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Federer's 100: 10 Memorable Match Wins At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 11, 2020

Federer’s 100: 10 Memorable Match Wins At Wimbledon looks back on 10 memorable match wins for the Swiss at the All England Club

Editor’s Note: But for the COVID-19 pandemic, Wimbledon would now be underway. During the next two weeks will look back on memorable matches and happenings at the grass-court Grand Slam. This story was originally published on 10 July 2019.

Roger Federer in 2019 became the first singles player in Grand Slam championship history to record 100 match wins at a single major. The Swiss superstar, a winner of a record eight titles at The Championships, hit the milestone after he beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori on Centre Court in the Wimbledon quarter-finals. He is now 101-13 lifetime at the grass-court major. takes a looks at 10 of his memorable match wins at Wimbledon.

Win No. 1: 2001 first round, d. Christophe Rochus (BEL) 62 63 62
Three years on from winning the junior singles and doubles titles at the All England Club, Federer finally broke his two-match losing streak in first-round matches at Wimbledon, beating the older of the two Rochus brothers, Christophe, in 66 minutes. Losing just 14 service points, World No. 15 Federer hit 18 aces. He’d previously fallen to Jiri Novak in 1999 and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 2000.

Win No. 4: 2001 fourth round, d. Pete Sampras (USA) 76(7) 57 64 67(2) 75
Federer’s life changed on 3 July 2001 at 6:20pm, when, after almost eight years of dominance on the manicured lawns, seven-time champion Sampras left Centre Court, denied the 100th grass-court match win of his illustrious career. “I think Roger is something extra-special,” said Sampras, afterwards. Federer broke Sampras’ 29-match winning streak at Wimbledon, dating back to the 1996 quarter-final loss to Richard Krajicek, admitting, “A lot of friends had told me, ‘This year I think you can beat him.’ I’d played a great year [and]… I knew I had a chance. But it was not like 100 per cent. I mean, he’s the man on grass.” Federer, playing his ninth major championship, dropped to his knees in celebration, but would lose in four sets to Tim Henman in the quarter-finals, two days later.

Win No. 11: 2003 final, d. Mark Philippoussis (AUS) 76(5) 62 76(3)
Federer held his nerve until breaking down in tears as he captured his first major championship crown with a 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3) victory over Philippoussis, who had been told two years earlier he may never play again when a serious knee injury left him in a wheelchair. “I proved it to everybody and it was a big relief because there was pressure from all sides, especially from myself, to do better in Slams,” said Federer, who had needed treatment for a back injury against Feliciano Lopez in the fourth round. “There is no guarantee of anything, but I knew I had the game and I have always believed in myself. I kept my level up here in the semi-finals [against Andy Roddick] and the final and to lift the trophy is an absolute dream.”

Win No. 39: 2007 final, d. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 76(7) 46 76(3) 26 62
The World No. 1 emulated Bjorn Borg by winning his fifth straight Wimbledon title, coming through a huge scare against Nadal in their second consecutive final at the All England Club, over three hours and 45 minutes. Nadal broke twice to force a decider, when Federer saved four break points before striking a forehand winner down the line for a 4-2 lead en route to victory. With Borg watching from the Royal Box, Federer said, “Each one is special but to play a champion like Rafa, it means a lot and equalling Bjorn’s record as well. He’s a fantastic player and he’s going to be around so much longer so I’m happy with every one I get before he takes them all! It was such a close match. I told him at the net that he deserved it as well. I’m the lucky one today.”

Win No. 50: 2009 quarter-finals, d. Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 63 76(5) 76(3)
Karlovic had held serve 80 times over four matches, but Federer broke the giant Croatian in his second service game and committed only seven unforced errors in one hour and 43 minutes. “I think especially on grass, all my strength becomes even better,” said Federer, after his 50th victory at The Championships that propelled him to his 21st straight Grand Slam championship semi-final. “I become so much more dangerous.”

Win No. 52: 2009 final, d. Andy Roddick (USA) 57 76(6) 76(5) 36 16-14
Federer bounced back from his 2008 final loss to Nadal by capturing a record-breaking 15th major championship crown 12 months on, in a tense and gruelling 16-14 fifth set victory over Andy Roddick, the player he also beat in the 2004 and 2005 Wimbledon finals. Roddick had secured the only two breaks of serve in the first four sets and the decider went with serve until the 30th game when the American, who had not converted two break point chances at 8-8, began to tire. Sampras flew in from Los Angeles to witness Federer break his major title haul. The Swiss reclaimed No. 1 in the ATP Rankings with his sixth Wimbledon crown over four hours and 15 minutes.

Win No. 53: 2010 first round, d. Alejandro Falla (COL) 57 46 64 76(1) 60
Federer avoided one of the biggest upsets in tennis history, over three hours and 18 minutes on Centre Court, recovering from 4-5 down in the fourth set, when World No. 60 Falla had served for a place in the second round. “I definitely got very lucky out there,” said Federer, who had beaten Falla 6-1, 6-2 in Halle, two weeks earlier. “I have lost many matches this year which I should have won, this is one I should have lost but I came through. But that is sometimes how grass court tennis works. It came as a bit of a shock and it’s not something I was that prepared for, but you have to draw from experience and physical strength. I live to fight another day.” Falla would later admit her got nervous when serving for the match in the fourth set. “I was thinking that I have a big opportunity to beat Federer here,” the Colombian said. “I just doubted a little bit at that moment for the first two points, and then he played good points.”

Win No. 64: 2012 third round, d. Julien Benneteau (FRA) 46 67(3) 62 76(6) 61
Federer had dropped only nine games in his first two matches, but struggled against the power of Benneteau in the first two sets and was contemplating his first third-round exit at a Grand Slam championship since 2004 Roland Garros. Federer regrouped under the Centre Court roof to force a decider, which saw No. 29 seed Benneteau receive treatment for an injury after the first game. “I did start to play better and better as the match went on, that’s kind of what I expected of myself once a set down,” said Federer, who came through the 26-minute fifth set. “That I guess comes with experience, but experience alone is not going to win you the match. I had to push deep and extremely hard, and I’m very happy with the way things sort of happened at the end.”

Win No. 93: 2017 final, d. Marin Cilic (CRO) 63 61 64
Federer became the first man to capture the Wimbledon title eight times with victory over Cilic, who struggled with a blister on his left foot and broke down in tears in the second set. In sealing his first crown at the All England Club for five years, Federer extended his record to 19 Grand Slam trophies and at 35 years of age became the oldest man in the Open Era to lift the Wimbledon trophy. Watched by his wife, Mirka, and their four children, Federer said, “I think the younger twins think this is a nice view and a nice playground – hopefully one day they’ll understand. They come for the finals. It’s a wonderful moment for the family and my team. This one is for us. Thank you to Wimbledon, thank you Switzerland.”

Win No. 100: 2019 quarter-finals, d. Kei Nishikori (JPN) 46 61 64 64
Closing in on his 38th birthday, evergreen Federer move through to his 13th Wimbledon semi-final, where he’ll play his long-time rival Nadal, in his 21st straight visit to the major in south-west London. Nishikori broke Federer in the very first game, and came close to a 4-1 advantage, before the Swiss started his comeback in the second set en route to his 100th match win at Wimbledon. Federer is now the oldest man to reach a Grand Slam championship semi-final since Jimmy Connors, aged 39 years and six days, at the 1991 US Open.

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Flashback: Federer Needs 50 Aces To Stop Roddick

  • Posted: Jul 11, 2020

Flashback: Federer Needs 50 Aces To Stop Roddick

Relive the epic 2009 Wimbledon final between Federer and Roddick

The 2009 Wimbledon final was a moment everyone wanted to witness. Roger Federer and Pete Sampras were tied for the most Grand Slam titles in the Open Era with 14, and Sampras flew to London for the occasion. The American wanted to be in the Centre Court stands to watch the Swiss star break his mark.

“Today with Pete it was a bit special. When he walked in and I saw him for the first time, I did get more nervous,” Federer said. “I said hello to him, too, which is unusual. But I thought, ‘I don’t want to be rude.’”

One year earlier, Federer played what is still considered by many the greatest match ever against Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon final. But this time, it wasn’t Nadal standing across the net, it was former World No. 1 Andy Roddick, against whom Federer owned an 18-2 ATP Head2Head series lead.

The first time the pair met in a Grand Slam final was at 2004 Wimbledon, when Federer rallied from a set down to win his second title at The Championships.

“I threw the kitchen sink at him but he went to the bathroom and got his tub,” Roddick said at the time.

In the 2009 final, with the American still pursuing his first Wimbledon trophy, Roddick threw an Olympic-sized swimming pool at Federer. For four hours and 16 minutes, the 2003 US Open champion played arguably the best tennis of his career. Somehow, it still wasn’t enough.

Federer beat Roddick 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14 behind a career-high 50 aces to earn his 15th Grand Slam crown and deny the American a second major trophy.

<a href=Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Rod Laver” />

“It’s frustrating at times because I couldn’t break Andy ‘til the very, very end,” Federer said. “The satisfaction is maybe bigger this time around to come through, because I couldn’t control the match at all.”

From 2006-08, Federer played Nadal in the Wimbledon final. Those matches were full of baseline rallies, while his battle against Roddick was mostly a serving duel. Federer did not break Roddick’s serve until the final game of the match.

But credit goes to the sixth seed for making it that far. Roddick led the second-set tie-break 6/2, giving himself four consecutive set points — including two on his rocket serve — to take a two-set lead. At 6/5, Roddick hit a forehand approach shot, and Federer’s ensuing passing shot seemingly froze in the air. Would it fly long or drop on the baseline? Roddick appeared he would let it go, before reaching for the backhand volley at the last second, missing well wide of the doubles alley.

“I thought the second set was obviously key to what came after. Maybe being down two sets to love, the way Andy was serving, would have always been a very difficult situation to be in,” Federer said. “Even then down two sets to love it’s still possible, but it definitely increased my chances of winning.”

Match Stats

 Stat  Roger Federer  Andy Roddick
 Aces  50  27
 First-Serve Points Won  89%  83%
 Second-Serve Points Won  60%  44%
 Break Points Saved  3/5  6/7

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Roddick could have fallen apart after the massive momentum shift. But instead, he dug into the SW19 grass and gave Federer everything he had in his third Wimbledon final.

“We’re human. We’re not Cyborgs,” Roddick said. “At that point, like everything else, there’s two options: you lay down or you keep going. The second option sounded better to me.”

Roddick entered the match with a 26-4 record in tie-breaks that season, but Federer took two in a row from him to move to within one set of the title. Roddick, who defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the quarter-finals and Andy Murray in the semi-finals, kept fighting.

At 8-8 in the final set, Roddick crushed a backhand winner down the line on the run to earn two break points, but Federer quickly served his way out of a jam.

With Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Boris Becker among the legends looking on, the men traded holds until 14-15. Roddick mis-hit a forehand, and Federer leapt into the air to celebrate his sixth Wimbledon title in seven years.

“It’s staggering that I’ve been able to play so well for so many years now and stay injury-free. Happy what I’m doing,” Federer said. “It’s crazy that I’ve been able to win so many in such a short period of time, I think.”

Federer has since won two more trophies at The Championships, and improved his Grand Slam total to 20. Nadal (19) and Djokovic (17) have also passed Sampras on the Open Era list.

Roddick never got another chance to win a second major trophy. Just more than a year later, the former World No. 1 retired after the 2010 US Open.

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Nadal Dethrones Federer In All-Time Classic

  • Posted: Jul 11, 2020

Nadal Dethrones Federer In All-Time Classic

Spaniard captured maiden Wimbledon crown in four-hour, 48-minute thriller

After losses to Roger Federer in the 2006 and 2007 championship matches at SW19, Rafael Nadal entered his third straight Wimbledon final against the Swiss in the form of his life in 2008.

In the past month, the Spaniard had dropped just four games against Federer to win his fourth consecutive trophy at Roland Garros before clinching his maiden grass-court title at the Fever-Tree Championships. By the time he walked onto Centre Court against the five-time defending champion, Nadal had won 34 of his past 35 matches, including 23 straight victories.

But Federer was still the man to beat on grass. The 26-year-old was riding an all-time record 65-match winning streak on grass, which included 40 consecutive wins at the All England Club. Federer was aiming to become the first player in the Open Era to win six consecutive Gentlemen’s Singles titles, after tying Bjorn Borg’s streak of five straight titles between 1976 and 1980 with a five-set win against Nadal in the 2007 final.

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After rain had delayed the start of the match, it was Nadal who made the brighter start on final Sunday. The Mallorcan claimed the only break of the first set and recovered from a 1-4 deficit in the second set to lead by two sets.

Less than 10 minutes after Federer escaped from 3-3, 0/40, in the third set, rain forced the players to leave the court for 80 minutes. When the final resumed, Federer raised his level to extend the match to a fourth set.

As was the case in the third set, neither player was able to claim a break of serve in the fourth set. In one of the greatest tie-breaks in Wimbledon history, Federer rallied from 2/5 down and saved two championship points to force a decider. Memorably, at 7/7, Nadal ripped a forehand passing shot winner to earn his second championship point, only for Federer to save it with a backhand passing shot down the line before levelling the match.

<a href=Roger Federer entered the 2008 Wimbledon final on an all-time record 65-match winning streak on grass.” />

After a half-hour rain delay at 2-2 in the decider, Federer and Nadal could not be separated. The crucial break came at 7-7, as Nadal claimed three of the opening four points on Federer’s serve and extracted back-to-back forehand errors from his opponent to serve for the match.

Federer bravely saved a third championship point in the following game, before Nadal clinched the title with his fourth opportunity. As Federer struck a forehand approach into the net, the Spaniard collapsed to the ground in near darkness, after four hours and 48 minutes of play, at 9:15 p.m. local time.

“It’s impossible to explain what I felt in that moment but I’m very, very happy,” said Nadal. “It is a dream to play on this court, my favourite tournament, but to win I never imagined.”

After greeting his rival at the net, Nadal climbed into the players’ box to celebrate with his family and friends, before marching across a commentary box roof to greet Crown Prince Felipe, the then-heir to the Spanish throne, and his wife, Princess Letizia in the Royal Box.

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With the victory, Nadal became the first man since Borg in 1980 to capture the Roland Garros and Wimbledon trophies in the same year. The 22-year-old also closed the gap on World No. 1 Federer in the FedEx ATP Rankings to just 545 points. Nadal eventually passed Federer to become World No. 1 for the first time in his career on 18 August 2008.

“[It is] probably my hardest loss, by far… I’m happy we lived up to the expectations. I’m happy the way I fought. That’s all I could really do,” said Federer.

Federer was attempting to become the first man since Henri Cochet in 1927 to recover from two sets down in a Wimbledon final. The Swiss made a successful return to the All England Club in 2009, beating Andy Roddick 16-14 in another extended fifth set to move clear of Pete Sampras with a record 15th Grand Slam crown.

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Tennis United: Henman & Davenport's Favourite Wimbledon Memories

  • Posted: Jul 11, 2020

Tennis United: Henman & Davenport’s Favourite Wimbledon Memories

Edberg and Wilander also join this week’s episode

Tim Henman still remembers his first visit to Wimbledon when he was six. That moment changed the course of the Brit’s life.

“That was when I made my one and only career decision, that I wanted to play tennis,” Henman said on this week’s Tennis United. “Fifteen years later I was playing the first round [at the All England Club in ’96]. There was some sort of debate about changing [Henman Hill’s] name, but I’ve quashed that.”

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Henman’s favourite memory at Wimbledon is of the third round in 1997 when he played Paul Haarhuis. He won the match 14-12 in the fifth set.

“When we came on court, Centre Court was absolutely packed and every shot I hit in the warm-up the crowd cheered and every shot he missed the crowd booed!” Henman recalled. “That was the best atmosphere I ever played in.”

The Brit was joined on Tennis United by former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, who triumphed at The Championships in 1999. The American remembered the experience of playing at SW19 while Henman was in the draw.

“Playing in that whole era when Tim played at Wimbledon was crazy. Everything for those couple weeks when Tim was in, it was all about Tim. I honestly don’t know how he survived it. You picked up a paper and everything was about Tim,” Davenport said. “I suffered through a few of Tim’s losses there, too. I wanted him to win.”

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How Edberg Went From Worst Bed To Wimbledon Champ

Swedish legends Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander also joined the show to discuss Wimbledon, including Edberg’s first title in 1988.

“Winning Wimbledon the first time is always going to stand out,” Edberg said. “It’s a fantastic feeling, being on Centre Court and lifting the trophy.”

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