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. 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 hands.
In the previous year, Roger was too strong for Andy, saving a set point in the opener and dominating in sets two and three in the semis, having to work much harder in this encounter 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 to emerge at the top.
Roddick 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 a 6-4.
From 4-0 down in set number two, the American came back to level the score before Roger broke him for the third time at 6-5 to clinch the set and gain a massive boost. Roddick bounced back, opening a 4-2 advantage in set number three and wasting a game point in the eighth game to bring Roger back into contention.
The set went into a tie break and Federer won it 7-3, moving in front and battling hard in back-to-back service games in the fourth to fend off six break chances and remain on the positive side of the scoreboard. “I raised my level after that rain delay, overcoming a 4-2 deficit and start playing better.
Andy played well, putting me under a lot of pressure. I had to change a couple of things as I couldn’t play the way I wanted. I was ready to face serve&volley from Andy; his serve was too strong in the opener and I couldn’t do much.
Also, his groundstrokes were hard and deep; all I could do was to block them. My backhand got better as the match progressed, that helped as well. After the rain break, I decided to serve&volley more, avoid rallies and take the ball off his racquet.
It was a dangerous but right call. Both the last year’s final and this one went down to the wire; they were tight until the last point. It wasn’t easy to bring the final game home at 30-30 but I did, falling to the ground and crying, just like a year ago.
Andy had two massive chances in the fourth set, missing two forehands he wouldn’t miss in other situations. I was lucky to grab the crucial points. I felt right away it would be a difficult match. His backhand worked like a charm early on and I couldn’t do much from the baseline.”
After wasting his opportunities, Andy got broken at love at 3-3 and Roger Federer needed no second invitation, delivering two comfortable holds to seal the deal and celebrate the second Wimbledon title.