Federer wins third straight US Open title

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/A/Aprogerfederer.jpg' class='caption'> Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the finals of the US Open on Sunday for his ninth Grand Slam title.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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This year's US Open was all about the greats of the game. From Andre Agassi's tearful farewell, to the renaming of the site to honor Billie Jean King, to Martina Navratilova's this-time-she-means-it retirement. It was only fitting, then, that the tournament's final point was won by Roger Federer. After all, by beating Andy Roddick 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 Sunday for a third consecutive championship at Flushing Meadows, Federer took another step toward being regarded as the best tennis player in history. With his new pal Tiger Woods sitting in the front row; Federer won his third Grand Slam title of the year and the ninth of his career, moving closer to Pete Sampras' record of 14. After the match, Federer and Woods cracked open two bottles of Dom Perignon in the locker room. "I am shocked myself how well it's been going the last three, four years," Federer said, "being not only compared to former great tennis players, but now especially also other great athletes all over sports. It's just really nice." Back-to-back wins Federer out-aced the big-serving Roddick 17-7, compiled a 69-33 edge in winners, and made only 19 unforced errors. He finished strong, too, winning eight of the last nine games against Roddick, who won the 2003 US Open but now is 1-11 against the man he once was supposed to rival for supremacy in this sport. "Roger is at the top, and he is the only person at the top, regardless of how much people want to make rivalry comparisons and this, that and the other," Roddick said. "He is the best player in the game. There's no question in my mind," he added. The No. one ranked Federer went 27-1 at this year's Grand Slam tournaments, the only setback coming against Rafael Nadal in the French Open final. Federer became the first man since Ivan Lendl in 1985-87 to win three consecutive US Open titles and the only man in tennis history to win Wimbledon and the US Open back-to-back three years in a row. Federer on a roll He has won nine of the last 14 Grand Slam tournaments, dating to Wimbledon in 2004. "I have been on a roll since 2004, and of course I am surprised how well it went, but at the same time I know I have given myself the best possible chance," Federer said. Critical tests of will and nerve of both the players came early in the third set: Federer faced four break points but saved them all to hold for a 3-2 lead, and Roddick then successfully dealt with five break points in the very next game to make it 3-all. "We were pretty much fighting tooth and nail," Roddick said. But then, serving to take that set to a tiebreaker, Roddick faltered. Or better, Federer flourished, using two backhand return winners to break serve. Overall, Federer broke six times; Roddick lost his serve a total of five times in the tournament's first six rounds combined. (AP)

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  • Roger Federer
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