Roger Federer stands alone in tennis history after downing Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in the longest fifth set in Grand Slam history to claim his record 15th major.
The win — Federer's sixth in seven years at SW19 — propels the Swiss past Pete Sampras' tally of 14 majors. Sampras, along with his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, made a last-minute trip across the pond from California to watch the historic win. "I have to give it to him," Sampras said afterwards. "He's won all the majors. He's won 15 now. He's going to win a few more here. So in my book he is [the greatest]."
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In a four-hour, 18-minute epic, Federer registered a 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 win over a new and improved Roddick, who also lost the 2004 and 2005 Wimbledon finals and the 2006 U.S. Open final to Federer. In terms of games, it was the longest fifth set in Grand Slam history. The final set took 95 minutes and ended when Federer finally broke Roddick for the first time in the match as the American served for, fittingly, 15-all.
"It's not really one of those goals you set as a boy," Federer said. "Man, it's been quite a career. It feels amazing. You don't play tennis to set records. It's one of the greatest ones to have."
Sunday's triumph caps a stellar two months and a turnaround year for Federer, who lost last year's Wimbledon classic final and later his No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard missed this year's tournament due to a lingering knee injury. Federer will now reclaim the top ranking. Last month, he won his first French Open, the one slam that had eluded him — due in large part to Nadal's clay dominance — to complete his career Grand Slam.