Eager to defend the crown 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 in the semis, saving a set point in the opener and dominating in sets two and three. This time, he had to work much harder to earn the 14th consecutive triumph in the cathedral of tennis and lift the second trophy.
Roddick had his chances, creating 14 break opportunities but converting only four while giving serve away five times and finishing 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 6-4.
Roger Federer toppled Andy Roddick for the second Wimbledon crown in 2004.
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 again and opened a 4-2 advantage in set number three before wasting a game point at 4-3 to bring Roger back into contention. The set went into a tie break, and Federer won it 7-3 to move in front. The Swiss battled hard in back-to-back service games in the fourth set to fend off six break chances and remain on the positive side of the scoreboard. After wasting his opportunities, Andy got broken at love at 3-3, and Federer needed no second invitation, delivering two comfortable holds to seal the deal and celebrate the second Wimbledon title.
“I raised my level after that rain delay, overcoming a 4-2 deficit and start playing better. Andy competed well and put 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,” Roger Federer said.