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Federer breaks Sampras record



Roger Federer became the greatest player in Grand Slam history as he beat Andy Roddick in five dramatic sets for a sixth Wimbledon and 15th major title.

Federer, who claimed a first French Open title last month, has now won Wimbledon six times, the US Open five times, the Australian Open three times and Roland Garros once.

The Swiss won 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 16-14 to surpass Pete Sampras’s 14 Grand Slam wins and regain the title he lost to Rafael Nadal last year.

And Sampras was back at Wimbledon for the first time since 2002 to watch from the Royal Box as Federer made history. Sampras was the last man to set a new mark in Grand Slams when he beat Pat Rafter in an emotional final at Wimbledon in 2000, and the American chose to return to the All England Club to witness Federer’s achievement.

Federer, 27, will now return to the top of the world rankings ahead of Nadal.

But he had to dig deep against an in-form Roddick, who had four points for a two-set lead and then battled back to force an epic fifth set as the match became the longest men’s singles final ever in terms of games played.

Federer lost 9-7 in the fifth to Nadal 12 months ago, but this year’s final set alone lasted 95 minutes and with 30 games was considerably longer than the previous Grand Slam record of 11-9 in the fifth set at the 1927 French Open.

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

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