the legend

joyful rogger fedder

Thursday, July 9, 2009

wimbledons new face

Some pics:
Mid 90's
Last year
Wimbledon 2009,0.jpg

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sachin enjoys Wimbledon action

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar created a buzz at the All-England Club as he joined distinguished guests that included soccer legends like Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Bobby Robson and Niall Quinn at Centre Court here on Saturday.

Traditionally, the first Saturday of the Championships is usually described as ‘Sporting Saturday’ since a select few British sports stars and former Wimbledon champs grace the Royal Box.

Sachin Tendulkar

Dressed in a black suit, Tendulkar was cheered with a huge roar when his presence was announced at the Centre Court, and that was enough to suggest how much the little champion is adored in this part of the world.

Tendulkar watched women’s second seed Jelena Jankovich and upcoming British youngster Andy Murray in action, while waiting for Rafael Nadal’s match to begin. Yet he admitted that he is a die hard fan of Roger Federer.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Four champs

Photo Titled Four champs
(from left to right) Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rod Laver pose with the trophy they have all held over the years.

Roddick's coach: Murray needs to change

Photo Titled Murray yells
Murray yells

Larry Stefanki, the coach who guided Andy Roddick to his first Grand Slam final since 2006, says Andy Murray needs to "change his mentality" and stop "playing defensive tennis" if he wants to win a Grand Slam.

Stefanki, who turned down the chance to coach Murray three years ago, said the British No.1 was the best mover in the game after Roger Federer who would win plenty of Grand Slams but he needed to be more offensive.

"I don't think Murray transitions to offence well enough. He is stuck playing defensive tennis only and, in my opinion, that was the big difference. I don't think Murray played enough offence [in his match against Roddick]," Stefanki said. "Murray's second serve was very attackable. That was the plan [for Roddick], to move in and club some second serve returns.

"You have have to some offensive threat. He has developed a big serve and can move the ball from A to B as well as anybody, he just does not know when to do it."

"Besides Roger Federer he is the best mover in the game. He has the best footwork and he is technically very sound. He has to change his mentality of the way he wants to play this game at the very top level.

"His record is great and he is very strong-minded, and I like that, but he needs to recognise when to play offence. I don't think he sees it while he is playing right now and that's the next step for him."

The coach said Murray's arsenal is well-equipped, but the next stage is in his head, getting his mindset around when to use his kit and how to mix it up. "I think he has plenty of weapons. He hits the ball as cleanly as anybody but you have to learn when to use them and unload on certain balls and I don't see him doing that," Stefanki told Radio Wimbledon.

"He is going to have a great future if he gets to the point of recognising balls to attack and to come into the forecourt and play there rather than 15 feet behind the baseline. He will win a lot of slams, he is that good a mover."

Roddick's second set nightmare

Photo Titled Roddick double-hander
Roddick double-hander

Four points. Four points on which Andy Roddick’s Wimbledon dream hinged. Four luxurious points stretching away in front of him, four separate opportunities to take an unthinkable two sets to love lead over the mighty Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final. What would Roddick trade right now for the chance to relive those points? What if he could have that moment back, and make it right? What would he give? Half of all he owns? Everything?

It doesn’t matter. Life won’t oblige him with a second opportunity. Yet how often will he wake in the night over the coming months and find himself back there, on Centre Court, reliving the hideous nightmare yet again? How did it happen? Four points in his hands, the set handed to him on a plate – but somehow the plate slipped through his fingers and ended up smashed to tiny pieces on the floor, along with Roddick’s dreams.

All right, so a two-set lead did not add up to the Wimbledon title itself. There were no guarantees that he would magically stroll away with the match from there and go on to lift the golden trophy for the first time in his life. But as a no-guarantee situation goes, a two-set lead over Federer is an agreeable neighbourhood to occupy. It should have been Roddick’s. He had played so wisely, so unshakeably up to that moment. And in four points it was over.

Until then there had been almost a palpable bubble of self-containment around the American, such was the power of his focus on the task in hand. No one gave him a prayer coming into this match, and no wonder given that he was looking the wrong way down the barrel of an 18-2 career record against Federer.

But two days before this, Roddick out-thought Andy Murray in the semi-final, and the same strategy was working again. It was as if Roddick could see only himself and some nameless opponent on the Centre Court, and no one else at all. The 15,000 crowd and the gallery of famous names in the Royal Box – Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver – might as well not have been there. This was about Roddick getting the impossible job done.

It did not matter what was thrown at him. It seemed that he was breaking the match down into that most successful of formats – one point at a time. So easy to say, so difficult to execute. But Roddick was doing it. If his serve came under pressure, he was equal to it. When chances came to attack, he took them without rushing. It seemed certain that the first set would go to the tiebreak, but at the death he turned it in his favour. When Federer made the error that gave the first set to Roddick 7-5, the American didn’t so much clench his first as merely close it in verification. Then he turned his back, mind already on the next phase of the task.

The crowd was of course thrilled, knowing that he needed this set if the match was to amount to anything. But how could this form last, against the legendary Federer? The second set seemed to go in a flash. This one did go to the tiebreak ... and those four points. Roddick was at 6-2, and the set was all but his. Key phrase: all but. Federer took six straight points. It could not be, and yet it was. Roddick took time out for what is commonly known as a comfort break, although it is difficult to believe that comfort played a big role in his life at that moment.

When he came back out on court, he looked hollow-cheeked and sunken-eyed. He had the air of a helpless eyewitness powerless to prevent some terrible trauma. So disoriented was he that he went to the wrong end of the court to receive serve, and umpire Lars Graf was forced to call him back. He hung on throughout the set to take it to the tiebreak, but there was to be no fairytale opportunity to put things right. Federer pounced on a short Roddick return and he was two sets to one up.

If you know of anyone who was predicting a fifth set at that moment, then you are of wider acquaintance than anyone on the Centre Court today. It was a done deal that Federer would win it in four. But he didn’t. Roddick had had enough of being shocked, and at 2-1 in the fourth outplayed the Swiss to convert a break point. It was enough to take it into the fifth.

All match Federer had tried and failed to break Roddick. Not until the final stroke of an epic final set would he manage what had previously been impossible. It was the second longest final of all time, by far the longest in games played. The two of them were in the 30th game of the set when at last successive loose shots from Roddick gave Federer what no other player has ever achieved, a 15th Grand Slam.

The American, beyond exhausted, was too worn out to weep. But the tears will no doubt come and, one fears, the nightmares after that. Elite sport is played out in an arena as wonderful as it is cruel, and only the bravest need apply.

Federer feels the warm hand of history

Photo Titled Smiling Roger
Roger Federer smiles with his trophy after his sixth Wimbledon title.
There was standing room only in the media room at 8pm, and whispers were already going around. “I will if you will,” was the gist of it. Protocol had already been broken half an hour earlier when Andy Roddick was sportingly applauded when his press conference ended.

Journalists should by definition be impartial and applause is frowned upon as unseemly in any media room for this very reason. Here, however, everyone seemed to realise that they were in the presence of greatness. The fact that Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras – with 16 titles on the grass of SW19 between them – had been in the royal box that afternoon confirmed it, and when the man who had just broken Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles walked into the room, the press room broke out into applause.

364 days and 21 hours previously, Roger Federer had walked into that same room a broken man. On that occasion, he had been on the wrong end of an epic five-set final, losing “his” Wimbledon crown to his nemesis Rafael Nadal. “Write what you want,” he had said at the time, his eyes red and stinging with despair. He said that it hurt far more than his painful defeat at Nadal’s hands in the 2008 French Open. “Losing in Paris was nothing. This is a disaster,” he said.

A year on and tonight his eyes were again stinging, this time through sheer emotional exhaustion. “Tennis is cruel sometimes. I went through some five setters in Grand Slam finals too and ended up losing. It's hard,” the man back on top of the world rankings said.

“He [Roddick] did great. He's not going to let his head hang down. He's going to come back strong and play great in the States. I think it's one of the best matches we played against each other. I really thought I had to play my very, very best to come through.”

Despite the enormity of Federer’s achievement, the name “Nadal” almost inevitably cropped up during the conference. “That's the way it goes, you know,” he said of the Spaniard’s absence. “Everybody expected Murray to be in the finals and he wasn't there. It's not the (fault) of the one who wins at the end. Of course I would have loved to play him again, but then again I've also played Andy now in three great Wimbledon finals, and he deserves the credit too for playing so well. “

Returning to the subject of the absent Spaniard, Federer said: “You never know how he would have played, but it's sad he couldn't even give it a fair chance. He had the injury, and tennis moves very quickly. I'm happy at least that I became No. 1 in the world by winning the tournament, not just by him not playing at all, or me playing decent or someone else playing decent and getting to No. 1. That's not the way it's supposed to be. You win big matches, big tournaments – that's how you get back to it.”

Federer’s magnum opus was made all the more special by the presence of two people in the Centre Court crowd – his heavily pregnant wife Mirka and, over in the royal box, the man whose Grand Slam record he had just overhauled, Pete Sampras.

Federer said: “I used to get nervous when a friend would come and watch me play as a kid, and then it was my parents, and then it was legends. Today anybody can come and watch me play, I don't get nervous anymore. But with Pete it was a bit special. When he walked in and I saw him for the first time, I did get more nervous actually. I said hello to him too, which is unusual. But I thought, I don't want to be rude!” Federer grinned.

“I know how much the record meant to him and he knows how much the record means to me. In a way, I still feel like we share it, just because he was such a wonderful champion. He still has one up against me here,” said the Swiss of the seven-time Wimbledon winner. “That’s why I played the exhibitions with him, to see how he plays and to get to know him better. Spending time with him maybe inspired me to beat his record. Tennis has to be fun – not just forehands and backhands. Playing with great champions and then going and having something to eat with them afterwards gives me something else to think about.”

The final word, however, was for the woman who has shared his life for the past 10 years, before there was any talk of titles, let alone Grand Slam records – his wife Mirka. “My career has had a lot of ups and downs but Mirka has always been there. I’m unbelievably grateful to her. She had to stop playing because she had such pain in her foot, but she went really quickly from being a player to my girlfriend and my helper, and it was never a problem for her. I’m really lucky.”

A few other questions were thrown out to him, but the champion’s exhausted mind was elsewhere. “Sorry, I wasn’t listening there,” was all he could proffer, and then he was off, “to sleep! I’m exhausted”. The warrior will rest, but not on his laurels.

Roddick too pained to discuss defeat

Photo Titled Roddick reflects
Andy Roddick in reflective mood after his loss to Roger Federer in the final.

For once a roomful of journalists were lost for words. There was nothing they wanted to ask Andy Roddick because every question felt too ghoulish. What did we need to know? Andy Roddick had played the greatest game of his life and had still lost. Roger Federer had broken his serve just once and he had still beaten him.

The last place Roddick wanted to be was sitting in front of the world’s media answering questions about a defeat that was so fresh it was only an hour old. The player with the most entertaining press conferences at Wimbledon 2009 had given so much on court there was nothing left to give.

Did you lose to the world’s greatest tennis player ever? “Yeah.” How would you describe what you did today? “I lost.” Does it hurt more though when you're that close and it's that long, 95 minutes the last set? How does this compare to the other ones? “Yeah, I think so. I think it's worse”. Is it crazy or is it a blessing in disguise that you're expected to play an indoor match on clay in four or five days? I don't know. I got nothing for you right now. To be honest, right now I don't really want to think about that.”

There was a lot of awkward silences at this press conference. There was a lot of staring at Roddick’s cap as he sat with his head bowed just wanting it all to end. The sixth seed was just unfortunate that his first Grand Slam final appearance in three years coincided with a man who was one victory away from a record 15 major wins and the title "greatest of all time".

“He just makes it real tough. You know, he was having trouble picking up my serve today for the first time ever. He just stayed the course,” Roddick said of Federer.

“You didn't even get a sense that he was even really frustrated by it. He kind of stayed the course and just toughed it out. He gets a lot of credit for a lot of things, but not a lot of the time is how many matches he kind of digs deep and toughs out. He doesn't get a lot of credit for that because it looks easy to him a lot of the times. But he definitely stuck in there today."

This is the beginning of Andy Roddick, not the end. By his own admission he had given himself a chance to win Wimbledon, just to reach the final he had beaten a former world No.1 and then the world No.3 in front of a parochial home crowd. He lost to a player who has won more Grand Slam titles than any other and who was appearing in his seventh consecutive Wimbledon final.

When Roddick was asked if he struggled to stay positive after losing the second set, he replied: “You know, at that point, like everything else, there's two options: you lay down or you keep going. The second option sounded better to me."

Roddick now has the choice to lay down or keep going. Given what we have seen these last two weeks, he is sure to take the second option.

Federer the three-minute wonder

Photo Titled Federer kisses trophy
Federer kisses trophy

Two weeks of effort, two decades of training and a lifetime of hoping – and all of it is condensed into three minutes on Centre Court. For both Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, they must have been three of the longest minutes of their lives. By the end of them, Roddick’s dream of winning Wimbledon was shattered while Federer was knocking on the door of greatness.

If Federer could win the title, he would end all arguments: he would become the greatest player to lift a racket. He would break Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam titles and he would regain his number one world ranking from Rafael Nadal.

When Sampras set the record in 2002, winning the US Open final, no one believed it could be bettered. Sampras certainly knew there was nothing left for him to achieve in the sport and never played competitively again. But Federer has set a new standard and he is nowhere near finished yet. With the weight of expectation lifted from his shoulders, he is free to play and win for as long as he likes. And Federer, released from that stultifying pressure of chasing history, may yet reach even greater heights.

The three minutes in question came in the second set tiebreak. Roddick had blasted and feathered his way to four set points – and while Roddick’s serve is a world famous sledgehammer of a shot, he has made a good job of keeping his touch and finesse hidden under a bushel. So, then, here were four opportunities to take a two-set lead over Federer in the Wimbledon final. And in those four points and three minutes, Federer became great.

Sure enough, there was another three hours or so to play, another 52 games to marvel at, and another 35 aces to fly from Federer’s racket – he served 50 in all – before he would eventually win 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14 but Federer had pulled rank as a five-time Wimbledon champion and stated his intent: “This is mine to win and yours to lose – the sixth title is mine.”

As Roddick tried to breathe and keep his head, Federer piled on the pressure. The Swiss grabbed one set point back with a backhand, he took the next two back with an unreturnable serve and an ace. Now he had taken Roddick’s safety net away, now Roddick had one last chance. And Roddick blew it, fluffing a volley as the tension gripped his racket arm. Two backhand winners from Federer later, and the score was one set apiece. Roddick was stunned and Federer knew in that moment that he was invincible.

In many ways, the moment had really come four weeks earlier when, after three consecutive soul-destroying losses in the French Open final to Nadal, Federer finally laid his hands on the trophy. There he equalled history, here he knew he could beat it.

This year at Wimbledon, Federer has played with the old strut and swagger, showing the supreme confidence of his early title-winning years in SW19 and the self-confidence that only Nadal had managed to shake in the epic five-set final 12 months ago. Here this year, he believed that he could walk on water and however hard Roddick served – and 27 aces and 98 unreturned serves suggested he was serving pretty hard – nothing could shake that belief.

This may not have been Federer at his most artistic but it was Federer at his most ferociously determined

As Federer has approached various milestones in his career, the greats of the game have come to watch him. And time after time, the extra pressure of seeing Rod Laver or Bjorn Borg in the Royal Box usually reduced him to tears when the final point had been won. This time there were no tears – and this time there were considerably more VIPs who had come to witness the historic day.

Sampras had flown in that morning to watch the man who has become his friend shatter his legacy in four hours and 16 minutes of mental fortitude. This may not have been Federer at his most brilliant, at his most artistic, but it was Federer at his most ferociously determined.

Roddick may have reinvented himself in the past six months as he worked with Larry Stefanki, his new coach, but Federer was going back to basics, going back to the old Roger who simply could not and would not let anyone pass him.

At the tightest and tensest moments, Federer would encourage himself with a quietly growled “C’mon!” His c’mons are not as loud or as aggressive as Lleyton Hewitt’s, they are not screamed with blood vessels bulging and eyes popping, but they are every bit as terrifying. This was Federer going for the kill.

Poor Roddick tried everything he knew – and lots that he had not known until he hired Stefanki – to chase his Swiss rival but Federer was unshakeable. He soaked up every charge and attack from the American and looked calm and collected as he did so. And with the advantage of serving first in the deciding set, he could leave Roddick to feel the tension while he concentrated on breaking the American’s serve for the first time in the match.

The longer that set went on, the better Federer looked. As Roddick started to tire, the Swiss kept up the pressure. He swatted away two break points in the 17th game and suddenly looked as relaxed and as fresh as if this were the first set. Roddick could not catch him and he knew it. As he started to pick away at Roddick’s serve, Roddick knew it, too.

The scream of delight as Roddick skied his final shot high and over the baseline marked the actual moment Federer achieved greatness but those three minutes all those hours before were when Federer knew that greatness was his due. A lifetime encapsulated in 180 seconds.

Match analysis: Federer v Roddick

Photo Titled Perfect Serve
Perfect Serve

The Wimbledon final was a match of drama and high tension marked by the exemplary grass court performances of both Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.

The two key areas in a match where the outcome hinged on the tiniest of margins were the first serve and each player’s ability to take any opportunity offered on his opponent’s second serve.

To win a Wimbledon final you need to be able to serve well for as long as it takes and use this as a platform to put as much pressure on your opponent and wait for them to crack.

And it was Federer who was the first to crack. Roddick was directing most of his serves to the centre line, occasionally firing huge serves directly at Federer, a tactic that was enabling him to hold serve well and giving him the platform to attack the Federer serve. He eventually broke the Swiss in the 11th game to claim the opening set.

In the second set tiebreak he raced to 6-2 up, a lead that he crucially squandered as Federer fought back with some powerful serving of his own.

Over the course of the match Federer was more accurate, hitting 50 aces and spreading his serves equally around the corners of the service boxes to keep Roddick guessing where to go.

Roddick was also solid from the back of the court. He directed most of his shots to Federer’s backhand, bossing many of the longer rallies by matching Federer for power, accuracy and concentration.
Federer hit 107 winners to Roddick’s 74 so was slightly more attacking despite being unable to break serve until right at the end.

Federer was only a fraction ahead of Roddick in the numbers game. In the first four sets Roddick was the only player to break, and did so twice. Federer hit the most aces, 50, and both players were winning three out of every four points on serve.

Federer had to wait 77 games to convert his seventh break chance to take the title after an enthralling four hours and 16 minutes.

Review of the final day

Photo Titled Roddick and Federer with trophies
Roddick and Federer with trophies

Roger Federer made tennis history on the final day of 2009 The Championships. The Wimbledon men's final is always an historical occasion but, if it is possible, this was more historic than others.

As Ron Atkins wrote: "Roger Federer became tennis's greatest champion, watched by a legion of champions, as he beat Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 16-14 in four hours and 16 minutes to claim his sixth Wimbledon crown. It was also a record 15th Grand Slam title for the Swiss master, overhauling the total of Pete Sampras who was in the Royal Box along with fellow legends Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver.

"It was a truly momentous climax to the 2009 Championships as the 27-year-old Swiss became the most successful man in the sport. Sampras, previous holder of that title, had been an unannounced surprise visitor to Wimbledon – where he has not been seen since 2002."

Pity poor Andy Roddick, a man who was playing in his first Grand Slam final since 2006. As Kate Battersby said: "All match Federer had tried and failed to break Roddick. Not until the final stroke of an epic final set would he manage what had previously been impossible. It was the second longest final of all time, by far the longest in games played.

"The two of them were in the 30th game of the set when at last successive loose shots from Roddick gave Federer what no other player has ever achieved, a 15th Grand Slam. The American, beyond exhausted, was too worn out to weep. But the tears will no doubt come and, one fears, the nightmares after that. Elite sport is played out in an arena as wonderful as it is cruel, and only the bravest need apply."

There were other winners and losers on the final day of The Championships. Tom Hyde noted the similarities between the girls’ champion Noppawan Lertcheewakarn and the ladies winner Serena Williams. "Noppawan Lertcheewakarn proved that whatever Serena can do, she can do too after adding the girls; doubles title to the singles title she collected yesterday to complete a memorable Championships," he said.

"The Thai girl and Australian partner Sally Peers raced to a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 victory over Silvia Njiric and Kristina Mladenovic, who tasted a final defeat to Lertcheewakarn for the second time in two days, in just 47 minutes."

The boy's singles trophy is heading east once again after unseeded Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia beat Jordan Cox to win the title a year on from Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov's triumph. Kuznetsov remained composed to overturn a one-set deficit against the American qualifier and run out a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 winner.

France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Germany’s Kevin Krawietz became the 2009 Junior Boys' Doubles Champions after winning a close encounter against the all-French pairing of Julien Obry and Adrien Puget 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 12-10.

Martina Navratilova and Helena Sukova beat Ilana Kloss and Rosalyn Nideffer in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, in an enthralling and entertaining final of the Ladies’ Invitation Doubles competition.

In the Men's Invitation Doubles, Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis from the Netherlands beat American pairing Donald Johnson and Jared Palmer 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. In the Senior Men’s Invitation Doubles, Britain’s Jeremy Bates and Anders Jarryd, from Sweden, were also victorious 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) over Mansour Bahrami and Henri Leconte.

In a demandingly long final, top seeds Stephane Houdet and Michael Jeremiasz of France were up against number three seeds Robin Ammerlaan of the Netherlands and Shingo Kunieda of Japan in the final of the wheelchair doubles. It was the Frenchmen who held aloft the silver salvers, winning 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).
Top seeds Esther Vergeer and Korie Homan of the Netherlands made Wimbledon history by winning the inaugural ladies wheelchair doubles title.

Tournament ends on historic note

Photo Titled Roger's round of honour
Roger's round of honour
Roger Federer's epic and historic victory in the men's singles final brought the 123rd Championships to a fitting climax in the evening sunshine on Centre Court. After four and a quarter hours he finally overcame the American Andy Roddick in a 30-game fifth set, the longest in Wimbledon history, to claim a record 15th Grand Slam title. How appropriate it was that Pete Sampras, with whom Federer had shared the record following his success last month at the French Open, was a surprise visitor, joining other greats such as Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg in the Royal Box to see history made.

Federer's sixth Wimbledon in seven years of appearances in the final also moves him within one singles victory at The Championships of Sampras, who shares the record of seven with the 19th century English hero, William Renshaw.

Federer had always looked on course for the final once the top seed, Rafael Nadal, pulled out with knee problems. The 27-year-old Swiss dropped only one set en route to the final and his progress became increasingly assured as round succeeded round.

In the other half of the draw it developed into a battle between Roddick and the 22-year-old British hope, Andy Murray, a battle that was resolved in the semi-finals when Roddick, serving brilliantly, prevailed in four sets.The 26-year-old Roddick has made a remarkable comeback since taking on Larry Stefanki as his coach towards the end of last year, and his skills were fully tested, not only by Murray, but by Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 champion here, in the quarter-finals.

Although Federer would emphatically not agree, it was a pity in one way that Roddick could not claim the title, which would have then meant that the US had won both major singles prizes in the same year for the first time since 2000, when Sampras and Venus Williams were acclaimed as champions.

The hopes of Venus, chasing her sixth Wimbledon victory, were dashed in the women's final when she was beaten in straight sets by her younger sister, Serena. It was a merited win, Serena's third Wimbledon, and the 21st time these two had faced each other in top-level professional play. It proved, beyond doubt, that since the retirement of Justine Henin a year ago and the struggle that Maria Sharapova has experienced in coming back from a shoulder operation, the Williams sisters rule women's tennis.

The manner in which Venus crushed the current world number one, Dinara Safina, in the semi-finals for the loss of one game offered dramatic proof of this, and it is difficult to see a challenger emerging to them at present, though the return to the game of Belgium's Kim Clijsters in the autumn after having a baby may prove something of a challenge.

So dominant are the Williamses that, a couple of hours after their final match, they were back on court to win the women's doubles against the Australian pair, Rennae Stubbs and Samantha Stosur. The men's doubles was retained by Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, the second seeds, who defeated the American twins and top seeds, Bob and Mike Bryan, and the mixed doubles title went to Mark Knowles and Anna-Lena Groenefeld.

For Serbia, such a dominant nation a year ago, it was a bleak Wimbledon in a depressing 2009 season. Novak Djokovic, the 2008 Australian champion, fell to Tommy Haas at the quarter-final stage, while Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic were early casualties.

Ivanovic, who appeared a new, glamorous star in the making by winning Roland Garros last year, has done little since and retired injured in her fourth round encounter with Venus Williams, while Jankovic, who ended 2008 as world number one, once more experienced illness problems as she crashed to defeat against a 17-year-old American qualifier, Melanie Oudin.

For Russia's Elena Dementieva it proved another "nearly" occasion as the woman who has still to win a Grand Slam in her 11th year of trying, held a match point against Serena Williams in their semi-final, only to miss the chance of her first Wimbledon final.
Apart from Andy Murray's charge through the men's draw, the biggest talking point for British supporters was the expensive, gleaming new roof over Centre Court, which has been three years in the construction.

And, in a perverse sort of way the British climate showed that, this year at any rate, a roof was not needed. It was closed only once, on the evening of the second Monday, following a short spell of rain that halted the Amelia Mauresmo-Safina match and remained closed for the duration of |Murray's five-set marathon against Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.

There is no doubt that the roof will be needed at future Championships but, for this year, at least, the fact that it remained open was a blessing, an indication that fine weather ensured the punctual finish to an excellent tournament.

Matches of the tournament

Photo Titled Roddick overshadowed
Roddick overshadowed

They say lightning doesn't strike twice - but after a fortnight of perfect weather, the phenomenon of a Championships ending with a classic men's singles final was repeated, and this time the rain didn't intervene.

So there's no prizes for guessing which was the match of the tournament. But the Wimbledon website's team have collated what we think are the top 10 matches of the past fortnight and you can relive them by clicking on the links. If you've been watching, how do they compare with your own list?

1. Roger Federer v Andy Roddick

Roger Federer became tennis's greatest champion, watched by a legion of champions, as he beat Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14 in four hours and 16 minutes to claim his sixth Wimbledon crown. It was also a record 15th Grand Slam title for the Swiss master, overhauling the total of Pete Sampras who was in the Royal Box along with fellow legends Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver.

It was a truly momentous climax to the 2009 Championships as the 27-year-old Swiss became the most successful man in the sport. Sampras, previous holder of that title, had been an unannounced surprise visitor to Wimbledon – where he has not been seen since 2002.

2. Elena Dementieva v Serena Williams

Saving a match point along the way, Serena Williams battled through to the women's singles final by defeating Russia's Elena Dementieva 6-7, 7-5, 8-6. At two hours 49 minutes it was the longest women's semi-final at Wimbledon in the era of Open tennis. It was also, by some distance, the finest women's match at the 2009 Championships.

3. Andy Roddick v Lleyton Hewitt

The 6th seed American won the quarter-final battle of two men who really don't know the meaning of the word surrender. The fans on No.1 Court noisily enjoyed every minute of the five-set battle which lasted two hours and 55 minutes.

4. Andy Murray v Stanislas Wawrinka

The first match to be played in its entirety under a closed roof at Wimbledon turned out to be a classic as well as a marathon as Andy Murray staged a dramatic recovery to defeat Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets and gain a place in the quarter-finals for the second successive year. Once again on Wimbledon's second Monday, BBC One's schedules were ripped up for an evening as the Scot entertained a nation.

5. Melanie Oudin v Jelena Jankovic

A 17-year-old American qualifier ranked 124 played a blinder to dump former world number one Jelena Jankovic out of Wimbledon. Jankovic, who received prolonged treatment for heat exhaustion and problems with both feet, edged a close first set but then sensationally lost her third round match against the unheralded Melanie Oudin. Afterwards, Jankovic told a press conference that "sometimes it's hard to be a woman" but the young American who lost to Laura Robson during last year's junior tournament showed no such worries as she came of age.

6. Gisela Dulko v Maria Sharapova

Argentinian Gisela Dulko outlasted Maria Sharapova in a three-set thriller 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the second round. The Russian battled back from a set down and saved four match points in the final game with a stunning array of audacious shots, but Dulko remained calm to knock out the 2004 champion and set up a third-round clash with No.10 seed Nadia Petrova.

7. Sabine Lisicki v Svetlana Kuznetsova

Rising German star Sabine Lisicki caused a shock when she beat French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets on the latter's 24th birthday. Despite riding high on the back of her Grand Slam triumph this month, 5th seed Kuznetsova was slow out of the blocks and failed to recover in time to rescue the match, succumbing to her 19-year-old opponent 6-2, 7-5.

8. Dinara Safina v Amelie Mauresmo

Top seed Dinara Safina made Wimbledon history by winning the first match to be played under the new Centre Court roof, overcoming former champion Amelie Mauresmo in a three-set battle.

9. Lleyton Hewitt v Radek Stepanek

Lleyton Hewitt brought back memories of his 2002 Wimbledon triumph to turn around a two-set deficit and reach the quarter-finals. Having struggled through the first two sets against Radek Stepanek, he came back reinvigorated after a medical timeout. Stepanek had injury problems of his own, and Hewitt emerged victorious after two hours 54 minutes.

10. Andy Roddick v Andy Murray

Three years after his last appearance in a Grand Slam final, Andy Roddick broke the hearts of the Centre Court crowd by defeating the home favourite Andy Murray in a tremendous display of intelligent tennis. Murray, not at his best, could not find a way to break down Roddick’s serve, and the American won through to the third Wimbledon final of his career. British fans, meanwhile, hailed another brave but beaten semi-finalist, albeit one who vowed that he would come back even stronger from the experience.

Quotes of the tournament

Photo Titled Murray feeling the heat
Murray feeling the heat

"Everyone is from Russia. Sometimes I think I'm from Russia, too. I feel like, you know, okay, all these new ‑ovas. I think my name must be Williamsova."
— With the ladies' dominated by Eastern European stars, Compton-born Serena Williams suggests an appropriate pseudonym for this year's Championships.

"Nobody can tell me to stop grunting. If they have to fine me, go ahead, 'cause I'd rather get fined than lose a match because I had to stop grunting. That's all. If people don't like my grunting, they can always leave."
— Michelle Larcher De Brito was clearly saving her voice for the post match press conference after the Portuguese grunter was uncharacteristically quiet throughout her first-round straight sets victory against Klara Zakopalova.

"Oh, don't get there, because otherwise you're gonna see a lot of balls flying around and racquets, and a lot of swearing. I don't think you want that extreme."
Marat Safin explains how the world would work if the players were allowed to express their emotions without fear of censure.

"I don't know. Probably not a lot. I'll just keep it, rainy day. I might not be a tennis player soon, might be stacking shelves. I haven't had to think about it but Tesco's are offering, though."
Great Britain’s Daniel Evans proves that his head is definitely not stuck in the clouds with a good old dash of realism when asked what he would be doing with his prize money after losing to Nikolay Davydenko in the first round.

"We're just a talented nation. I don't know how to explain it."
Jelena Jankovic offers the frankest of explanations as to why both her and her Serbian compatriots are riding on the crest of a purple patch of late.

"I think maybe one winnable match. I think I played one year Kevin Kim. That was definitely a winnable match for me. The other matches were pretty tough."
Alex Bogdanovic responds to a question about whether his eight defeats were winnable.

“Yeah, it's always nice. I always said, I'm not only a tennis player, I'm a woman.”
Gisela Dulko proving that she is not afraid to state the obvious when responding to the suggestion that she could be the next cover girl of Ladies’ tennis.

“It's a mixture between some of my favourite shows, like Desperate Housewives, and Sex and the City, and actually Family Guy. It's kind of those put together in one, if you can imagine.”
Serena Williams reveals what we can expect from the TV script that she is in the process of writing. If the show turns out to be a reflection of her playing style then get set for some of the most powerful television the world has ever seen.

“Well, when I walk behind short people I feel like I'm going to fall over because I start taking these little steps, and I can't take little steps. I take big steps. I've always been large, always been tall. I don't know anything about small.”
Venus Williams on the perils of being tall.

“Darren (Cahill) is very experienced coach. In the past, he worked mostly with the guys. I think guys have different mentality to girls. Girls take everything so emotionally.”
Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic gets to the bottom of the age old mystery of just what it is that puts men on Mars and women on Venus.

“What do you want me to say? I said I wasn't proud, but I'm not going to lie to anybody. I busted my wife on some of her crappy music. She brought up Rick Astley. I can't deny it. It's in my iPod. I bet it's in your iPod, too."
Andy Roddick defends his choice of music.

“When we play for small forfeits I lose the games more, because they don't concentrate as much. It doesn't bother me like when we play for push‑ups and you have to kiss the other guy's toes. Like I'll lose them. But if it's stuff like a cricket bat or you have to get lunch for everyone and stuff, I concentrate a bit harder. “
Andy Murray on his unique and entertaining training regime that has seen the British No.1 forced to wear a cricket helmet this week. If we needed a second reason to hope that Murray hangs around in SW19 until the end of next week it is to find out what he and his coaches have up their sleeve next.

“It looks so easy when he steps on the court. It looks so easy, doesn't it? And I think he's such a great champion. I mean, I was so thrilled for him when he won French Open. I actually had little tears in my eyes when he was doing the speech.”
Ana Ivanovic, just another victim of the Roger Federer effect. Tissues at the ready if the Swiss man triumphs at Wimbledon again to break Pete Sampras’ Grand Slam record.

“If you're not hundred percent fit, then he's gonna make you run like a horse.”
In that case Radek Stepanek will surely be doing all he can and more to make a full recovery for his fourth round match against Lleyton ‘The jockey’ Hewitt after having to apply heavy strapping to his ankle during his victory over David Ferrer.

“Yeah, I'm a control freak. Yeah, I love controlling. You know, I'm used to that. You can't get this good without some kind of a little idiosyncrasy.”
Venus Williams successfully turns what could be deemed a negative personality trait into another weapon in her already lethal tennis armoury.

“I think I will beat him in a marathon ‑ easy. I'm pretty good at marathon. I'm a strong guy. I think I'm stronger than him.”
After suffering a straight sets defeat to Roger Federer, Robin Soderling decides it is time to take on the Swiss star at a different sport in the hope that the playing fields may be a little more even.

“It was my victory dance. It just came because I was happy. It was planned because all of my matches here after I was doing that.”
After overpowering Fernando Verdasco with his prolific service game, Ivo Karlovic then stunned the No.1 Court crowd with his "victory dance". Yes, Ivo the explanation was needed.

“The life here is strange, often rain. This week there was a good sun, so was a good present.
Francesca Schiavone, just one of many thousands grateful for the Mediterranean conditions that have descended over SW19 in the last week and a half.

“I mean, I use some of my trophies for make-up brushes, so, you know, maybe I'll just take a step back and be like, Hmm. Take all the make-up brushes out and really appreciate every title and every trophy.”
Until that moment of reflection arrives, at least the contents of Serena Williams’ vast trophy cabinet are not going to waste.

"I think the crowd's gonna be electric. I think it's gonna be a great atmosphere, and one that I can certainly appreciate, even if it's not for me. I'm just gonna pretend when they say, C'mon, Andy, that they mean me (smiling). "
Andy Roddick looking forward to his semi-final match with Andy Murray on Friday.

“I hope I can come on the Champions Dinner, because I have a plane at 10:30. I hope I can change the tickets.”
Boys’ champion Andrey Kuznetsov’s victory and the accompanying All England Club celebrations must have come as a bit of a surprise.

"Liberate this man. Well done, Andy."
A sympathetic journalist fights for freedom in the press conference.

Knowles and Groenefeld win mixed

Photo Titled Knowles and Groenefeld
Knowles and Groenefeld

Mark Knowles and Anne-Lena Groenefeld sprang a surprise in the mixed doubles final, beating top seeds Leander Paes and Cara Black to bring the curtain down on Wimbledon 2009.

Knowles from the Bahamas and Germany’s Groenefeld produced some fine tennis to come back from two breaks down in the first set to take it 7-5, before running away with the second 6-3.

Groenefeld was in particularly inspired form, delivering some fine returns throughout the match. This and her obvious will to win delighted Knowles, who has waited 18 years to win a Wimbledon doubles title. “It's the one title that I haven't won in men's doubles,” said Knowles. “I've always wanted to win Wimbledon. Like everybody, it's the tournament we all look up to.

“It's extremely special. Anna played fantastic for the entire fortnight. She pretty much carried me to my first title. No one else has been able to do it. But Anna did it. So it feels great.”

Knowles revealed that this can be counted as a rare British success, at least in part. “My mother's British,” he explained. “I have a British passport. I came here when I was nine years old to watch the Borg/McEnroe final.”

He and Groenefeld had been up against two very experienced opponents, with plenty of previous Wimbledon silverware. Paes, the 1999 mixed doubles champion with Lisa Raymond and the 2003 champion with Martina Navratilova, was dreaming of a third SW19 crown after he and Black raced into a 5-2 lead – both the Knowles and Groenefeld serves buckling under early pressure.

But Knowles and Groenefeld, the ninth seeds, are made of sterner stuff, emphasised by their wins over fifth seeds Daniel Nestor and Elena Vesnina and second seeds Bob Bryan and Sam Stosur on their way to the final.

They proceeded to win the next eight games of the match, breaking four times in a row. Groenefeld’s fine lob from the baseline at set point on the Black serve sailed over the head of Paes and landed inside the opposite baseline to win the set 7-5.

Knowles held in the first game of the second set before Paes’ serve was broken thanks largely to some fierce returns from Groenefeld.

Knowles and Groenefeld’s purple patch continued as the German held serve under pressure from Paes and Black at 2-0, 0-30.

The remaining games all went with serve with Knowles closing out the match and the Championships with a serve that Black could not return.

“We played very well together at the French Open so we knew we were capable of doing pretty well,” said Groenefeld after winning her first Grand Slam title. “Here we were almost out in the quarters when we lost the first set 6 0, but we kept fighting. After that we believed in ourselves and we always said ‘OK, we have the chance to win’ and we went for it.”

Centre Court - Mixed Doubles - Finals
Leander Paes IND (1)/
Cara Black ZIM (1)
Mark Knowles BAH (9)/
Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER (9)

French pair are men's wheelchair winners

Photo Titled Houdet and Jeremiasz
Houdet and Jeremiasz
In a demandingly long final, top seeds Stephane Houdet and Michael Jeremiasz of France were up against number three seeds Robin Ammerlaan of the Netherlands and Shingo Kunieda of Japan in the final of the wheelchair doubles. It was the Frenchmen who held aloft the silver salvers, winning 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

Robin Ammerlaan is the defending champion here, and this year he has linked up with two-time wheelchair world champion 25-year-old Shingo Kunieda from Japan. The match began at a fearsome pace, with some exciting all-court rallies as the players sped around the court and wove around each other in an almost balletic performance.

But the top seeds failed to make the key points and the third seeds took a 5-0 lead in just 15 minutes, wrapping up the first set in 28 minutes.

The match continued apace, with both pairs moving around the court at such a rate as to rarely need the two-bounce option of the wheelchair competition. The French duo were clearly determined not to be beaten so easily, and pounced on the Ammerlaan serve at 5-2 up to work two set points. Attacking net play by 38-year-old Houdet, who’s only been playing wheelchair tennis for four years, with a couple of smashes won the set for the pair, and forced the decider.

The third set was all square after six games. The third seeds created two break points which Kunieda cashed in with a glorious driving forehand. But it was not so easy as the top seeds immediately broke back to level the match.

In this most tightly-fought of finals, it was inevitable the match would go all the way to the third set tiebreak. In the end, it was the number one seeds who built three championship points with some great, angled shots. They needed just one opportunity to clinch the win in a gripping match that lasted two hours and 11 minutes.

Court 4 - Gentlemen's Wheelchair Doubles - Finals
Stephane Houdet FRA /
Michael Jeremiasz FRA
Robin Ammerlaan NED /
Shingo Kunieda JPN