ThrowbackTimes Wimbledon: Roger Federer defends title over Andy Roddick

Eager to defend the crown he won a year ago, Roger Federer was the player to beat at Wimbledon 2004, dropping two sets en route to the second trophy at the All England Club and the third Major overall. In the final, Roger overpowered Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 in two and a half hours, scoring one break more than Andy and sealing the deal to keep the trophy in his cabinet. In the previous year, Roger was too strong for the American in the semis, saving a set point in the opener and dominating in sets two and three. Twelve months later, world no. 1 had to work much harder in the title clash for the 14th consecutive triumph in the cathedral of tennis. Roddick had his chances, creating 14 break opportunities and converting only four, suffering five breaks to finish runner-up despite giving his best. Almost nothing could separate them in the more extended rallies, and Federer forged the win in the quickest exchanges up to four strokes, hitting more winners and fewer unforced errors.

Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick to secure the second Wimbledon crown in 2004.

It was the first Wimbledon final with the top seeds since John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors in 1982, and the 24th straight win on grass for Federer, who conquered both Halle and Wimbledon in 2003 and 2004. They had a similar number of winners and forced errors, with Roddick ruining his chances after spraying almost 40 unforced errors, some of those in the crucial moments. Andy played on a high level in the opener, earning a break in game three and fending off four break chances in the next one to build the advantage and keep it until the end for 6-4.

From 4-0 down in set number two, the American produced a comeback to level the score before Roger broke him for the third time at 6-5 and clinched the set to gain a massive boost. Roddick bounced back to open a 4-2 advantage in set number three and wasted a game point at 4-3 to bring Federer back into contention in what had been one of the encounter’s pivotal moments. The set went into a tie break, and Federer won it 7-3 following a backhand winner to move in front ahead of set number four. The Swiss had to battle hard in games four and six to fend off six break chances and remain on the positive side of the scoreboard. After wasting his opportunities, Andy got broken at love at 3-3, and Federer needed no second invitation, delivering two comfortable holds to seal the deal and celebrate the second Wimbledon title.