Top-ranked Roger Federer wins fifth straight Wimbledon title

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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LONDON (AP) - Roger Federer won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title Sunday, beating nemesis Rafael Nadal in a five-set epic and taking his place in tennis history beside Bjorn Borg.

LONDON (AP) - Roger Federer won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title Sunday, beating nemesis Rafael Nadal in a five-set epic and taking his place in tennis history beside Bjorn Borg.

The top-ranked Swiss player was pushed to the limit in a Grand Slam final for the first time, but he held on to win 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2 for his 11th major title.

Federer is the first man to win five straight titles at the All England Club since Borg did it from 1976-80. The Swede watched the match from the Royal Box with other past champions, and applauded as Federer fell to the ground after an overhead smash on match point.

It was such a close match, Federer said. I told Rafa at the net he deserved it as well. Im the lucky one today.

Federer stretched his record grass-court winning streak to 53 and his Wimbledon winning streak to 34. He is tied for third on the career list with Borg and Rod Laver at 11 major titles, trailing Pete Sampras 14 and Roy Emersons 12.

Each one is special, no doubt, Federer said. To hold the trophy is always the best thing.

After leaving the court wearing his white sport coat with the gold RF badge on the breast pocket, Federer and Borg hugged and visited inside the stadium.

Federer beat Nadal for only the fifth time in 13 meetings. The Spaniard has defeated Federer in the past two French Open finals to spoil his bid to complete a career Grand Slam.

Five titles in a row, so, fantastic, said Nadal, who also lost to Federer in last years final. Well, anyway, I lose today, but I play great two weeks.

Federer saved four break points early in the fifth set, two at 1-1 and two at 2-2. Then, with Nadal serving at 3-2, Federer converted his second break point with a forehand winner after a 14-stroke rally that produced some of the best shots of the match.

It was Federers first break since the second game of the match.

If Rafael had won one of these, I think maybe now Rafael would be the champion, said Nadals coach, Toni Nadal.

Nadal, who also lost to Federer in last years final, had been trying to emulate another of Borgs records by winning consecutive titles at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Nadal, who played two other five-set matches in a tournament plagued by rain, was on the court for the seventh straight day.

Organizations: All England Club, Royal Box, French Open

Geographic location: Wimbledon, LONDON

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