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Federer Captures Fifth Straight US Open Title

Flushing Meadows, NY, U.S.A.

Roger Federer became the first player since 1924 to win five straight US Open titles.© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer became the first player since 1924 to win five straight US Open titles.

It was a familiar sight at Flushing Meadows on Monday as Roger Federer lifted the US Open champion's trophy for the fifth consecutive year.

The World No. 2 became the first player since 1924 to win five straight US Open titles as he defeated No. 6 Andy Murray 6-2, 7-5, 6-2. It was the first US Open Monday final since 1987.

The 27-year-old Swiss superstar improved to 13-4 lifetime in Grand Slam finals and moved to within one of all-time leader Pete Sampras (14-4). He also became the first player in history to win two Grand Slam tournaments (Wimbledon, 2003-07) five consecutive years.

"I mean, it's nice to compare five Wimbledons to five US Opens, no doubt," said Federer. "Not many guys, nobody can do that, you know. So it's quite nice and I'm quite proud obviously of my achievement. It takes a lot out of a player, always trying to go from one tournament to the next and trying to do your best, but I mean, it's been a tough summer."

Federer finished his Grand Slam season with a semifinal at the Australian Open, runner-up at Roland Garros and Wimbledon and title at the US Open. He's reached the final in 13 of the last 14 Grand Slam tournaments.

"I think the French Open loss was brutal, but I got over that one pretty easily, played great on the grass, and had a really tough loss at Wimbledon which, I was proud to be part of such a great match, but at the same time, it just sort of made me sad, not having won that great epic match," he said. "Maybe I was always dreaming about it and not winning it."

Federer joined American Bill Tilden as the only players in over 80 years to capture five straight U.S. titles. Tilden won six in a row from 1920-25. Federer, Sampras and Jimmy Connors are the only men to win five US Open titles in the Open Era (since 1968).

Federer extended his streak of winning at least one Grand Slam title for six consecutive years. Sampras (1993-2000) and Bjorn Borg (1974-81) are the co-leaders with eight straight years of winning at least one Grand Slam crown.

It was Federer's third title of the season (Estoril, Halle), the first on hard courts. The last player to win the US Open without winning a hard court title during the year was Pete Sampras in 2002.

"I was always positive and I knew that if things go my way, and this year hasn't always been the case," added Federer. "I lost quite a few matches I should have never lost, and they hurt. Now, getting the fifth US Open, it really means a lot to me. I really thank the fans, as well, the crowds. They were great. I mean, from the beginning, that's really what I was hoping for. And losing my No. 1 ranking, that's also what meant a lot to me this season. So to bounce back straightaway after losing the No. 1 ranking, this is the best scenario ever."

Murray was the first British man to advance to a Grand Slam singles final since Greg Rusedski finished runner-up to Patrick Rafter at the US Open in 1997. Murray was trying to become the first British man to win a Grand Slam singles title since Fred Perry won the US Championships in 1936.

The 21-year-old Scot won two of the previous three meetings against Federer and he was attempting to become the first player to beat Rafael Nadal and Federer in a Grand Slam tournament.

But Federer dominated the 27-minute opening set, breaking in the sixth and eighth games. Federer only lost five points on serve while converting two of four break points. In the second set, Federer went up 2-0 with a forehand winner on break point. Murray broke in the next game, held for 2-2 and was on the verge of breaking again as he held three break points at love-40. But Federer scrambled back to hold. Both players held until the 12th game when Federer broke at love-40 with a running forehand winner.

In the third set, Federer only lost three points in jumping out to a 5-0 lead. Murray held and broke but then lost serve for the seventh time as Federer smashed an overhead that Murray netted on match point. Federer then fell to his knees in celebration.

Federer converted seven of 10 break points while losing his serve twice in the one hour and 50-minute match. Federer won 79% of first serve points compared to Murray's 51%. Federer hit 36 winners and made 33 unforced errors while Murray hit 16 winners with 28 errors.

"He played great today and I didn't really have any chance in the first set, but I had an opportunity in the second set to go up a break, and a few opportunities," said Murray, who will move from No. 6 to No. 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. "And one of them, he actually missed a backhand, which should have been my game, I think for me. It would have been, not necessarily would have won the match or anything, but it would have given me a bit of confidence. I wasn't really ahead in any of the sets. That made it tough, but, no, he played great today, and missed very few balls. Didn't give me too many chances."

Murray, who also is in excellent position to qualify for the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, added, "I'm disappointed right now. I wish I could have done a few things better, and given myself a few more opportunities, but, you know, I'm sure tomorrow after a few days, whenever it sort of sinks in, it's obviously been a very good couple of weeks. And I'll try my best to work on my game, work harder, and hopefully come back and do better next time."

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