Federer wins 4th Wimbledon title
The Swiss beat Spain's Nadal 6-0, 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (2/7), 6-3 in a pulsating final.india Updated: Jul 10, 2006 03:23 IST
Magical Roger Federer won his fourth successive Wimbledon title on Sunday as he finally broke free of Rafael Nadal's iron stranglehold.
The top seed wrapped up his eighth career Grand Slam crown with a 6-0, 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (2/7), 6-3 triumph in a pulsating Wimbledon final to register only his second win in eight meetings with the Spanish world number two.
His four defeats in 2006 had all come at the hands of the double French Open champion, but he was always the favourite to win on Sunday having not lost here since 2002. The victory was his 48th in a row on grass.
Nadal went into the final not having dropped his serve since the second round, a run of 80 service games, but he cracked straightaway on Sunday when Federer fired off a running forehand which landed deep in the corner.
That gave the Swiss star a 2-0 lead which he backed up on his own serve to go 3-0.
The Swiss becomes only the seventh man to win Wimbledon four times in a row, and the third man in the open era after Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras. He has now won eight Grand Slam titles.
A nerve-wracked Nadal was then broken again to hand Federer a 4-0 lead which quickly became 5-0 with his fourth ace in a love service game.
The gutsy Spaniard saved two set points in the sixth game, but Federer wrapped up the opener after 25 minutes with a sweet backhand pass.
Nadal then called on the tenacity which has brought him two successive French Open titles to clinch his first break of the final at the start of the second set.
His confidence was further boosted by holding his own for the first time with a love game to lead 2-0.
But he squandered his opportunity to serve for the set in the 10th game as Federer broke back to go 5-5 and send the set into a tiebreak.
Despite saving two set points in the breaker, Nadal netted a forehand on the third as Federer opened up a two-set lead after 82 minutes on court.
A gripping third set, punctuated by lengthy rallies and vicious passing shots, also went to a tiebreak which Nadal dominated and won when Federer dumped a return into the net.
It was the first set Federer had dropped here since the third round in 2005.
But with a difficult wind swirling around Centre Court, Nadal undid all the good work when a wild, flying volley handed Federer a break for a 3-1 fourth set lead.
Federer's 13th ace gave helped him to 4-1 and he broke a dispirited Nadal again to lead 5-1.
However, Nadal pulled one break back straightaway to go 2-5, held for 3-5 but Federer took the title when Nadal hit long after 2hr and 50min.