Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Roger Federer captured his sixth Wimbledon title Sunday with a thrilling five-set victory over Andy Roddick and established a record with his 15th career Grand Slam title.
Federer earned a 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 16-14 triumph to capture the championship at the storied All England Club for the sixth time in the last seven years. His only blemish in that span came in last year's brilliant five- set final against Rafael Nadal, who was unable to defend this year because of tendinitis in both knees.
The Swiss superstar won his 14th major title last month with a victory at the French Open, finally completing a career Grand Slam with a long-awaited triumph at Roland Garros. That win also tied him with Pete Sampras for the most Grand Slam titles all-time. Sampras, himself a seven-time winner at Wimbledon, was in attendance Sunday to watch his record fall.
"It's not really one of those goals you set," Federer said on court after the match about owning the all-time record for Grand Slam titles. "It's been quite a career and quite a month. It's definitely one of the greatest [records] to have."
Roddick, who was unable to convert four set points in the second set for a 2-0 lead, lost in the Wimbledon final for the third time. All three defeats have come at the hands of the great Federer, who also beat Roddick for the title in 2004 and 2005.
"Sorry Pete, I tried to hold him off," Roddick stated on court with a nod toward Sampras. "It was a pleasure playing here today. I still hope one day to hold the trophy as the winner of this tournament."
Federer has dominated Roddick with a lifetime record of 19-2, including 4-0 in major title matches. In addition to the two previous Wimbledon finals, Federer also beat Roddick for the 2006 U.S. Open title.
Sunday's win also moved Federer back into the world's top ranking, supplanting Nadal.
Last year's rain-interrupted final, a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (8-10), 9-7 Nadal win, went four hours and 48 minutes. This year's was completed in four hours and 16 minutes, but the 77 games played set a record for a men's final at Wimbledon.
Sunday's 95-minute final set -- there are no tiebreakers in the deciding set at Wimbledon -- remained on serve until the last game. Roddick raced in for a shot and returned it long, setting up a championship point for Federer, who then hit a deep backhand that the American mishit high and long to end the marathon match.
It was the first time Federer broke Roddick's serve during the entire match.
"It was a crazy match and an unbelievable end," Federer noted. "This could have gone on for a few more hours, I think."
Federer was broken just twice and ripped off a whopping 50 aces among his 107 winners. Roddick had a dominant serving day as well, firing up 27 aces and converting his first serve at an amazing 70 percent clip. The players combined for just 71 unforced errors.
The first challenge to either player's serve came in the 11th game of the match when Roddick fought off four break-point chances to hold. Federer returned a pair of serves long on his first two opportunities, then missed a forehand down the line just long -- a ball that was originally called in and reversed upon review. After a blistering forehand winner set up another break point, Federer blocked another booming Roddick first serve just long.
Roddick won the next two points to hold for 6-5, then gained his first break point in the next game when Federer sent a backhand wide. Roddick was able to convert with a deep backhand down the line that Federer returned wide to give the American the opening set.
Federer had dropped only three points during his first five service games on Sunday before losing four in the first set's decisive game. It marked just the fourth time since 2003 that Federer lost a first set at Wimbledon. Roddick did it twice and Nadal accomplished it in last year's finale.
The second set remained on serve and went to a tiebreak, which Roddick dominated early. He won five of the first six points and a perfect volley gave him four set points at 6-2. Federer, though, won the next six points for a stunning turn of events.
A perfectly placed backhand started the run before a service winner and an ace made it 6-5. Roddick raced to the net on the next point, but badly mishit a backhand volley wide and Federer culminated the comeback by winning the next two points. Roddick failed to come up with a half-volley at the net, then sent a backhand long to give Federer the set.
The third set stayed on serve and went to another tiebreak that Federer dominated early. He opened a 5-1 lead when Roddick netted a forehand, then took a 6-3 edge with his own forehand winner. Roddick won the next two points, but Federer's big serve set up a forehand volley to capture the set.
Roddick picked up the first break point chance of the fourth set in the fourth game. Federer saved one at 15-40 with an ace, but Roddick took advantage of a second serve on the next and ripped a backhand passing shot that Federer was unable to handle, giving the American a 3-1 edge.
Serving for the set in the ninth game, Roddick dropped the first two points. He rebounded to win the next four, capturing the set with a big service winner.
Federer had the first chance to break in the fifth on Roddick's first service game of the set. Roddick, trailing 30-40, saved it when Federer's backhand return of a first serve sailed long.
Roddick then had two chances to break at 8-8 after a scintillating backhand winner. But trailing 15-40, Federer unleashed a bevy of booming serves to finally hold. Roddick returned the first long, then blocked the next first serve that led to an easy volley to force deuce.
Neither player mounted much of a challenge from there until the decisive 30th game.
Federer, who also set a record by playing in his 20th career major final to eclipse the mark he shared with Ivan Lendl, became the second straight man to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back. Last year, Nadal accomplished the feat that hadn't been done since Bjorn Borg in 1980.