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By Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon
That's it from us. Thank you a million times over for all your brilliant contributions over the last couple of weeks. I think I can safely say we've all had a blast - mainly thanks to
Hacker the Dog
- but hey, that six-times champ Roger Federer ain't too bad either. No need to sink into post-Wimbo depression just yet - there's still live streaming of the mixed doubles final. Hurrah!
Ah, here comes the famous post-Wimbo montage from the BBC. And then quickly into Countryfile, like all that drama never happened. Life goes on, I suppose.
By the way, before picking up the trophy, Roger Federer put on a specially-made gold-piped tracksuit top with 15 written in small numbers on the back. That probably wouldn't have helped A-Rod's mood one little bit.
"They both played some unbelievable tennis. The serving ability of both was incredible. Roger's one of those people who comes up with some miraculous forehands and backhands, I think Roddick got a little tired at the end."
All you people texting in from the Take That concert, for once, I'm not jealous. Sorry Gary. You've got nothing on classic Wimbledon finals. It wasn't a 2008 vintage, but it was pretty darn good...
Federer now showing off the famous trophy to the fans waiting out the back of Centre. Hope Mirka's alright. Epic fifth sets are not recommended for heavily pregnant ladies, I don't think. Fed, though, looks like he's ready for another five sets as he bounds back up the stairs. He is not human.
I'm struggling to take this all in. I imagine Roger is feeling the same - although no tears on Centre, which I feel slightly cheated about... Fed is now having his photo taken with Sampo, Borg and Rocket Rod in front of the roll of honour board. Can't hear what's being said. Grrr. Sampo seems very keen to get his hands back on the trophy though.
"It was a tremendous final. Andy played great. Roger is a great champion, a deserving champion. It was an epic, it really was. Roger is a friend, he's a a great player, a good guy. He can win 17, 18 majors if he stays healthy. He's a stud. He's humble which I like, sort of effortless. He plays at that level so easily. He's got everything - and he's got the belief. He's a legend and an icon. He's a credit to the game."
Federer on reclaiming the number one ranking:
"I'm well aware that Rafa didn't play here. Injuries are part of the game. But I'm happy I became number one by winning this title because it's the biggest one."
Federer on the record:
"It's not a goal you set as a little boy. It's been quite a career and quite a month for me. I don't play tennis to break records and it doesn't mean I'm going to stop playing. I Hope to come here and play some good tennis in the future."
"Andy, I want to say you're going to come back and win one, I'm sure. Today I was on the lucky side. It feels funny to have the trophy back. It feels great. It was a crazy match, my head's still spinning. It's an unbelievable moment in my career. Thanks for coming, Pete. It's a long way, but we like to see you here."
"I'm one of the lucky few that gets cheered for so thank you, I appreciate that. I want to say congratulations to Roger: well done, he deserves it. I tried - sorry Pete, I tried to hold him off - it was a pleasure to play in front of such great champions."
Huge, huge roar for the beaten finalist. Bigger even than that for the champion: Roger Federer. Roddick will speak to Sue now. Careful, Sue.
"Roddick, Roddick, Roddick..." is the chant from a sympathetic Centre Court crowd, and a tearful Roddick stands to applaud all sides of the stadium. Heartbreaking for the American. Three Wimbledon finals, three defeats by Federer.
1828: ROGER FEDERER WINS 15TH GRAND SLAM TITLE Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 16-14 Roddick
Two tired errors from Roddick and Fed is two points away again. Is this the moment? Three serve bombs take Roddick to game point, but then a backhand error and it's deuce. Roddick wastes another game point - and a forehand over the baseline gives Fed a match point.
AND IT IS OVER NOW! Roddick mis-hits a forehand and Federer is punching the air and running to the net.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 15-14* Roddick
Fed plays the kind of gorgeous forehand that took him to five Wimbledon titles. Dancing feet and then stroking it cross-court. Hold to love, and the pressure is really building on Roddick now.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 14-14 Roddick
Roddick's first serve goes missing... a bit of tiredness? Fed wins the first point again, but then pokes a return into the trams. Fed's next return is short and Roddick is on to it... but he completely airs it. Bad bounce? Dunno... But in the context of that last point, Roddick then plays a brilliant volley. So calm. First serve's back for the next two points - and Roddick looks visibly relieved.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 14-13* Roddick
Holds to love. Can't do much better than that. Or indeed any better. A Fed fan behind me points out that if he breaks here, he'll have 15 games - and 15 Slams. If...
From anon via text on 81111:
"Amazing stuff! I'm on a train somewhere between Bristol and Plymouth repeatedly refreshing this page and keeping my fellow passengers up to date with the latest score from this incredible match."
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 13-13 Roddick
Fed gets the first point, but A-Rod comes right back with a forehand into the corner which his opponent can only net. Another sizzling forehand out wide and it's 30-15. That's soon 40-15 - but two forehand winners get Fed back to deuce.
Two points from the title - but Roddick coolly sends down a 136mph serve. WHEN WILL THIS END?
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 13-12* Roddick
Roddick slips after playing his shot, but so does Fed... Hope for the American at 15-30. Three aces in a row AGAIN. This is ridiculous. Fed has hit the century of winners. This is now the longest set in a men's final at Wimbledon, according to Andrew Castle.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 12-12 Roddick
Nothing for Fed there as Roddick hammers down three successive first serves, then deceives the five-times champ with a deep, sliced backhand to hold to love.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 12-11* Roddick
Another question I don't know the answer to: has Fed ever served more aces than this in a match? The world number two hammers down three in a row to stroll through that game. That's 45 in total. We're nudging towards four hours.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 11-11 Roddick
Glimmer of hope for Fed as Roddick mis-hits a forehand which goes looping just over the baseline. First serve misses and then he errs with a backhand and it's deuce.
First serve down the middle and Federer's return hits the net. The world number two looks briefly to the skies. Another return into the net. As you were. Is this longest fifth set in a final? I don't know. I'm just asking.
From a very poor mother, London, via text on 81111:
"Children are screaming for their tea... not a hope until this is resolved."
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 11-10* Roddick
Think may be running out of words... please send more. Two huge serves from Federer allow him to hold easily. This is Fed's third five-set Wimbledon final in a row. He won the first and, if I remember rightly, lost the second.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 10-10 Roddick
Roddick badly lagging on the ace count but he bashes down a 25th to get to game point before Fed fails with a return.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 10-9* Roddick
Russell Crowe has taken his shades off. That's how exciting this is. Fed's 40th ace takes him to 40-15, before Roddick produces another Nadal-like backhand pass off a decent Fed approach. Another ace - which Roddick challenges in vain - and Fed reaches 10.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 9-9 Roddick
A gift from Fed, as he slaps the net with an easy forehand. That's 30-0 for Roddick, which quickly becomes 30-15 - but Roddick comes up with an absolutely stunning drop half-volley, which Fed is nowhere near. Unbelievable.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 9-8* Roddick
Beautiful, dipping backhand slice from Roddick lands just inside the baseline, and Fed can only net. The American is up 15-30 - and look at that! He threads the needle down the line with a backhand - topspin this time. Two break points.
Hits the return out, then Fed comes up with a swinging serve out wide before a brave, drive-volley. Fed holds. This is just so tense, I can hardly bear it...
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 8-8* Roddick
A-Rod opens with two big serves, and there's nothing Fed can do about that. He finishes with a big forehand down the line. Are these two aware they are deep into the final set of a Wimbledon final? Because they sure don't seem to be. No sign of any nerves.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 8-7* Roddick
Yikes. Publishing system crashes. Fed holds. Back to the chairs.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-7 Roddick
Pete Sampras appears to stifle a yawn there. Bit of jet-lag, Pistol? Long return from Fed, but then Roddick sticks a routine forehand into the net. Two wild errors from Fed give Roddick a 40-15 lead. Fed nets a forehand. We could be here til tomorrow. Brilliant.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6* Roddick
Brilliant combination from Roddick, sending Fed this way and that on the baseline before he gets a bit of luck with a net cord. He gets two points there, but Fed stands firm.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-6 Roddick
Lovely, placed volley from Fed, which Roddick pokes back, but the Swiss flicks it cross-court. Massive serving from Roddick, then he has the crowd on their feet, threading a backhand pass down the line. Remember, no tie-break. Just wondering if Pete Sampras has insurance on those flights from the US?
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-5* Roddick
No quarter given there either. Fed is 40-0 up so he can afford to mis-time a forehand and he plonks down an ace on the next point. Pressure back on the American.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 5-5 Roddick
Two big first serves followed by a 130mph ace take Roddick to 40-0 before he plays Fed at his own game, wrong-footing the Swiss with a sweet forehand. Pressure? What pressure?
Boris Becker on BBC1:
"Roger needs to change his strategy on the return, be more aggressive from the baseline."
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 5-4* Roddick
Aces 34 and 35 from Fed. Roddick has managed a mere 21. Forehand blaster from Roddick pegs the world number two back briefly, but another big serve and he has his nose ahead again.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 4-4 Roddick
A-Rod fires an ace down the middle. Fed decides to challenge - even though it's clearly in. He looks baffled as he looks at the replay. I'm worried about his eyes. The poor old thing. Roddick holds to 15.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 4-3* Roddick
Gasps of horror as Fed blasts a forehand way over the baseline. This certainly isn't one of his better performances. Pressure? Surprise at the quality from Roddick? Who knows... Anyway, his serve is still pretty impressive and he wins the next four points.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 3-3 Roddick
Fed pegs Roddick back to 40-30 with one of those sweeping forehand winners, but he can't handle a 129mph first serve and Roddick is level again.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 3-2* Roddick
Three aces, one forehand winner. Easy as that for Federer. Pete Sampras has just been handed a note. Probably from one of those cheeky japesters Leconte or Bahrami.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 2-2 Roddick
A very welcome love game for Roddick. For any tennis newbies out there: someone has to break serve in this set, because we won't have a tie-break.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 2-1* Roddick
A comfortable game for Fed, helped out by the hand of HawkEye. Not sure if HawkEye has hands. Never met him/her.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 1-1 Roddick
Gruelling baseline rally and Roddick nets a tired forehand. That's 30-30 and Federer then comes up with what the Americans would call a sick backhand pass, stretching out and flicking it cross-court off the top of the net. Roddick dives a la Becker but he's nowhere near it. Return is wide though. Some more American: Federer is 0 for 6 on break points.
From Glenn, Exeter, via text on 81111:
"Watching via BBC mobile website. Gutted I'm not watching. On the train back to Exeter. On the plus side I did get engaged last night. Is that a plus though?"
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 1-0* Roddick
Easy hold for Fed. Could have done with that a few games ago. This isn't yet up to 2008 standards, but it's absolutely gripping nonetheless.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 Roddick
No first serve on the first two points, and Roddick pays the price, Fed stroking a stunning forehand down the line to make it 0-30. Fed misses with a backhand then a raking forehand approach from A-Rod forces the world number two to go long. Fed nets a forehand and then can't make the return - cancel everything, FIFTH SET IT IS.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-5* Roddick
Eek. Roddick stretches for a forehand and slips on the bare turf. Stays down momentarily, but he's OK. Fed holds to 15. A-Rod will serve to take this to a fifth set.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 2-5 Roddick
Double-fault from Roddick gets Fed back to 30-30. A chance? No. Absorbing exchange from the baseline, both tempting the other to go for it. Roddick does indeed go for it with a huge forehand cross-court - and Fed nets.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 2-4* Roddick
A-Rod throws up his arms in despair after a Fed ace comes past him, suggesting to the ump that he wasn't ready. "Well, if you're not ready, just say," says ump, not unreasonably. Roddick wins the next two points but Fed closes it out with another ace.
From Chris & Neil (not the Pet Shop Boys) via text on 81111:
"Perfect weather... watching Fed master on Henman Hill..."
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 1-4 Roddick
Fed gets that forehand firing, one belter cross-court setting up an easier one down the line - 30-30 - and Fed is in the rally but this time the forehand fails. Roddick goes too short, setting it up nicely for Fed, who doesn't need a second invitation. Deuce, Roddick comes up with a brave half-volley drop shot and though Fed just about reaches it, he can only net. Bet you weren't expecting this either were you? I know I wasn't... My respect for Roddick is growing by the minute.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 1-3* Roddick
Fist pump from Roddick as he punches away a volley, and guess what? He's only flippin' well got two break points.
Fed ace on the first - but misses with a first serve on a second and then brings Fed into net. Fed plucks off the first volley, but stretches for the second and sees it land in the bottom of the net. Well, well, well.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 1-2 Roddick
Roddick arrows one of his best backhands of the day into the corner for 30-0 and holds to love. Federer still making little impression on his serve.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 1-1* Roddick
There's half a chance for Roddick at 15-30 but Federer slams the door shut with a big serve before the sixth seed sticks a backhand into the tramlines and wallops a forehand over the baseline.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 0-1 Roddick
Federer strokes a gorgeous forehand onto the sideline, Roddick just standing and watching but the American hangs on.
Britain's Dan Cox on hitting with Fed this morning:
"It's a massive honour to hit with someone like him anytime, let alone before such a big final. Even having the chance to talk to someone like that is fantastic and it's something I'll never forget. It was absolutely amazing."
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) Roddick
Roddick is first to crack, putting a backhand slice approach into the net. Fed with the mini-break, and he makes it 3-1 with a dreamy forehand pass. Big serve and it's 4-1. A quiet but firm "come on" from the five-times champ. He switches over at 5-1, and no-one throws away a lead like that, right? Nice groundstroke combo from A-Rod - 5-2 - and now a lovely off forehand to get back one of the mini-breaks. He controls the next rally but then Roddick doesn't know what to do with a drop shot and he is easily passed. Three set points.
Roddick saves two... but Fed comes up with a serve out wide and buries the put-away. The record beckons...
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-6 Roddick
Uh-oh. Error from Fed, but then Roddick double-faults. No first serve and he's drawn into the net, Fed picking him off with a pass down the line. The crowd are really behind Roddick, who responds with an ace to make it 30-30. The old one-two - big serve, big forehand - give him game point, and that's an excellent effort. Tie-break it is. How's your nerve?
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-5* Roddick
Ace down 'T' and that's another hold to love. Roddick has won a piffling two points against serve in this set.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 5-5 Roddick
Roddick jumps out into a 30-0 lead, but hits the buffers with two errors. "Squeaky bum time," Fergie is (probably) thinking. But Roddick closes it out.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 5-4* Roddick
Roddick frames a return into the crowd which is beautifully caught by a Royal Box occupant. And by the time I've finished typing that, Fed's raced through his service game. Slow down, please.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 4-4 Roddick
A lone "woooo" from someone in the crowd accompanies a Roddick ace and he serves out to 15. Showing a whole lot of character here.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 4-3* Roddick
Fed really cruising on serve now, and that's not going to ease the pressure any on Roddick. The five-times champ is out-acing A-Rod at the moment. And there's Sir Alex Ferguson... imagine he was hoping to catch follow Scot Andy Murray in action today. Hope he wasn't one of those paying thousands for a ticket off the internet.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 3-3 Roddick
There's Michael Ballack, wearing a very, er, brave shirt. Is it floral? Is it paisley? Bit of both? Nice touch volley from Fed and he finds the line with a forehand to make it 30-30. Roddick floats an attempted approach about a foot over the baseline and it's break point...
calling International First Serve, and it duly comes to his rescue. Fed gets back to deuce with a sizzling wrong-footing backhand pass. Brave, brave volley from Roddick. He's not giving up yet.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 3-2* Roddick
Fed jams Roddick with a vicious serve as he drops just one point on his serve. Few people stretching their legs on the changeover... someone tries a Mexican wave, but mercifully it is quickly quelled.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 2-2 Roddick
A 13th ace from A-Rod makes it 40-0 and Fed errs on the backhand to level up the set.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 2-1* Roddick
Fed back to his chair in a hurry after an effortless service game. Roddick will just be focused on his own service games for the foreseeable I imagine. Bates and Jarryd are victorious. The Gentlemen's Senior Invitation trophy is back where it belongs.
Federer *5-7 7-6 (8-6) 1-1 Roddick
The sympathetic applause is all for Roddick now who does well to come through that game, his serve, which so cruelly deserted him on those set points, back firing.
Tim Henman on BBC1:
"It's going to be a huge test of character right now for Roddick to see if he can hang in there."
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 1-0* Roddick
Andy Roddick goes straight off for a bathroom break. That backhand volley may haunt him for the rest of his life. It's going to take an incredible recovery to come back from that. His mind all of a kerfuffle, the American goes to the wrong end when he returns. He can hardly get a ball in court as Fed holds to 15.
Federer 5-7 7-6 (8-6) Roddick
Roddick opens with a 143mph ace. Decent marker laid down. Fed then overcooks a forehand to give Roddick the first mini-break. Two serves and it's 4-1. Big forehand forces another error from Fed and they switch over with the American leading 5-1. I don't think the crowd can believe what they're seeing. I know I can't. I'm starting to hear sympathetic applause for King Rog. A-Rod punches away another volley to earn four set points.
Fed flicks a sensational backhand cross-court to save one. He has two serves to come now... and wins both. Just one left. Incredible tension now. First serve long. And Roddick, for the first time, cracks. He has a simple volley to put away, but it sails into the trams. Heartbreak. They change sides again. Roddick misses the first serve, and now Fed comes up with the pass which Roddick all but catches on his racquet and it's set point Fed.
Roddick sends a backhand way over the baseline, Federer roaring a massive "come on" towards his support camp. Six points in a row for the five-times champ.
Federer 5-7 6-6 Roddick
Poor Fed attempt at a drop shot but it's 40-0 at the time, so he can afford it. Big serve, and a tie-break it is. Hold onto your hats.
Federer *5-7 5-6 Roddick
A-Rod stretches for a volley, which is called out on the sideline. Ump Lars Graff asks the American if he wants to challenge but the answer is no, surprisingly. HawkEye says it was in too. Anyway, all a bit irrelevant now as he holds to 15. Tie-break is the worst he can do. And with his 26-4 record this year, he'll be happy enough about that.
Federer 5-7 5-5* Roddick
A-Rod challenges a Fed forehand onto the baseline - but it caught the back edge. Roddick's only got one challenge left now. An ace... but then an error and a double-fault. At 30-30, Roddick is a tantalising two points away from a two-set lead. But Fed coolly strokes a forehand back behind his opponent... and then a 23-stroke rally. Groundstrokes back and forth before Roddick dinks over a drop-shot, but Fed's there with the pass.
Federer *5-7 4-5 Roddick
A-Rod's first serve percentage was 75 against Murray on Friday. Today, he's up at 80. It's super-impressive.
Federer 5-7 4-4* Roddick
Fed remains solid on serve, while A-Rod might be a touch frustrated not to have found a few more returns there. A hold to 15 for the world number two. Just to break the tension for a moment, Jezza Bates and Anders Jarryd are a set up over 'court jesters' Mansour Bahrami and Henri Leconte.
Federer *5-7 3-4 Roddick
Another inch-perfect approach by Roddick, and he's in the right place to put away the volley. If anything, this is more impressive than his performance against Murray. Ace numero nine seals it.
Federer 5-7 3-3* Roddick
No sign of the Fed-meister cracking on serve. Quickfire game and he can turn his attentions to getting onto a Roddick service game. Easier said than done.
From hawick on 606:
"Roddick simply had to win that first set to have a chance. Now we have a proper match."
Federer *5-7 2-3 Roddick
A second double from Roddick, but he's already 30-0 up and he finds two first serves to see out the game.
Federer 5-7 2-2* Roddick
Fed serves out to love, and he'll now have another change of racquet to welcome the new balls.
Federer *5-7 1-2 Roddick
Federer plucks a Roddick first serve out of the air and sends it rocketing back with interest. At 15-15, Roddick challenges a second serve down the middle - but it is out, and his first double gives Fed a glimmer at 30-15. Serve back firing though, and two approaches to the net see out the game. This is officially enthralling. Roddick sticking by his game plan, and it's working.
Federer 5-7 1-1* Roddick
Kerpow. Fed sends down ace number eight and takes the game when A-Rod goes a tad long with a backhand.
Federer *5-7 0-1 Roddick
And he's serving first in the second set too. Roddick holds to 15 with some more bombs.
Federer 5-7* Roddick
Hmmm... you weren't expecting that were you? Roddick plays an absolutely monumental forehand cross-court from a position so wide he's almost in the crowd. Fed then makes two errors - and all of a sudden A-Rod has a set point.
He makes a good, deep return off the backhand and Fed drifts into the trams. This is a turn-up. Roddick's reaction is to calmly pump his fist in the direction of his support camp.
From Scubar2k8 on 606:
"Roddick barely hanging on at all. He might just nick the tie break though as he is good at them."
Federer *5-6 Roddick
Roddick hasn't made a single unforced error... until two in a row put him in serious bother at 0-30. He digs out two first serves, but then is drawn into a tactical rally in which the slices get lower and lower. Roddick goes too low, finding the net with a backhand - and that's the first break point of the match.
Roddick misses the first serve but Fed puts his return approximately half a millimetre long. Roddick then comes up with a brilliant volley onto the sideline, but Fed saves the game point with a rasping backhand pass down the line. A-Rod then puts a poor backhand into the net to hand Fed another break point.
Guess what? "Another bullet by Roddick," as described by Boris Becker - 138mph. Another backhand into the net, another break point.
Real pressure now. Fed looks to have taken it with a forehand onto the baseline. Roddick challenges, and it did indeed miss the baseline. Forehand winner for a fourth break point
but the return is long. A-Rod somehow hangs on, and how crucial might that be?
Federer 5-5* Roddick
Roddick not really reading the Federer serve. He just about gets out of the way of one that comes swerving into his body, but his return is chicken-feed for Fed. A hold to love for the five-time champ.
Federer *4-5 Roddick
Such an impressive start by Roddick, sending down a few more first-serve missiles before purposefully marching back to his chair.
Federer 4-4* Roddick
My eye keeps being drawn to the Royal Box: Borg, Laver, Sampras. Some tales there. A double-fault ruins a love service game for Federer. New racquet for the world number two to receive this next game.
Federer *3-4 Roddick
First piece of magic from Fed. Roddick comes up with a very delicate backhand volley but Fed picks it up and flicks it back down the line. Few big serves and Roddick is out of trouble.
Federer 3-3* Roddick
I imagine 'coming in on the Roddick backhand' was one of Federer's cunning plans for today, but he might think twice after seeing Roddick sweep a magnificent pass cross-court. The world number two wisely stays rooted to the baseline to win the next four points.
Federer *2-3 Roddick
Federer finally gets a return in and then peppers the Roddick backhand. Standard tactics against the American. It gets him to 15-15, but Fed then makes a mess of his approach and sees a forehand come flying past him. At 40-15, Roddick pushes a backhand volley marginally long but then comes up with a stunning backhand pass down the line to close it out. Good, solid start by Roddick.
Federer 2-2* Roddick
Equally impressive serving from Roger Federer. Pistol Pete will appreciate that.
Federer *1-2 Roddick
A Rafa-like backhand pass from Roddick takes him to 30-0 and he holds to love. The serve is firing already... AND THERE'S PETE SAMPRAS! Arriving fashionably late, the word spreads quickly around Centre and he briefly stands up to acknowledge the applause before sitting back on the front row of Royal Box.
Federer 1-1* Roddick
Roger Federer has a few aces in the bag too. Two in a row make it 30-15, before Roddick sticks a backhand into the net. The American gets his racquet onto Fed's serve but that's all.
Federer *0-1 Roddick
Four massive serves... Andy Roddick must be in town. Two of those are aces and he takes the opening game for the loss of a point.*denotes next to serve
Boris Becker and Tim Henman are both tipping Roger Federer. Still no sign of Sampo... We need to get Hacker the Dog on the case.
A-Rod wins the coin toss and, not surprisingly, will serve first. Tasty atmosphere out there. Plenty of noise.
Here they come then, Fed decked out in the long trousers and multi-pocketed jacket which caused such controversy earlier in the tournament. Roddick has gone for the more traditional shorts and t-shirt look.
This whole Pete Sampras rumour appears to have some legs. Fed is told that Sampo might be in the Royal Box and he says: "It's nice when any legend comes to see us play. I hope we'll play a good match and live up to the expectations."
Those ridiculous pre-match interviews now... "I'm just focusing on trying to treat it like another match," says Roddick. Federer says: "It's special on finals day. It's unique. Always a good feeling."
Just nipped out to the ladies and there's a queue from hell. It's like there's a momentous tennis match about to start or something. This could end badly for me...
"Woo woo" is the cry from someone in the crowd as Boris Becker steps onto court... No, it wasn't me. BB reckons the nerves evaporate as soon as you walk through the green doors onto Centre Court.
From anon via text on 81111:
"A-Rod is going to win. I am in touch with the future."
Hang on, Sue Barker seems to think Pete Sampras might be here today. John McEnroe seems a little surprised. As am I.
Bjorn Borg speaking to BBC Sport:
"I would pick Federer to win but Andy played unbelievably against Murray, the best I've seen him play for years."
Moody start to the BBC1 coverage, as we watch arty shots of Rog with a soundtrack of historic moments throughout sporting history. The tingling has started. Or it might be hunger.
Sue Barker is joined on court by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, who get a warm round of applause from the crowd as they hug. Lovely. The sun's come out - probably in honour of the pair.
BBC Sport Mole:
"Before we get all serious with the tennis and stuff I wish to apologise for describing interviewing CBBC's Hacker The Dog as a career low earlier in the week (see 1659 of
day four live
). I feel terrible, as watching it back the little pooch almost brings a tear to the eye.
Watch him in action as part of Centre Court Confidential 4.
I have to apologise on his behalf though, as his claim that Sue Barker took a picture of him and put it on her Facebook page is a lie. She didn't and I have confiscated his dog chews as punishment."
The rumoured shower has failed to appear, so the covers are off Centre Court. I see a trouser-suited Sue Barker in the distance, which means we must be getting close to the action. Speaking of Sue Barker...
Twitter also tells me that Andy Murray is off go-karting today. Before that, he spoke to BBC 5 Live about his defeat by Andy Roddick on Friday. "I'll use it as motivation to try to improve," he said. "I've got to go away, work harder than I had before and make sure I'm in the best shape possible going into the American stretch."
The Curse of Cheese continues to the very end. Britain's Lucy Shuker and Aussie Daniela Di Toro go down 6-1 6-3 against Dutch pair Homan and Vergeer. Vergeer has lost one singles match since 2001.
From Eagleeeee! on 606:
"Close call. Heart says Roddick in four or five, but head says Federer in four to break the slam record at his beloved Wimbledon."
My Twitter feed is full of updates from
, who went to to the Williams celebrations in Wimbledon village last night. Jamie Murray was there too apparently. Gimelstob was drinking passion fruit martinis, which sound absolutely revolting.
The other big question (for the Brits anyway) is: what does Andy Murray need to do to win a Grand Slam? Roddick's coach
Larry Stefanki had some interesting thoughts on that
, while Rocket Rod reckons: "You don't necessarily win it the first time, I remember being in the final a couple of times and getting beaten up pretty good. He has to be able to play steady, not defensively necessarily but keeping the ball rolling, but he has access to a great backhand which he hits extremely well down the line and he probably didn't do as much of that as he could against Roddick. The rest of his game stayed defensive and he could have pushed and used his groundstrokes a little more severely."
Sampo may be absent today, but Rocket Rod Laver
is in attendance. The 70-year-old is inevitably asked if Rog is the best ever, to which the Aussie replies: "I've always thought that you're the best in your era. That to me is a pretty good compliment to your game, to your tennis, over your career. You know, if Roger gets to 16, 17 Grand Slams, you know, people in the press are the ones that are wanting to say it: Who's the best ever? It's hard for anyone, I think, to come out and say who's the best ever."
Rich, via text on 81111,
wants an update on the wheelchair ladies' doubles final, and I am only too happy to oblige. Our correspondent left this box about an hour ago gloomily predicting bagels over on Court Four, but it's not that bad. Korie Homan and the literally unbeatable Esther Vergeer lead 6-1 1-2 against Britain's Lucy Shuker and Aussie partner Daniela Di Toro.
Crowe, Allen, Scott (see Mole below), Sir Trevor McDonald (probably), but no Pete Sampras, we don't think. The American once said he wanted to be present when Fed broke his record of winning 14 Grand Slams, while Fed said he was keen for his buddy to be here. But it seems Pistol's decided to stay at home.
If you wish to see proof that the men's finalists have been out practising, take a look at
the BBC Sport flickr page
for some badly cropped, fuzzy evidence of that. In fairness, it was chaos out there. I'm wondering how Dan Cox got that gig (see below)? Don't think Cox is well-known for his Roddick-like qualities.
Isn't weather weird? Bright sunshine a moment ago, but now the court-coverers are woken from their two-week slumber because there are rumours of an approaching shower. This may be like last week's rumour that Cheryl Cole was coming to Wimbledon...
Of course the eyes of Britain will be on Court Three where Jezza Bates, and Swedish partner Anders Jarryd, will be playing the role of Ernie against the Eric of Mansour Bahrami and Henri Leconte. The comedy duo will try all sorts of high-jinks and japery to put their opponent off their stride. I am willing Bates and Jarryd to stay strong.
Just as I was struggling to find a single person tipping Roddick, a lunatic from the office emails with a "Roddick in five" prediction. The American, as if I need to remind you, has lost 18 of 20 matches against Federer. In three matches at Wimbledon, the American has won one set.
BBC Sport Mole:
"I've come over all aquiver. What a line-up of celebs we have today. Russell Crowe, Ridley Scott and Woody Allen for starters - how do you like them apples? About time considering the dross we have had to put up with over the past 12 days - do one Chico!"
From Kate in sunny Leeds, via text on 81111:
"It's hard to believe but the live feed has inspired a return to revision... The treat of checking the latest after half an hour's hard work! Federer to win today although close call as I also love Roddick... Maybe Federer in five sets. So excited!"
Dry and sunny here at Wimbledon, with the forecast saying there's only a 30% risk of a light shower during the early afternoon, so we should be set for a roof-free final at 1400 BST.
And so, 14 days after the first ball was hit in the 2009 Championships, it's come to this: one man chasing history... And while Britain's Jeremy Bates attempts to win back the Gentlemen's Senior Invitation Doubles title that was so cruelly snatched away from him last year, Roger Federer will try to win a record-breaking 15th Grand Slam title.