Roger Federer is one step closer of overtaking Pete Sampras' record 14 Grand Slam titles. The Swiss beat American Andy Roddick at the US Open in New York 6-2 4-6 7-5 6-1 in less than two and a half hours. Sunday's win at Arthur Ashe Stadium gave Federer his ninth Grand Slam title and 41st overall win. He has already won the US Open in the last two years, making the 25-year-old the first player ever to win US Open and Wimbledon titles in three consecutive years.
Federer had an amazing start into the first set when he jumped away with a promising 5-0 lead whereas Andy Roddick seemed totally lost in the first 20 minutes. The 2003 winner however managed to finally get his service game through and then even broke the world's No. 1 in the seventh game. Federer knew how to stop the American's enthusiasm by rebreaking his opponent after half an hour when Roddick set an easy forehand into the net, one of the many unforced errors the American produced in the first set.
With a 6-2 lead backing Federer up, it seemed like Roddick would have been crushed and prepared for defeat but the American picked up his game and his newly found confidence led to an early break in the second game. Roddick performed much better from that point on and the energetic crowd was finally witnessing the event everyone had expected from two of the world's best hardcourt players. Roddick managed to hold on to that one single service break and successfully served for the set to take it 6-4.
The third set was probably the best Federer and Roddick have ever played against each other. Both players hit unbelievable shots from the baseline as well as in front of the net. Whereas Federer was celebrating his artful game again, Roddick showed a fighting spirit which resembled the one he had during his amazing 2003 run at the US Open. At 2-2 Roddick had four breakpoints but failed to convert, the same however happened to Federer in the following game, even missing out on five breakpoints. Federer — who many believe could become the best tennis player of all time — did not let another chance slip by at the very end of set three. The Swiss took advantage of a sloppy service game of the American at 5-6 and out of a sudden had three breakchances. Federer needed only one this time when he troubled Roddick yet another time with a perfectly hit short cross backhand which Roddick could not return properly.
"I thought it was a pretty high level of tennis, especially those two middle sets. There wasn't much between us. I feel like I gave myself a chance. I had some breakpoint opportunities there in the third and played some decent points on them," Roddick said afterwards, "I competed hard, you know. Disappointed, but I'm also proud of the two weeks that I had here."
There was not much left of the American in the fourth set. Federer dominated the set as if he was playing against a junior player ranked outside the top 200. Roddick tried to come up with a powerful game but the energy obviously left him. Federer pretty much sailed through the last set and had a first matchpoint at 5-0 with Roddick serving for at least "a damn game" — something he let everyone known as he screamed out in anger. Roddick did win that game, but there was nothing he could have done against the Swiss taking the US Open crown in the following game.
"After winning Wimbledon, I sort of said, Okay, whoever wins the US Open I guess is really better. So came here and won, so it's fantastic. Now I totally deserve to be No. 1 for the rest of the season, and hopefully I can back it up again next season, " Federer told the press — seemingly still not as sure about the success as everyone else.
As for Roddick, he played a great US Open and is certainly looking for a spot at the top again after failing to win most of the year: "I leave here excited about where I'm heading right now. You know, the last month, with the exception of the last set there, I was in there with (Roger), you know."
"Obviously, Roger is at the top and he's the only person at the top regardless of how much people want to make rivalry comparisons and this, that and the other. He's the best player in the game. There's no question in my mind or if you ask any player's mind about that."
As if one top sports pro had been not enough that evening, Federer was eyed by none other than Tiger Woods in his player's box. Federer might not be as popular as Woods but he is definitely as brilliant and unique as the golf star.