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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 July, 2003, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Inspired Federer wins Wimbledon
Wimbledon champion Roger Federer
Federer lost just one set throughout the tournament

Roger Federer produced a tennis masterclass to claim his first Grand Slam title with a demolition of Mark Philippoussis.

Federer put in a near faultless display as he won 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 7-6 (7/3), and dispelled any doubts about his ability to perform on the big stage.

The 21-year-old had failed to get past the quarter-finals at any previous Grand Slam, but here he held his nerve until breaking down in tears after he had clinched victory.

Unseeded Philippoussis was hoping for a fairytale triumph after being told two years ago that he may never play tennis again when a serious knee injury left him in a wheelchair.

But Federer was able to nullify the Australian's massive serve with brilliant returning, and was completely dominant on his own serve.

Federer took a tight first set on a tie-break, but then unleashed his full array of shots as he claimed a straight-sets win.

The first set came down to the finest of margins - both players were dominant on serve, and neither could manufacture a break-point.

It's an absolute dream for me
Roger Federer

Inevitably it came down to a tie-break and it turned on a single point.

After sharing mini-breaks at the start of the breaker, the pair traded blows on serve until 4-4 when Philippoussis just missed a forehand chance down the line that would have given him the advantage.

And on the next point the Australian double-faulted allowing the fourth seed to serve out to claim the breaker 7-5.

As in the semi-final against Andy Roddick, Federer then opened up after taking a tight first-set tie-break.

Two glorious forehand cross-court winners gave the Swiss the first break-points of the match in the opening game of the second set, and when Philippoussis dumped a volley in the net Federer had the breakthrough.

Federer's hot streak continued, and some more inspired play gave him a second break in similar circumstances to open up a 4-0 lead.

Mark Philippoussis
I'll definitely be back, that's for sure
Mark Philippoussis

From there he took the second set 6-2 to open up a two-set lead.

Philippoussis had come from two sets down to beat Alexander Popp in the quarter-finals, and had also come from behind to knock out world number one Andre Agassi in five sets one round earlier.

But despite lifting his level and forcing another tie-break, he was unable to reproduce that magic as Federer maintained his brilliance.

The Swiss missed two virtual match-points as Philippoussis served at 5-5 and 15-40.

But he opened up a 6-1 lead in the tie-break and, despite the Australian saving two match-points, Federer completed what promises to be the first of many Grand Slam victories.





Links to more Wimbledon 2003 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
Roger Federer
"The semi and final were perhaps the best two games of my career"


Mark Philippoussis
"This was definitely Roger's day"


WIMBLEDON 2003

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