Nick Bollettieri: Holy Goat! He is the greatest of all time

Wimbledon Dossier: Exclusive briefing from the man who has coached champions from Agassi to Sharapova and the Williams sisters

Men's Final

Holy cow! Another five-set final on the glorious lawns of Wimbledon and another stunning match. I find it almost unbelievable that Andy Roddick, who put up a Titanic fight, lost the title because he dropped his serve once. Once! Think about that. The kid played fantastically for the whole fortnight, goes into the final as the underdog but takes the Greatest Of All Time to five, holds his serve for 37 consecutive games in that final, but drops one, and it's over. Ouch.

At the same time, massive respect must go to Andy for his role in the final, to the crowd who were respectful beyond words, and to the sportsmanship of the whole occasion. It was a day with multiple winners: Roddick, the Championships, even Andy Murray, whose performance in the semi-final can be viewed in even more of a flattering light now. Andy M, you have nothing too much to worry about in losing to Andy R in the form of his life.

And then there's Roger, the GOAT in my view, as regular readers will know.

What a champion. And what a way to take the outright record for winning the most Grand Slam singles titles. He endured. He didn't have his very best day yesterday. But it was still way, way better than most mortals can aspire to.

And he held his nerve, and he stayed the course, and his serve was as terrific as the near faultless Roddick. Yes, there were some errors in there too, but the shot selection was brilliant at times.

This was an appropriate way for Roger to win his sixth Wimbledon and his 15th Slam; with a real test against a guy playing out of his skin, with all the pressure of expectation that even a steely competitor like Roger cannot be immune to.

I mean, hell! You already had Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver and Manuel Santana, three greats, sitting in the front row of the Royal Box when the match started. So no pressure there! And then at 2-1 in the first set, in comes "Pistol" Pete Sampras!

And the crowd acknowledge him there and then. That's pressure, and yet when the heat was on, Roger came through.

Not easily, though. He was broken mainly through his own errors in the 12th game of the first set. Andy's awesome consistency with serve hurt Roger. Roger might also have got a bit confused out there and thought he was playing on clay – by the end it was real dirt ball.

But then in the breaker in the second set, as Andy felt the weight of the world on his shoulders to let slip a 6-2 lead, we must credit Roger's Zen- like calm in taking advantage. Same thing in the third set, when Andy came back at him but Roger swatted the set home with crashing forehand volley.

Back came A-Rod, in the fourth, to set up the epic fifth. Something had to give and it wasn't Roger, saving two break points in the 17th game. If Andy was serving superbly (27 aces), then Roger was beating him in numbers (50 aces! His most ever. Holy Mackerel!) if not in power. And when it mattered, in that last set, he just got cooler and cooler. I thought we might even see that roof after all, and still be playing today.

I always thought Roger would win, throughout the fortnight, as I kept writing, and through the match. But I didn't envisage it would be so easy to get to the final and then so hard when he got there. What a spectacle. What a show. Roll on 2010.

Serena and Venus Williams were the other big weekend winners, Serena in the singles and both sisters in the doubles. Well done, girls, I'm proud to know you and you're a credit to your family, to America and to your sport. Another of the fortnight's winners was my boy Tommy Haas, who reached the semi-final against the odds with a spring in his step. Sabine Lisicki also did well at 19 to reach her first Slam quarter-final. The future's so bright I gotta keep on my shades.

Congratulations to Colin Allen

*I'd like to thank all of you for reading, and for your emails and kind words. You'll know I ran a tipping competition during the tournament to win a week at my academy in Florida. Well done to all the daily winners who went into the hat last night. They were Kris Adewoye, Sebastian Foss (twice), Chris Blake, Gary Goodger (twice), Ido (no surname), Peter Robertson, Joseph Evea, and Colin Allen, who went in three times. His winning picks included Friday and yesterday.

There was a random draw. The winner, I feel appropriately, was Colin. Again, it's been an honour to write for you. I've had a blast.

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own