Federer wins fifth straight Wimbledon title
Wimbledon, July 8:
Roger Federer won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title on Sunday, beating nemesis Rafael Nadal in a five-set epic and taking his place in tennis history beside Bjorn Borg.
The top-ranked Swiss was pushed to the limit in a Grand Slam final for the first time, but he held on to win 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2 for his 11th major title.
Federer is the first man to win five straight titles at the All England Club since Borg did it from 1976-80. The Swede watched the match from the Royal Box with other past champions, and applauded as Federer fell to the ground after an overhead smash on match point.
“It was such a close match,” Federer said. “I told Rafa at the net he deserved it as well. I’m the lucky one today.” Federer stretched his record grass-court winning streak to 53 and his Wimbledon winning streak to 34. He is now tied for third on the career list with Borg and Rod Laver at 11 major titles, trailing Pete Sampras’ 14 and Roy Emerson’s 12.
After leaving the court wearing his white sport coat with the gold “RF” badge on the breast pocket, Federer and Borg hugged and visited inside the stadium.
Federer beat Nadal for only the fifth time in 13 meetings. The Spaniard has defeated Federer
in the past two French Open finals to spoil his bid to complete a career Grand Slam.
“Five titles in a row, so, fantastic,” said Nadal, who also lost to Federer in last year’s final. “Well, anyway, I lose today, but I play great two weeks.”
Federer saved four break points early in the fifth set, two at 1-1 and two at 2-2. Then, with Nadal serving at 3-2, Federer converted his second break point with a forehand winner after a 14-stroke rally that produced some of the best shots of the match. It was Federer’s first break since the second game of the match.
Nadal, who played two other five-set matches in a tournament plagued by rain, was on the court for the seventh straight day. After taking a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, the Spaniard called for a trainer to treat his right knee. Although he returned with tape below the knee cap, it didn’t seem to slow him.
Federer finished with 24 aces, 65 winners and 34 unforced errors. Nadal had 50 winners and 24 unforced errors. The last Wimbledon men’s final to go five sets was when Goran Ivanisevic beat Pat Rafter in 2001.