Game No. 6—Andy Roddick vs. Roger Federer—2009 Wimbledon Finals
With the end of the decade nearing, Sportmeisters Derek and Ryan have decided to present their top 10 games of the past decade. Today’s discussion is on the sixth best game from 2000-2009. What follows is a transcript of their discussion.
Sportmeister Derek: Ryan, today we are here to discuss something that will be debated for the next few weeks. With 2010 on the horizon, we are naming our top 10 games of the decade.
Sportmeister Ryan: Absolutely Derek, these games will bring an enormous amount of discussion, as it did in just us figuring out our list. Our countdown moves into tennis, where we look at the 2009 Wimbledon Tournament Final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.
SD: Let’s go to the 2009 Wimbledon Tournament. Roger Federer was attempting to reclaim the title that he had won five straight times before losing it in 2008 to Rafael Nadal.
SR: That match sounds familiar in itself, but let’s focus on the present. Federer was also looking for his 15th Grand Slam title, which would put him in uncharted territory. He had recently won his 14th, and first ever title, at the French Open.
SD: Andy Roddick, however, seemed to be one of those players who peaked early, and then was more of a public celebrity than a tennis player, thanks to some high-profile romances.
SR: A male Anna Kournikova, Derek?
SD: No, because Roddick could still play, he just wasn’t performing to a level we knew. Roddick hadn’t won a Grand Slam title since the 2003 US Open and hadn’t been to a major final since the 2006 US Open.
SR: Wimbledon was not a strong venue for him as of late. He made the finals in 2004 and 2005, but couldn’t make it further than the Quarterfinals since then.
SD: With Rafael Nadal No. 1, and Federer No. 2, many expected another showdown. However, in a turn of events, Nadal withdrew three days prior with a knee injury.
SR: With most fans and critics all but placing Federer in the finals, the question was, who would face him?
SD: Federer did not disappoint, losing only one set throughout making it to the finals. His victory over Ivo Karlovic in the quarterfinals gave Federer a few more records.
SR: By defeating Karlovic, Federer moved to his 21st consecutive Grand Slam semifinals. His win over Tommy Haas in the semi’s brought him to his seventh straight Wimbledon finals, and his 20th Grand Slam finals. All of those are records that he holds alone.
SD: Roddick faced a few more roadblocks on his path. He struggled in the third round, looking like he would go out to Jurgen Melzer, who twice took Roddick to a tiebreaker in the first two sets.
SR: Roddick got past Melzer, winning both tiebreaker sets, and won in four games, but he wasn’t out of the woods just yet. Lleyton Hewitt was waiting in the quarterfinals.
SD: Roddick went the five-set distance against Hewitt, and had a tough four set battle in the semifinals Andy Murray, but he beat both, earning the right to face Federer in his first Grand Slam final since 2006.
SR: This would be the 21st time the two faced off, and it wasn’t exactly a close rivalry. Federer owned an 18-2 advantage, including a 7-0 record in Grand Slam matches. In three Wimbledon matchups, Roddick had won one set. Clearly, Federer was the favorite, by a wide margin.
SD: Someone should have told that to Andy Roddick. He came out with intensity rarely seen previously, winning 5-7 in the first set.
SR: Federer bounced back, winning 7-6 (8-6) and 7-6 (7-5) to go up two sets to one, and it looked like Federer had the upper hand to another Grand Slam victory.
SD: Ryan, a quick sidenote, Roddick had the chance to go up two games to zero. In that second set tiebreaker, Roddick had a 6-2 advantage, needing one more point to have a good shot at putting this game out of reach.
SR: As we say, the good ones find a way to win, and that was Federer, who took six straight tiebreaker points to take the game. A definite turning point right there.
SD: Roddick still had some left in him, winning the fourth set 3-6, easily the quickest set of the match. That set up the winner take all fifth set.
SR: The fifth set was one that will be remembered for quite a long time. There was 30 points between the two (Wimbledon Record) lasting 95 minutes (another record). When it was all said and done, only one could claim himself champion.
SD: Roger Federer came out on top in that fifth set, 16-14, claiming his 15th Grand Slam title, a new record. The fact that Roddick put up such a great fight and that the last Set came so close down to the wire is what makes this match absolutely spectacular.
SR: Some quick notes, Federer hit 50 aces, and topped 135 MPH on his serve. Roddick his 27 aces, getting up to 143 MPH on his serve. Just amazing. Roddick had a great chance at pulling off the upset, but Federer found the way to win.
SD: This match had it all and that is why we have named it our No. 6 game of the decade.
Stay tuned for the rest of our Top 10 coming up in the next few weeks.