By Randy Walker
Wimbledon is the tournament most associated with Roger Federer. It was there were he won his only junior Grand Slam tournament, where he had his break-through win over Pete Sampras and where he won not only his first major title, but six other singles titles.
The following is a summary of the top five most memorable Roger Federer match victories at the All England Club, taken from my new soon to be launched book “The Days of Roger Federer” from New Chapter Press available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559378/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_gEiRtb1SF4MXF7A2
No. 1 – 2009 Wimbledon Final – Roger Federer defeats Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14
July 5, 2009 – Roger Federer breaks the all-time record for most major men’s singles titles winning his 15th major title with a dramatic 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 win over Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final. The match lasts four hours and 16 minutes, including a 95-minute fifth set, lasting 77 games — marking the longest major final in games in history. The tournament win, Federer’s sixth at Wimbledon, moves him past Pete Sampras, who flies to Britain to watch the final, along with other tennis legends Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver. “I am happy that I was able the break the Grand Slam record. Wimbledon is the tournament that always meant the most to me,” says Federer. Roddick, who loses to Federer in the 2004 and 2005 Wimbledon finals, nearly goes up two-sets-to-love in the match, leading by a set and 5-1 in the second-set tie-breaker and holds four set points in the tie-breaker, losing a critical one at 6-5 with a botched backhand volley into an open court. Writes Bud Collins in The Bud Collins History of Tennis, “The Yank might have won had he not bungled a set point volley in the tricky breeze that would have given him a two-set lead. Roger lifted himself from 1-5 in that tie-breaker, cancelling four set points, the Roddick-haunting one at 6-5, the misplayed volley. Never has such brutal serving illuminated a major final. They fireballed each other, scorching the court – Federer with 50 aces (a personal high), Roddick with 27 – while they crafted the lengthiest of major finals. Their 77 games topped the 71 consumed by Gerald Patterson in overcoming Jack Hawkes to seize the Australian trophy 82 years before. It was also a Wimbledon record, surpassing Nadal and Federer’s 62 games, merely 12 months previously.” Writes Rene Stauffer in the book Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection, “His triumph was complete. He reached his dreams. He set new standards in his sport and his career was closer to perfection than ever before. While debating if he is the best player on earth, he provided overwhelming proof and most people gave him the nod as the greatest ever,”
No. 2 – 2003 Wimbledon Final – Roger Federer defeats Mark Philippoussis 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3)
July 6, 2003 – Roger Federer wins a major tournament for the first time defeating Mark Philippoussis 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in the final of Wimbledon. The 21-year-old Federer becomes the first Swiss man in 117 editions of The Championships to win the title. Federer hits 21 aces and 50 winners against only nine unforced errors in the one hour, 56-minute final. “It’s an absolute dream for me coming true,” says Federer after the victory.
No. 3 – 2001 Round of 16 – Roger Federer defeats Pete Sampras 7-6 (7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5
July 2, 2001 – Nineteen-year-old Roger Federer of Switzerland registers a stunning 7-6 (7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5 Centre Court upset of seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras in the round of 16 at Wimbledon, ending the 31-match winning streak at the All England Club for Sampras as well as his quest for a record-tying fifth straight title. Federer calls the match “the biggest win of my life” adding, “This match will give me as much confidence as I can get.” Federer, playing on Centre Court for the first time in his career, says that winning the first set after fighting off a set-point against him was a key to the match. “I had the feeling that I really can beat him,” he says. “I had that feeling all the way. That’s probably why I won.” Says Sampras of Federer, “I lost to a really, really good player. He played great. He came up with some really good stuff at huge times.”
No. 4 – 2012 Wimbledon Final – Roger Federer defeats Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
July 8, 2012 – Roger Federer wins his seventh Wimbledon title – and his 17th major singles title – with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win over Andy Murray. The win vaults the 30-year-old Federer back to the No. 1 ranking and prevents Murray from becoming the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win at the All England Club. The seventh Wimbledon singles title for Federer ties the men’s record shared by William Renshaw, a Brit who played in the 19th century, and American Pete Sampras. “I mean there was so much on the line, so I didn’t try to think of the world No. 1 ranking or the 7th or the 17th,” Federer says. “So I think that’s going to actually, for a change, take much longer to sort of understand, what I was able to achieve today. Yeah, it was crazy how it all happened under the circumstances. Yeah, I played terrific.” The final is started outdoors but after two hours and two minutes of play, with the score 1-1 in the third set, rain causes for the retractable roof to be closed after a delay of 40 minutes and the match is resumed indoors, the first Wimbledon final to be played indoors. Writes Christopher Clarey in the New York Times of the final, “This was also Federer’s 17th Grand Slam singles title, padding his lead in the career men’s standings. But this victory, though not the most significant or emotional of his career, was particularly reaffirming because it was his first major title in more than two years at an age when tennis superstars are usually past their primes.”
No. 5 – 2007 Wimbledon Final – Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2
July 8, 2007 – With Bjorn Borg watching from the Royal Box, Roger Federer wins his fifth-straight Wimbledon men’s singles title – equaling the mark set by Borg from 1976-1980 – with a dramatic 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2 win over Rafael Nadal. Writes Elizabeth Clarke of the Washington Post, “With his idol looking on and his fiercest rival across the net, Roger Federer put an end to a five-set battle of artistry and stamina in Sunday’s Wimbledon championship with a thunderous overhead slam. Then he dropped to his knees, fell on his back and wept. The pressure Federer had shouldered with such grace this Wimbledon fortnight erupted in the form of tears the moment his winning shot delivered his fifth consecutive Wimbledon championship, equaling the mark set from 1976 to ’80 by the masterful Bjorn Borg, who watched with approval from the Royal Box.” Says Federer, “I’m just happy with such a great run, especially at Wimbledon, the most important tournament of my life. I’m loving every moment of it.”
Honorable Mention – 1998 Junior Wimbledon Final – Roger Federer defeats Irakli Labaze 6-4, 6-4
July 5,1998 – A 16-year-old Roger Federer defeats Irakli Labaze of the Republic of Georgia 6-4, 6-4 to win the Wimbledon junior singles title, becoming the first player from Switzerland to win such title since Heinz Günthardt in 1976. “I felt satisfied but not overjoyed,” says Federer to Rene Stauffer in his book Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection, Says Peter Carter, Federer’s coach also to Stauffer, “Roger played with the concentration of a professional.”
“The Days of Roger Federer” is an entertaining and illuminating chronicle of Federer’s trophy-laden journey, unique for its day-by-day format: every day of the calendar year is presented with a corresponding anniversary, bit of fact or trivia, including hallmark victories, statistics, quirky happenings and quotations.
Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All-Time” by Steve Flink, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Andy Murray, Wimbledon Champion: The Full Extraordinary Story” by Mark Hodgkinson, “Macci Magic: Extracting Greatness From Yourself And Others” by Rick Macci with Jim Martz, “Court Confidential: Inside The World Of Tennis” by Neil Harman, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer (www.RogerFedererBook.com), “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes with Peter Kolar, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “On This Day In Tennis History” by Randy Walker (www.TennisHistoryApp.com), “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “A Backhanded Gift” by Marshall Jon Fisher, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “Internet Dating 101: It’s Complicated, But It Doesn’t Have To Be” by Laura Schreffler, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “Bone Appetit: Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Suzan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin among others.