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Roddick rues 'worst' SW19 defeat

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Defeated Roddick hopes for Wimbledon title

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Andy Roddick admitted the defeat by Roger Federer in an epic fifth set felt worse than his previous two Wimbledon final losses to the Swiss star.

Federer won 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 16-14 to claim a record 15th major title, and leave Roddick to reflect on a third runner-up finish in SW19.

Asked how it compared to his 2004 and 2005 final defeats, the clearly upset American said: "I think it's worse."

The final set was the longest in men's singles final history at 95 minutes.

But Roddick insisted that fatigue had not played a major part when he finally dropped serve for the first time in the match to give Federer victory.

He just served great and did what he had to

Andy Roddick

"I felt OK," he said. "Obviously you play for four hours and 15 minutes, you don't feel like you do the first hour, but everything felt OK."

Roddick looked on course for a huge upset when he moved 6-2 clear in the second set tie-break, but four set points went begging - the fourth when he put a high backhand volley wide.

"There was a pretty significant wind behind him at that side, it was gusting pretty good at that time," said the American. "When he first hit it, I thought I wasn't going to play it.

"Last minute, it looked like it started dropping in and I couldn't get my racquet around on it. I don't know if it would have dropped in or not."

The chance for a two-set lead had gone and Roddick admitted it played on his mind as he dropped the third set.

"There's no way it doesn't cross your mind," he said, "we're humans we're not cyborgs, but at that point there's two options - you lay down or you keep going. The second option sounded better to me."

606: DEBATE

As the dramatic fifth set rolled on it appeared neither player would buckle, but Federer proved the stronger in the end and Roddick paid tribute to the world number two.

"He was having trouble picking my serve today, for the first time ever, he just stayed the course and you didn't even get a sense that he was even really frustrated by it," said Roddick.

"He just stayed the course and toughed it out. He gets a lot of credit for a lot of things but not a lot of the time it's how many matches he really digs deep and toughs it out.

"He doesn't get a lot of credit for that because it looks easy to him a lot of the time, but he definitely stuck in there today.

"He served great. I felt like when we were in rallies I was holding my own, if not more, but he just served great and did what he had to."

And Roddick was able to reflect on his much-improved form in 2009 after taking on new coach Larry Stefanki at the turn of the year.

"I take some satisfaction that in November, December when we started to move forward it was to give myself an opportunity to win tournaments like this," he said.

"I feel like I did give myself that opportunity today. It didn't work out but I definitely gave myself a look."



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see also
Federer win breaks Sampras record
05 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Federer 'staggered' by 15th Slam
05 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Federer v Roddick as it happened
05 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Wimbledon men's final photos
05 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Is Roger Federer the greatest?
05 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Federer eases into seventh final
03 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Murray suffers semi-final misery
03 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Nadal wins epic Wimbledon final
06 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis


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