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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 July, 2005, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
Federer plays 'best ever' match
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Roger Federer
Roger Federer said he played the best match of his life to beat Andy Roddick for a third Wimbledon title.

"This was a big one for me," said Federer. "I knew the importance and was pretty tense at first, but after the first set I felt really good.

"I played a fantastic match, the best in my life, and I consider this bigger than the US Open final I won.

"When you win three Wimbledons you think 'what have I done right in my career for this to happen to me?'"

Reflecting on the way in which he has cemented his position at the top of the game, Federer admitted: "I'm amazed myself how incredibly I use my talent to win and basically dominate the game.

"Obviously for the next few years I'm going to be a huge favourite at Wimbledon but that doesn't mean I'm going to win them all."

Today it seemed like I was playing flawless
Roger Federer

And he revealed that, with victory in sight in the third set, he had to keep his excitement in check.

"At 4-3, I thought 'eight more points on serve. It's all in my hands now.'

"I felt my arm shaking and was really getting nervous and once it all happens you don't know the reactions.

"At 4-3, I'm thinking of the trophy and the presentation and have to think 'no, it's not over yet'."

Federer joins Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras as the only men to win three successive Wimbledon titles in the Open era, and he expects it to take time to sink in.

"The first was the first," said Federer, "the second was a huge relief, today it seemed like I was playing flawless.

"In a way this one will take me longer to realise. It's going to take days, weeks, months."

Federer insists that he still feels challenged by the likes of Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt despite his overwhelming record against them.

"I feel they push me but I played such good tennis today I didn't allow him to come into the match.

"All of them are trying as hard as they can and at the French and Australia it worked, but most important of all is Wimbledon because this is what means most to me."

And there is no sign of the world number one taking his foot off the gas as he goes in search of more major titles.

"So far I've been lucky to play at this level and not have any injuries, and I hope to continue next year," he said.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Highlights: Federer v Roddick


Interview: Wimbledon champion Roger Federer


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