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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 July, 2005, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Federer leaves his rivals trailing
By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Roger Federer looked a little shocked when a final unstoppable serve won him a hat-trick of Wimbledon titles.

He was the only one who was in the least bit surprised.

The world number one was supreme throughout the tournament, culminating in a display of jaw-dropping quality in the final against Andy Roddick.

After semi-final defeats at the Australian and French Opens, Federer has proved, if any still doubted it, he is the world's best.

On grass, he is simply untouchable.

He made world number two Lleyton Hewitt look toothless in the semi-finals, and then made a mockery of Roddick's much-vaunted power in the final.

Wimbledon seems set to witness a long and glorious Federer reign, but it would be nice if someone could at least make it difficult.

TOP FIVE STARS
Roger Federer
An SW19 legend already - and he's only 23
Andy Murray
The teenager lit up Wimbledon after Henman's dismal exit
Feliciano Lopez
Serve-volleyed his way into the quarters - the first Spaniard in 33 years to get that far
Fernando Gonzalez
The big-hitting Chilean is unmissable entertainment
Jimmy Connors
A compelling presence in the commentary box
While Roddick and Hewitt have time on their sides, it seems to have run out altogether for Tim Henman.

Henman's Wimbledon campaign ended in the same way it began - with a whimper.

The British number one struggled from two sets down in his opening match and when he went out to Dmitry Tursanov, it was telling that no one was all that surprised.

But just as a downcast Henman was trudging off Centre Court, 18-year-old Andy Murray was preparing to push his defeat off the back pages.

After destroying 14th seed Radek Stepanek in the second round, the teenager went on to light up the Championships with a remarkable Centre Court debut.

Murray left a capacity crowd in awe of both his talent and competitive spirit as he threatened another seismic shock against former finalist David Nalbandian.

His body ultimately let him down but as Murray took the subsequent hype and hysteria in his stride, the Scot indicated that when Henman retires, he may not be missed as much as first feared.

Murray was not the only teenager to star at Wimbledon.

TOP FIVE FLOPS
Tim Henman
No one really expected him to win, but nor did they expect a tetchy second-round defeat
Mario Ancic
The Croat was an outsider for the title until he succumbed meekly to Felicano Lopez
Marat Safin
Suffered defeat in third round - and didn't seem all that bothered
Ivo Karlovic
The Queen's finalist flamed out in the first round
Boris Becker's suit
Becker opted for a powder blue number coupled with pink tie on men's final day
French duo Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet gave a good account of themselves in reaching the third and fourth round respectively.

Rafael Nadal went out in the second round, but the genial Spaniard has vowed to work on his grass-court skills and mount a title challenge in the future.

Nadal has hogged the headlines in his home country all year, but once he went out, his doubles partner Feliciano Lopez grasped the opportunity to step into the limelight.

Lopez's sublime serve and volley skills removed title contenders Marat Safin and Mario Ancic as he became the first Spaniard for 33 years to reach the last eight.

Fernando Gonzalez was another to make a welcome appearance in the quarter-finals, the flamboyant Chilean racking up four straight-sets victories before running into Federer.

But while there were plenty of characters to entertain the Wimbledon crowds, there were precious few memorable matches.

Roddick's semi-final against Thomas Johansson was probably the highlight in terms of quality on both sides of the net, while Murray's five-set defeat to Nalbandian wins the prize for 'Best Dramatic Exit'.

But in the end, the Wimbledon men's singles provided a very predictable, yet awe-inspiring, climax as Federer joined greats like Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg and Fred Perry in winning three in a row.


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