By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon
Roger Federer had to dig deep as he fought back to beat Andy Roddick and claim a second successive Wimbledon title in a rain-hit final.
The American underdog looked in control at one set all and a break up.
A subdued Federer only found his rhythm after a second rain stoppage, breaking back and racing through the tie-break.
Federer saved six more break points in the fourth set, but broke Roddick to lead 4-3 and served out for a 4-6 7-5 7-6 6-4 win and the title.
After a stuttering display, he completed the victory with an ace before sinking to his knees and, like last year, breaking into tears.
"I cried before so that's enough but it's still an unbelievable feeling," Federer told BBC Sport after claiming his third Grand Slam title.
"I kind of like the 100% record in Grand Slam finals, these are the ones that really count and to have won my favourite tournament twice is incredible."
And he admitted that he had only claimed victory by the narrowest of margins.
"I got lucky today for sure," he said. "I was down a break in the third set and if Andy had served a few better games it would have been two sets.
"He also deserves this title and I hope we're going to play many more times here."
Roddick had promised before the match that he would play to his strength - hitting the ball hard - and he kept his word, taking Federer's serve apart with his huge forehand in game three.
A brief rain delay followed but Roddick returned in a similar mood, giving Federer no chance of a break as he battered his way to the first set.
"He played very aggressively and I got a bit surprised at the start," admitted the top seed.
FEDERER V RODDICK STATS
62%-----1st serve %-----61%
Federer was well below his best but took advantage as his opponent's level dropped at the start of the second set, racing 4-0 clear.
A pumped-up Roddick was not about to give up, however, fighting back with two breaks before a fortuitous net-cord gave the Swiss set point and he levelled with a big forehand.
Roddick remained the aggressor and broke again to go 2-1 up in the third but a second rain break worked in the champion's favour, and he came back with an immediate break to set up the crucial tie-break.
Finally, Federer found his range, with two spectacular backhands helping him through 7-3, but still he could not stamp his authority on the match.
Roddick heaped the pressure on with six break points at the start of the fourth but failed to convert, and even a below-par Federer could not be given so many lifelines.
The champion found enough inspiration on his backhand to break to love for a decisive 4-3 lead.
"Roger just played too good today," said Roddick. "I threw the kitchen sink at him but he went to the bathroom and got his tub.
"I left everything out there but Roger is a great champion and hopefully we'll get to do this again sometime."