is still the issue of the calendar year grand slam. Can Roger win all four majors in the same calendar year? I certainly think its possible. Defending the French would definitely be the greatest obstacle, especially if Rafa is back healthy and looking to reclaim his crown. The rest of the tour is also improving so I see the competition fiecer than ever.I don't think Roger needs the calendar year GS to be considered the GOAT but it certainly shut up any detractors who still consider Laver the GOAT which is hard to argue and the fact that Laver missed out on some potential slams because of the old rules. Laver has already given his personal nod so that right there is huge in my book. I can't wait to see what kind of player Roger becomes at the USO, now that he has the alltime GS record. Unbelievable player, the heart of a champion, could have been a fantastic athelete in other sports---you gotta believe that! Just has another gear or two that only the great ones have:Jordan, Kobe, Brady, Montana,etc....

Posted by Syd 07/05/2009 at 06:38 PM

Hmmm. Well, surely Roddick deserves the credit you have lavished on him Pete; Roddick played better than ever he has, thanks to Stefanki, no doubt.

Roger was not playing his best tennis by any stretch; he should have taken the first set and fluffed that. Same thing in the fourth when he just gave up his service for no apparent reason. He did strike an incredible 107 winners compared to 74 winners for Roddick; as well as 50 aces; stats which present a better picture of what was happening out there than the scoreline and the naked eye suggest.

Perhaps he got "lucky" at the end in the way that Nadal got lucky last year; except that Roddick was clearly flagging and hanging on by his fingernails, whilst Federer was still rock solid, and ultimately, his fitness won him the match.

Likely the match will be remembered as Roger Federer's Sixth Wimbledon Championship and even more impressive, his smashing the Sampras 14th slam barrier.

Posted by naughty T ... dazed 07/05/2009 at 06:40 PM

Travel safely Pete. Thanks for a nice precis of the match and reactions to it.

Posted by stevethemogul 07/05/2009 at 06:40 PM

I was rooting for the mighty fed, but about midway through the fifth set, I didn't care who won--they were both playing with a ton of heart. too bad there had to be a loser, because neither one of them deserved to be beaten.

I can't remember a player showing as much improvement in his all-around game as roddick has done--maybe rafa's progression on grass over the last three years comes close. andy and larry stefanki did one helluva makeover job. but fed wasn't about to go through two gut-wrenching losses in back-to-back finals.

Posted by Andrew Friedman 07/05/2009 at 06:50 PM

Thanks for this, Pete. Personally, I'm heartbroken for Roddick, but only on the day. If anybody can build on this, he can. I think that flubbed backhand volley will haunt him to the grave ... unless he wins Wimbledon one day, then it's all good...

Posted by Hammond 07/05/2009 at 06:54 PM

Frankly, Roddick had no business even being in a second set tiebreak, as where I come from 24/29 != 24/31. 29/40 !> 22/29 'round these parts, either.

I guess everyone owes a huge debt of gratitude to the inventor of ad scoring for transforming a Federer romp into a 16-14 fifth set.

Posted by toonie 07/05/2009 at 06:54 PM

Andy Roddick's pressure "I'm not a phychic I'm a tennis player" by far the funniest answer I've heard in a long line of stupid reporter questions

Posted by federerfan 07/05/2009 at 06:54 PM

agree with a lot of things esply the one about Roddicks non-winning victory actually overshadowing the #15 ! Atleast for me, that is what it was. It continues to make tennis and sports, in general, compelling for any viewer/person.

Posted by Henry 07/05/2009 at 06:55 PM

Vamos RAFA :)

Posted by steve 07/05/2009 at 06:58 PM

all those words and you Bodo did not say it one time G O A T give the man his due. Roddick did great, he lost. federer lost aust wimb 08. everyone piled on. say it GREATIST OF ALL TIME. he found a way.

Posted by Jake 07/05/2009 at 06:59 PM

Tiger Woods wins PGA Tour AT&T National AFTER texting a congratulatory message to Roger Federer.

Tiger and Roger: 2 Peas In A Pod!

Posted by federerfan 07/05/2009 at 07:00 PM

one other note : a lot of us thought fed would play freely and swing without any pressure and that could be even more scary for the rest of the atp, and good ol roddick even said, when asked about it, "how can he be even scarier than the greatest of all time? thats scary!" (that guy is the best when it comes to words :)

but to comeback to the original point, even tho fed played some beatiful nerve-free tennis, like even the great Dunlop noted, when it comes to big moments (GS finals or even playing any of the other top 4 i expect like today) this was/will be a nerve fest from the fed, so many of his groundies were so weak that i thot i could hit them back without any problems, so i am not holding my breath for fed swinging freely EVER and that is a pity, as watching him flow freely is a sight indeed.

And something tells me the hardcourt swing is going to be a hard one for the fed and he will not win the USO, if he keeps the SF streat intact and just sneaks past the overall #1 weeks, that will be amazing icing on the cake for me.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog (Roger wins the Channel Slam!) 07/05/2009 at 07:00 PM

Roger's biggest mistake was at 5-5 in the first set, when he had multiple break point chances. On one of them, he hist his forehand just long by about an inch at the most. His forehand unforced errors really cost him in this match, and never more than in that game. Had he broken then, and taken the first set, Roddick would have had a feeling of deja-vu. And we might have seen a very different match play out. That was key. And it was poor play by Roger, allowing those missed chances to affect him and thereby following it with a loose service game to lost the set.

Roddick's biggest mistake was at 6-5 in the 2nd set tiebreak. Had he won that point and taken a 2 sets to love lead, he would have won the match, perhaps in straights.

So, both players missed on very crucial points that shaped the remainder of the match.

I hope Roger will work hard on improving his form. He's still awfully good, but everybody can see that his groundstrokes are inconsistent. How many passes did he miss today? Passes that we're used to seeing him make. As Cahill said, he wasn't aggressive today, he didn't go for the backhand down the line, often going cross-court with his forehand. When he had Roddick at net, exactly where he wanted him, he often missed the pass or executed poorly. On the other hand, Roddick's ground game has vastly improved, and his approach shots have more stick on them.

As well as Roddick played (and his play was spectacular), it was the dip in Roger's level in combination with Andy's game that made this match so darned close. The 2006 Federer would have broken in that 5-all game in the first set. Would have won this in straight sets, most likely, even if the scoreline would have been very close. And the '06/'07 Federer would have nailed those passes !

Posted by Matt Zemek 07/05/2009 at 07:02 PM

The quotes tell the story.

Sampras: "The great ones are always a little lucky."

Fed: "It's not the mistake of the one who wins in the end."

Roddick: "He gets a lot of credit for a lot of things, but not how a lot of the time, how many matches, he kind of digs deep and toughs it out. He doesn't get a lot of credit for that because it looks easy to him (sic) a lot of the times. But he definitely stuck in there today."

Terrific mix of tender yet accurate insight and finely-grafted bits of reportage, Pete. Thanks for another outstanding fortnight of coverage!

Posted by Samantha Elin(supporter of all things Scandinavian.) 07/05/2009 at 07:02 PM

Just wanted to come in and thank Pete and the moderators for their Wimbledon coverage. I really enjoyed myself these last two weeks. Looking forward to the USO, there is nothing like the excitement that a slam bring. The smaller tourneys just can't match. The best match on the women's side was Serena/Demmy and the best on the men's was the final. The only sad feeling I have is about Roddick, he was so close to getting it. This is such an exciting time with all the new young players and the old guard. Well, ciao dudes!

Posted by Samantha Elin(supporter of all things Scandinavian.) 07/05/2009 at 07:05 PM

Oh, forgot to mention when Fed was telling Roddick how he could relate to his pain because he lost to Rafa last year. When Andy called out, "you got five". Wow, was that real, and it made me like him more.

Posted by Syd 07/05/2009 at 07:05 PM

CFR; Federer definitely off his game today, and it may have been nerves, given what was at stake here.

Posted by Cosi 07/05/2009 at 07:17 PM

Good grief, Roger just makes massive history and fights the marathon battle of Wimbledon history to win his 15th slam and people are quibbling about his groundies not being "up to par".. ROFL! He didn't need his groundgame to be perfect, his serve was astonishing and his courage and toughness was outstanding. There are many ways to win a match, Roger's groundies may not have been at their sizzling best today but he compensated with other things and he WON!

Posted by arbi 07/05/2009 at 07:20 PM

I agree that Roger didn't play his best from the ground (although I think that that had a lot to do with Roddick's ground shots which were outstanding today and way better than in the past) but when people generalize it by saying Roger didn't played his best they forget one important thing. There was one very important area of his game in which Roger surpassed his best as shown by the stats too and that was his serve. That would compensate for his not stellar ground game. And frankly I think that had that serve been less than what it was today he would have lost the match even with the ground game being better given the way Roddick was playing.

Posted by Syd 07/05/2009 at 07:23 PM

Absolutely, Fed's serve was outstanding; 50 aces, no one can quibble about that. Anyway, he won, and that's all I really care about right now!!

Posted by Pierre 07/05/2009 at 07:24 PM

When he was up 6-2 in the tiebreak, too bad Roddick didn't serve and volley.

Posted by Christopher 07/05/2009 at 07:25 PM

Hammond-- Those have always been the rules. Your gripe sounds like saying "If field goals where just worth twice as many points as touchdowns..."

Posted by Charlie Mueller 07/05/2009 at 07:26 PM

To the fellow who remarked that Federer's groundstrokes were not top notch. Did you notice in the last set that he began coming over his back hand more often- in fact that was the shot (hit on the rise and deep down the middle) that forced the error on match point? I do not think that happened by chance- Federer was finding his range a bit off the ground- he was B+ today on groundies.

Mostly I think he was surprised that Andy was staying with him and then some. Have you ever seen Andy Roddick hit more flat backhands and down the line winners?

In short- Feds groundies were undone a bit by Roddick staying with him- until the very end when he cracked and Roger was hitting drives not slices off his backhand. He was taking away time- and Roddicks timing faltered.

Posted by Liz Balboa 07/05/2009 at 07:27 PM

Both men were GREAT! Andy was better! He deserved to win but he didn't! Too bad. I am curious about Bodo though: he seems to hate FedEx! Sorry Pete! Federer clawed his way through this match and deserves every tribute imaginable! Why not give it to him!!?? ... you old goat!!

Posted by RodZ 07/05/2009 at 07:29 PM

To greenhopper @ 2:34 PM:

I only read your message now, so sorry for the late translation. The literal translation of Guga's message is:

On the year that marks Maria Bueno's 50th anniversary of winning Wimbledon, Federer marks his name in History. Great game, it made me miss it (meaning, the game of tennis).

Maria Bueno is a thrice-Wimbledon champion from Brazil. She won her first title exactly 50 years ago, and she is being celebrated in Brazilian tennis circles right now, that is why Guga mentions her. You can check her history at

Posted by Jake 07/05/2009 at 07:29 PM

I'd like to thank TennisWorld and its staff (Pete Bodo, Rosangel Valenti, Andrew, "Moderator," etc.) for making this year's Wimbledon the most enjoyable ever for me.

Being able to chat and share thoughts, feelings, ideas, comments, etc. with other tennis fans while a match is on-going is most delightful!

Kudos to you all for a job well-done, and to all participants, and those providing live commentary when work (and NBC's goof-ups) would not permit some of us to watch some matches live!

See y'all around!

Posted by Cotton Jack 07/05/2009 at 07:30 PM

How do you have the gall to win a 15th slam when by and large you look incapable of winning a point? Did Roger put more balls in the net in the this match than in the whole of 2005?! Just bewildering. The strangest match I've seen in a long time. So typical of Andy's straight-talking to get to the kernel of it: this was the first time (in their 21st match!) that Roger couldn't read Andy's serve ... did he panic? No. He just waited until the 38th opportunity to break Andy's serve. Just bizarre. Pete Sampras must have been bemused more than anything else. And tempted to enter next year.

Posted by jb... (le sigh...) 07/05/2009 at 07:31 PM

nice wrap up Pete. i'm so tired i can't even process this properly.
i just know i'm still incredibly sad for andy. am hoping like mad that like rafa and fed before him, he bounces back from a heartbreaking 5 set wimby final loss to take the trophy the following year.

Andy Roddick, FTW - Wimbledon 2010

And i seriously hope that Andy takes this and uses it as a springboard to the hard courts this summer.

Posted by Lleytsie 07/05/2009 at 07:35 PM

hey all - feel like almost crying for ROD - but great great to get to 15

Posted by TennisLover 07/05/2009 at 07:35 PM

I would not be so sure the the key of the match was the TB of the second set. As a matter of fact Roddick came back firing at full power and kept holding his ground. Even if he would have gone up by two I feel that this one still have gone to the fifth (see waht happened last year). It all came down to the serve and on who would have blinked first and Roddick unfortunately did. One thing that I thought, when Federer was serving first in the fifth, is that he was lucky that went that way and that he would have had an advantage in the long run. If I am not mistaken, the two sets that he lost is when he was serving from behind. Also, The shadow in the last game contribute to give Roger a little help. When the shadow came in I thought that the one closing the match would have been coming from the shadow side. And so it went.
Great match, great fighting and as already said above, it takes a bit of luck too sometimes. It went against Federer last year and I do believe that in the long run things get even...Maybe Roddick will take next Wimbledon!

Posted by md 07/05/2009 at 07:36 PM

would love some analysis of why federer's groundstrokes, especially the topspin backhand were poor by his standards? Was it the wind or an inconsistent bounce of the court (it looked a pretty poor surface today) or the pace on Roddick's shots. For some reason Fed just sliced his backhand cross court to Roddick's backhand. Other than that a very fine review of the match.

I must admit I ended up rooting for Roddick - rarely have I felt so sorry for a player after a match - ranks up there with Goran in 1998 after losing to Sampras in five.

Not sure it was a great match - too few good rallies for that - but it was epic and heroic in a compelling way.

Posted by rgrace 07/05/2009 at 07:38 PM

I was wondering if we would have an encore of some kind in this final after last year. I just didn't think Roddick would be the guy to help deliver it. MAD props to him. How could last year have been topped? Yet some could argue that it was in some ways.

And how about that Fed? He's gone from being the "effortless" champion to being habitually involved in the most dramatic matches in his sport's history. Gone from being the invincible straight-set dominator to a player who finds a way to win tough five-setters early in tournaments (see: Tipsarevic, Andreev, Delpo, Haas, etc...) and still make it to the finals just about every time.

I frankly don't think he gets enough credit for his fitness and stamina. Look at the last two Wimby finals he's played! It says a lot for his dedication and work ethic. Any genius or giant in their field will tell you: true genius is 95% brutal hard work.

Fed is becoming a guy who transcends his sport. He's ennobled Wimbledon further by his recent record. Imagine coming back to the scene of your most painful and difficult loss and facing yet another inspired opponent, on the same court, and having to put up numbers that resemble a Laver-Gonzales match from the early 60's in order to finally put it away.

This match was so great that even the loser is a winner. Andy Roddick will now always be a part of history himself and he can always hold his head high. He found redemption for himself in his sport.

What a tremendous story. Tennis has never been so fortunate.

Posted by amanda townsend 07/05/2009 at 07:38 PM

i m so happy for roger..he deserved this win..he fought against andy roddick so well..i m sympathetic for andy too..but in tennis there is no place for sympathy there is only place for winning

Posted by amanda townsend 07/05/2009 at 07:38 PM

i m so happy for roger..he deserved this win..he fought against andy roddick so well..i m sympathetic for andy too..but in tennis there is no place for sympathy there is only place for winning

Posted by VC 07/05/2009 at 07:47 PM

Charlie Mueller : Yes, I also felt that he started hitting out on his groundstrokes as the fifth set went on. He was very tentative for the majority of the time.

Posted by Ray T. 07/05/2009 at 07:47 PM

Nice try Pete, but the real stats are in Federer's winning % on 2nd Serve (60 vs 44) and winners (107 vs 74) Even if you remove those 23 aces difference, Roger still hit 10 more than Andy (84).

Roddick indeed just played the 2 best matches of his career, but it was still his aces and 1st serve % that kept him going and that's why he still can't beat Federer no matter how "the great ones are always a little lucky." if Roddick didn't get lucky to not face an healthy Nadal in the quarters.

What goes around comes around as they say, and it is poetic justice that Roger Federer won his 15th Slam at Wimbledon in such a manner this year. He is the most resilient of them all physically and mentally and that's why he is the greatest. Bravo !

Posted by arbi 07/05/2009 at 07:51 PM

I think Stefanski has contributed a lot in improving Roddick's game especially in two areas: teaching him that he should come to the net only after hitting a good and appropriate approach shot; but most importantly his forehand. He's finally has put some sense into Roddick to hit a more aggressive forehand. I remember while watching Roddick play in the last few years wondering time and again what had happened to the great forehand he once possessed. While he kept improving other areas of his game, his forehand had turned into a passive top spin shot with which he rarely was able to hit a winner anymore. This Wimbledon finally he was hitting it a lot flatter and with much more aggression and that's what made the difference in his play. I really hope he can keep this up because if he does he would have another good shot at a slam soon.

Posted by Annie (Rootin' for the Rocket!) 07/05/2009 at 07:54 PM

It was a wonderful match. Andy played out of his mind. And all those sudden death service games he won in the 5th, how many 11 or 12? just incredible. But he probably lost the title in the 2nd set tb. no matter. he played the match of his career so far. And i hope we get to see him win a title someday. yeah, Samantha, i loved when arod said to fed, "but i don't have 5!"

So Fed has the channel slam, the most majors and he's number 1 again. Congratulations. why aren't i happier?

Posted by Syd 07/05/2009 at 07:59 PM

Ray T., well, said.

Posted by Kennedy Myles 07/05/2009 at 08:01 PM

People who want to talk about the lack of consistency on the Federer grondstrokes are just proving that they know nothing about tennis......And no, the Federer of 2006-2007 would not have won this match in straight sets because Roddick played the match of his life.....Federer could not serve like this in 05-06 period!........Roger Federer had the greatest serving day in his entire career and that along with heart, tenacity, and unbelivable grit won him this record 15 major......The conversation about who is the greatest was ended in Paris, and now Roger has taken even a step up from that with this victory......Actually the gap between Federer and Laver just became quite large and Sampras because of his lack of clay court skills is in 3 or 4 position........The alltime greats look like this.....


Posted by SarahNZ 07/05/2009 at 08:04 PM

Watching the final reminded me of a post Pete wrote called "the Practice Animal" about when Jesse Levine went to Dubai to practice with TMF, and the revelation it provided about how fit and well-conditioned TMF is. Levine Andy looked hammered at 14-all, 15-14, (as most of us would!!!!) but Roger popped up looking ready to keep going. Everybody yaks on about how strong Nadal is, but Federer is an absolute animal of endurance

Posted by SarahNZ 07/05/2009 at 08:04 PM

Watching the final reminded me of a post Pete wrote called "the Practice Animal" about when Jesse Levine went to Dubai to practice with TMF, and the revelation it provided about how fit and well-conditioned TMF is. Levine Andy looked hammered at 14-all, 15-14, (as most of us would!!!!) but Roger popped up looking ready to keep going. Everybody yaks on about how strong Nadal is, but Federer is an absolute animal of endurance

Posted by Joanne 07/05/2009 at 08:09 PM

What a wonderful match!
I honestly believe that Andy should have won. Roger was not in his best form and, in the end luck, was on his side. Andy will be a force to be reckoned with at the US Open.. if Nadal is present and in top condition, things could be very interesting!

Posted by carlbolt 07/05/2009 at 08:11 PM

I would say the windy condition and the pitted court(which made a lot of wicked bounces), especially on the baseline area had more negative impact on Roger's match, I think that explians why he had so many missed forehand groundstrokes.

Posted by Annie (Rootin' for the Rocket!) 07/05/2009 at 08:11 PM

It was incredible to see that Federer serve! Man that thing is a weapon. No wonder his fans were frazzling over the last 10 months wondering where it had gone. Well it's back and it's a thing of beauty. wowza.

Posted by Annie (Congrats Roger! An Amazing Feat) 07/05/2009 at 08:14 PM

I can't believe people are critiquing the play today. It was fantastic by both players. Just like last year. We've been very priviledged to see this stuff.

Posted by VC 07/05/2009 at 08:17 PM

I'm sure it's been said before, but I can't believe it's taken Federer only 6 years to shatter Pete's record. 15/25 Slam wins, 20/25 finals. Unthinkable.

Posted by Annie (Congrats Roger! An Amazing Feat) 07/05/2009 at 08:21 PM

To be honest, this was the kind of serving duel tennis that I don't like and got tired of in the Sampras era. But today it made for a nail-biter of a match. It was more like a boxing match really. And Fed can do it all. no question he's in fantastic shape. He still doesn't perspire meanwhile andy's got sweat pouring off his cap! And because fed is so fit i'm sure he'll be playing for years to come, definitely into 2012. He wants an Olympic gold in singles. that's the only thing left for him to win.

Posted by VC 07/05/2009 at 08:23 PM

Federer's "ugly" Slam wins :

Australian Open 2006 : 5 sets against Haas, tricky 4-setters against Davydenko, Kiefer and Baghdatis.

Wimbledon 2007 : Five sets against Nadal, first sign of increased reliance on serve.

US Open 2007 : Took advantage of Djokovic's first Slam final nerves, saving setpoints on the way to winning first two sets on tiebreaks.

US Open 2008 : Tough five-setter against Andreev, multiple breakpoints saved at crucial points.

French Open 2009 : Acasuso, Haas, del Potro.

Wimbledon 2009 : Held off a charging Andy Roddick, serving around 50 aces along the way.

Posted by jhurwi 07/05/2009 at 08:29 PM

As a longtime Federer KAD, this was the first time that I might (almost) have been willing to see him lose a major, and to a player I have never been particularly fond of in the past. It's interesting that comments by Americans seems to be predominantly about Roddick's falling short after outplaying Federer most of the match, whereas (from what I have seen so far) the British media keeps the focus on Federer.
I'm sure the AELTC must have been relieved that Federer won his 15th--what would they have done with Sampras, Laver and Borg if he hadn't? But it was interesting that the BBC World News segment on the match was headlined "Federer's Sixth Wimbledon," and the 15 Grand Slams were only mentioned well into the segment. After all, only Wimbledon *really* counts!

Posted by Hugo Pottisch 07/05/2009 at 08:40 PM

Total Points Won
Roddick 213
Federer 223

close, tragic and great.

Posted by Pspace 07/05/2009 at 08:42 PM

Hard to get ones thoughts in order after than rollercoaster of a match. Every close tennis match can be seen from two sides. The winner takes his opportunities. And the other guy is left to rue what might've been. Just a few decisions -- CC or DTL, buggy whip or flat, slice or topspin, volley or leave -- makes the difference between Wimbledon Champion or Runner-up. As Federer said, it's a cruel game.

There are two ways to look at Roddick's flubbed volley on set point in the second. One is as the worst decision in his career. The other is as a balancing of Fed's missed fh at BP in the first set. I hope the second view makes him feel better. But, god it must sting.

From Federer's perspective, it must be a relief to win a 5 set final after losing the last two. It looked to me that he was nervous, and I attribute it to Pete's presence. I think he wanted to put on a good show for his buddy, and ended up trying too hard.

Also, props to Stefanki, for the changes he has brought to Roddick's fitness and game, and more importantly, for the tactical plans. The body serves to Federer, and attacking of the Murray fh were perfectly thought out. The Roddick serve is looking better than ever, and the confidence in the ground game seems to flow from there. His shots are ever so slightly more well-placed and well-paced in the SF and F. I hope they continue to work together.

Final props to Pierre Paganini, for ensuring that his charge held up through Paris and London.

Posted by Konz 07/05/2009 at 08:43 PM

Check these comments out by Rod Laver about Fed:

great perspective from a great on how good Fed really is

Posted by Hugo Pottisch 07/05/2009 at 08:44 PM

Winners (Including Service)
Roddick 74
Federer 107

Unforced Errors
Roddick 33
Federer 38

1st Serve %
Roddick 168 of 239 = 70 %
Federer 127 of 197 = 64 %

Receiving Points Won
Roddick 42 of 197 = 21 %
Federer 68 of 239 = 28 %

Posted by CL 07/05/2009 at 08:45 PM

Court surface. Worse than ever. The Dust Bowl of the service line. What's a Wimby to do?

The thing is, Roddick had a excellent strategic plan and executed it, wih a couple of critical lapses, perfectly. Much as he did throughout the entire tournament. The question is, can he execute as well over tournament after tournament? This is where Roger and Rafa excel. Gonna be an interesting summer.


Posted by steve 07/05/2009 at 08:45 PM

Pitty party is in loserville. All above stay here all winners go to

Posted by MWC 07/05/2009 at 08:46 PM

Just thought I'd throw out there that Roddick deserved both the loss for his crucial mental errors, just as he deserved to play as well as he did play over the course of the whole match. I know it's easy to empathize with how ROddick must've felt at the end of the 2nd set, and then again at the end of the match, but that doesn't mean he deserved to win. You deserve that which you earn, and he earned a tight, tight loss.

Heartbreaking, yes, I felt bad for Roddick, but he didn't deserve to win.

Posted by Slick Sparrow 07/05/2009 at 08:46 PM

I must say, is it just me, or did Roger seem rather subdued in the post-match celebration? The whole match was strange to me, the scorelines suggest a match worthy of being considered one of the greatest of all time, yet somehow the match just never really developed any kind of rhythm, except that of the quick service game after quick service game. It didn't really give the crowd that many opportunities to really get into it. Maybe it's last year's final's expectations being projected on a very different kind of match.

Going back to Roger being it just me or did he seem kind of disinterested and not as elated as we're used to seeing him when Sue Barker interviewed him? (He usually reacts to winning a slam by falling to the ground like he's been shot and crying hot such response today) I mean, all this talk of how he must be the happiest guy alive, he sure didn't seem like it to me on court during the ceremony. It almost made me wish Roddick had won. I'm afraid Roger's going to suffer a lack of motivation and a letdown in the summer hardcourt swing, although it could just be me reading into things.

Speaking of Roddick, to me, that is the most heartbreaking loss I think I have ever witnessed on a tennis court. I don't know why, but just something of their personal histories, his past against Federer, the work he put in, the missed opportunity in the second set, the way his first serve finally abandoned him in the 77th game, his brave show at the end with the bloodshot eyes, gallows humor, and above all, the moment when his mask of politeness slipped off just a bit when Federer told Sue that he "knew what it's like, because of last year" and Roddick somewhat testily replied that "yeah you'd won it five times"...gosh, just sickening to the stomach. I still think Federer is a classy guy, and probably meant well, but that comment is just a sucker punch man, did you really have to rub it in? I hope Roddick wins another slam before he retires, hopefully Wimbledon...or at least beat Roger in a slam.

Posted by dulatoag 07/05/2009 at 08:50 PM

Though i respect and even like Federer, I think he has started to lose a small touch with reality. First, the gold rimmed outfit with his usual RF stamp on it (Nike pressure or not), the ridiculous and presumptious 15 pre-stitched into the jacket, and the absurd and rather embarrassing comment that he "understood" Roddick's loss because of his own loss to Rafa last year. Loved hearing Roddick in the background upon hearing that, stating something to the effect of "how can you possibly understand after your loss came after 5 victories" - and an imperceptible shake of the head. I'm glad he finally won the French and glad he finally came up with 15 ... now I'm ready to have Rafa come back and kick his gold trimmed ass back to 2nd, and I'd give a kidney to see Roddick take him out in a slam final.

Posted by TennisFan2 07/05/2009 at 08:51 PM

I don't know how Andy made it through his presser as he must have been so utterly disappointed to come so close to winning today but this statement I thought was quite insightful from Andy re TMF:

"He gets a lot of credit for a lot of things, but not a lot of the time is how many matches he kind of digs deep and toughs out. He doesn't get a lot of credit for that because it looks easy to him a lot of the times.

But he definitely stuck in there today."

Many of us non-FedKads joke about how TMF doesn't break a sweat but I think Andy summed it up above. To his credit if TMF is ruffled he never shows it - the ultimate champions never do.

That presser must have been painful for Andy but he's really a class act. I hope he continues to work hard as one of the next two hard court Grand Slams could definitely have him on top.

Posted by Slick Sparrow 07/05/2009 at 08:52 PM

Wow, what's with all these Federer fans saying stuff like Roddick didn't deserve to win, it's his own fault, pity is for losers etc etc... While the same time last year we were all like, "Roger's still my hero", "What a heroic struggle, etc etc"...I've seen sore losers before, but sore winners?

Posted by Annie (Congrats Roger! An Amazing Feat) 07/05/2009 at 08:53 PM

slick sparrow: No, I think Roger was showing respect to Andy by not falling to the ground and all that. It was such a long closely fought 5th set. He seemed thrilled to me. especially when he was leaving the court and was raising the trophy over his head. I think he would have preferred to win in a straight set drubbing.

I'm wondering where all TW's roger fans are tonight? It's oddly quiet around here? Is Beckham having a wild champangne celebration on the F15 bus?

Posted by Pspace 07/05/2009 at 08:54 PM

Isn't "I know how you feel" fairly standard issue empathetic response? Rafa said the same to Roger after the Australian Open. One could then say "No. You don't understand. You didn't just get stripped of undisputed GOAThood". I mean...c'mon. We all say similar things when trying to console someone. The standard response is that the situations are not identical. Well, of course, not. But this is what ppl say in these sorts of situations.

Posted by CL 07/05/2009 at 08:57 PM

Annie - Beckham is at a family wedding for the entire weekend. I imagine she will 'startle' the bride and groom when she gets the word...let alone the score!!

I think Fed fans feel like Fed said he felt...head a bit in a spin, glad for Fed/sad for Roddick. Taking awhile for the achievement to sink in.

Posted by olive 07/05/2009 at 09:00 PM

slick sparrow, roger seemed like he was on betablockers in his post match presser. he is either toally ebullient, giddy and hyper (and for me charming) or really sad and terse and huffy...but this was neither...i wonder if he has the flu? i know that might sound totally crazy but he was even subdued in the prematch interview for the bbc before he went on court...totally different than he usually is - that's when i thought he has the flu...but i wasn't sure how that would play out. i wish athletes would be honest about their health but their livelyhood depends on the bluff. it was a really entertaining match.

Go roger....

Posted by Paul Ryan 07/05/2009 at 09:00 PM

"I mean, all this talk of how he must be the happiest guy alive, he sure didn't seem like it to me on court during the ceremony. It almost made me wish Roddick had won. I'm afraid Roger's going to suffer a lack of motivation and a letdown in the summer hardcourt swing, although it could just be me reading into things."

I don't think his relatively subdued celebrations could be attributed first and foremost from the utter shock of it all. Like a lot of people said, the match didn't really have any real rhythm and so when it was over, it was a sort of whiplash. Plus the shock of "HOLY CRAP I have 15 titles now... more than any of the men I've idolized. HOLY CRAP."

That, plus his respect for Roddick also played a role. I think it was Pete (or someone here) once said, that for Federer while he loves nothing more than winning, he really doesn't like that he has to win at the expense of others. I think he truly did empathize with Roddick at that moment.

But yes, great warrior moments from both players. As a hardcore Federer fan, I too was heartbroken for Roddick deep into that epic fifth set. But this was also a great moment for a transcendent champion of 15 slam titles. Wow. Just wow. Congratulations Roger Federer.

Posted by M&M 07/05/2009 at 09:01 PM

Andy Roddick is a TRUE Spotsman and Champion, he deserved to win. Maybe, this will finally satisfy the Federer hunger and he will just go home and be a good dad or something.

Posted by olive 07/05/2009 at 09:02 PM

anyway, i don't think the presser had anything to do with andy. and he was so out of it after he won. when is he out of it after winning?

Posted by olive 07/05/2009 at 09:02 PM

oops, i mean presser comments an mood not having anything to do with andy.

Posted by CL 07/05/2009 at 09:02 PM

Earlier Pspace toasted Fed's fitness trainer Pierre Pagninni...and justly so. Fed's legs held firm, when Andy's wobbled just a bit.

I would also like to salute Stefan Koubek. Yes, you read it here first. I MAY have the timeline wrong, but I believe it was Stefan who practiced with Fed for 10 days prior to the Rome tournament. They went to some secluded practice site. Sardinia? And though Fed didn't win fact he absorbed another defeat from Novak Djokovic... it was in Rome that the wheels began to come back ON Fed's game. The serve, the movement, the confidence, the FH...

So here's to you Stefan...wherever you are!

Posted by TennisFan2 07/05/2009 at 09:03 PM

The military jacket was horrible...the "15" jacket was a little too "in your face" for my liking (regardless of who he was playing it should not have been in his bag - perhaps Nike could have presented it to him for his post match presser/photos but on court it was tacky).

Posted by Annie (Congrats Roger! An Amazing Feat) 07/05/2009 at 09:03 PM

Hi CL: congrats for your man. thanks for posting. I was just wondering where everyone was!

dulatoag: WORD. you said everything i was thinking but couldn't put into words. thanks. please. rafa. come back. I miss you.

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/05/2009 at 09:10 PM

Just got in and wanted to congratulate Roger Federer and his fans on today's win and historic achievement.

My sincere commiserations to Andy Roddick and his fans. This loss is heart-breaking and I hope he heals and recovers from it.

Have a good one all!

Posted by Paul Ryan 07/05/2009 at 09:10 PM

"the "15" jacket was a little too "in your face" for my liking (regardless of who he was playing it should not have been in his bag - perhaps Nike could have presented it to him for his post match presser/photos but on court it was tacky)"

I heard from somewhere that the jacket was given to him AFTER the match i.e. it wasn't in his bag. Can someone either confirm or deny this?

Either way, so what? Baseball and basketball players always have pre-made Championship shirts/hats/whatever. It's widely accepted. Plus Roger NEVER brought it up. It was the interviewer.

And it wasn't as if he wore a big 15 emblazoned in gold trak suit. It was a small embroidered 15 in the back which wasn't really that noticeable unless you pointed it out.

Just my 2 cents on that.

Posted by tetsuo 07/05/2009 at 09:11 PM

today match was all about service game, whoever has better return and aces will win. In this case, it is Roger. If Roger plays a guy like Rafa, i don't think he will have that many aces

Posted by CL 07/05/2009 at 09:11 PM

Annie - thank you. It was a long and weird day... I think that is some of what is being reflected in the somewhat subdued nature of Fed and Fed fans. At one point Mr. CL and I said to each other...'jeeze...would one of these guys WIN already...we have a LIFE that needs seeing to' lol. Still so glad it was Fed who came out in top in the end.

And still a bit puzzled by this 'so and so 'deserved' to win' idea. Short of cheating or retirement, the winner deserves to win. Period. Rafa deserved Wimby 08 and AO 09. Fed deserved FG 09 and Wimby 09. Which DOESN'T mean that I lack empathy for Roddick and/or his fans. But still feel that Fed deserved AND won it.

Posted by m.kripanandh 07/05/2009 at 09:12 PM

One of the best championship matches, that I have seen.Roddick took 38 games but Federer 37 games in all sets. Still the winner is Federer. Each player in second and fifth sets played so beautifully making us unsure who would take the set.Both had missed several chances but the unshakable and calm Federer proved to be player to handle tough times in winning manner.
- M.Kripanandh

Posted by Annie (Congrats Roger! An Amazing Feat) 07/05/2009 at 09:15 PM

Olive: roger doesn't have the flu. If he was subdued in his presser (i didn't see it), i think it was due to the momentous occasion that had so much pressure attached to it starting at the AO. Have you ever wanted something really badly and when you finally get it or achieve it, there an odd let down. I'm not surprised by fed's reaction at all. but flu? no way.

Posted by Corey 07/05/2009 at 09:16 PM

First off, I'm a huge Roger fan. Secondly, by the end of the match, I was openly rooting for Andy. He earned it. I started shifting towards Andy when both players first walked out on the court with Andy wearing just his shirt and shorts and Roger was all dolled up in that goofy outfit, which was off-putting as Bodo correctly pointed out. I just respect the heck out of all the work Andy has put in this past year -- and his complete game and mental toughness show it. He impressed me and a lot of other people at this tournament, and I think there's some steel to Brooklyn too.

But what I'd like to point out that I haven't seen commented on is how the fifth set played out right at the end. Both guys were serving well and holding comfortably, but then, unexpectedly, Andy's games started going 15-15, 30-30, deuce, while Roger's serves were getting stronger! I couldn't believe it. Roger won one game with four service winners, possibly four straight aces: Boom, boom, boom, BOOM! Astonishing, amazing, incredible, and unnerving. When I saw that game, I thought Federer would win. Roger just broke Andy down with sheer toughness, both mental and physical, but it took a while, which a testment to both players. The tennis was of the very highest quality -- better than last year IMHO. Congratulations to both Andy and Roger.

Posted by Jenn 07/05/2009 at 09:20 PM

Hi everyone.. been lurking almost all of W, but enjoyed the coverage. Thanks to the entire TW team, including the Mods, etc.

Congratulations to Fed fans, obviously an amazing achievement to get the 15. May never be surpassed. As a huge fan of tennis in general, I wish I could feel more happy about this one.

The 4 set points in the 2nd set will probably haunt Andy for the rest of his life, which is one of those details that makes this loss even more devastating for him. However, I agree with the posters who say that it is still difficult to say what would have happened, and it is very possible that the 3rd and 4th sets go differently if Fed goes down 0-2. We will never know, obviously.

This match was in a way an incredible redemption for Andy Roddick in terms of those who thought he could not compete at this level anymore, particularly with Federer. But no doubt that is very very small consolation right now. I have always admired Andy and I hope he gets another Grand Slam before his career is over.

I'm sad to say that I felt that some of Sampras' comments today were a bit knife twisting to Andy and not too sensitive. I recall that he was almost always better seen than heard during his career.

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 07/05/2009 at 09:23 PM

at about 12 12 I suddenly fell flat too, thinking 'this is ridiculous' and wanting it to be over, but when it finally was over, I was a wreck, but I think the celebration was muted for obvious reasons--Fed was very aware of what it's like to lose a match like this, and he obviously toned it down in respect to Andy... the guy was wrecked out there...

i wonder if Rafa would have reacted the same, given the epic closeness of it all, i know he did when he kicked fed's butt in Paris last year...

Posted by Mike 07/05/2009 at 09:23 PM

Despite the length of the match ... the pace was crazy. 2 high level players with big serves and short points with not a lot of filler ... hardly a chance to breath, and it was on to the next service game. May have lacked the entertainment value of 2 players that take their time, play long rallies and get everything back, but it was certainly very tense.

Posted by olive 07/05/2009 at 09:24 PM

Annie (Congrats Roger! An Amazing Feat), you are probably right, but i dunno, he was the same way before the match during the bbc pre match interview. it was so not him. he was monotone!

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 07/05/2009 at 09:26 PM

this just shows how much the toweling off, slow play between points adds to the length of a match, and if you just tend to business and serve, things go very very fast...

Posted by Annie (Congrats Roger! An Amazing Feat) 07/05/2009 at 09:26 PM

I think that says so much for Andy Roddick that some fed fans were actually rooting for him! That's a tall order Rocket, but yeah this is all small consolation for you. gah. whoever said above that there's no sympathy for losers in tennis is just so wrong.

Posted by kiwibee 07/05/2009 at 09:28 PM

Jon Wertheim of CNNSI is predicting Murray as the 2009 USO Champion.

What about Andy? Roger?

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 07/05/2009 at 09:28 PM

I think many Fed fans are muted because they remember last year, and its hard to see Andy was wrecked, and be ecstatic... impossible, really... this will sink in more in days to come...

tennis has really been turned on its head the last month, thats for sure...

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