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By Rob Peterson
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Sixth seed and two time finalist Andy Roddick spoiled the Scottish party by beating Andy Murray, the Bristish No.1, to reach the final of the 2009 Wimbledon. In a match that lasted three hours and seven minutes, Roddick ended the hopes of millions of Britons who were hoping to celebrate the triumph of a home grown champion at the slick lawns of Wimbledon.
Roddick started the match on a confident note and continued to hold his serve until he put all his efforts in the ninth game to break Murray and clinch the opening set 6-4.
The second set saw the Scot bounce back for an early break as he broke Roddick to love in the opening game to continue his lead till the end to win it 6-4. It was the third set that brought the best out of both players. Roddick pocketed a quick break at 2-1 and raced to a 4-2 lead. At 5-3, Roddick made an attempt to serve for the set, but Murray displayed gutsy play to break the American back to get on serve. The set was then decided by a tie-break, which Roddick claimed with 9 points to 7.
As soon as the American had a two sets to one lead, he totally eclipsed Murray, who had by now been reduced to half his potential in the match. The exceeding expectations took their toll on the newly crowned 'British Sporting Hero' and after gallantly holding his serve till 6-6, Murray surrendered in the see-saw tie-break to let Roddick get away with the spot in the final, losing the match 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5).
“To be honest, the last couple of years I didn’t know if I’d ever get a chance to play for another Grand Slam title,” confessed Roddick, “Now I get to. It’s just a dream.”
“I had to play my best tennis out there to win today,” Roddick said. “I can’t say enough good things about Andy’s game, but I can play some tennis sometimes, and not many people were giving me much of a chance at all, and I knew if I could stay the course that I had a shot and that’s all you can ask for.”
“Throughout my career I’ve had a lot of shortcomings, but trying hard hasn’t been one of them,” added Roddick. “To be fair, he had all the pressure on him and I could come out and kind of swing and that probably helped me today.”
Roddick's opponent in the final is the Wimbledon regular Roger Federer, who ended the resurgent run of the German veteran Tommy Haas in straight sets to reach the seventh consecutive final of his career, which is a record. Today's win also got Federer an entry into his sixth straight Grand Slam final, with victories in New York (2008) and Paris(2009).
Federer never looked challenged by the German who courageously held his serves but lost focus on key points to give away the match 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-3.
“I’m very happy with my performance and it’s unbelievable to back into another Wimbledon final,” Federer said. “I’ve had a lot of pressure over all the years, so this is just another great match, great opportunity for me to get into the history books.”
“I’m very proud of all the records I’ve achieved because I never thought I would be that successful as a kid,” Federer added. “I would have been happy winning a couple tournaments and maybe collecting Wimbledon. It’s quite staggering now having reached my sixth straight Grand Slam final. Having so many things going for me now again, opportunity again on Sunday, it’s fantastic.”
If Federer wins the Sunday's final he will become the third player to win six or more Wimbledon Singles titles joining Williams Renshaw and Pete Sampras, who both won seven titles each.
Infact on a much brighter note, Federer's win on Sunday will assure his place on the very first page of the history books as he will become the all-time leader in most Grand Slam wins, surpassing the American Pete Sampras' record of 14 titles.
“He might come around, he might not,” Federer said about Sampras' presence in Sunday's final. “It’s his choice. I’d love to see him because he’s a good friend of mine. Very honored of course that I share the record of 14 with him.”
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