Wimbledon men's final preview

Updated: July 2, 2005, 3:28 PM ET
By Miki Singh | Special to ESPN.com

The much-anticipated dream final is set. For a second straight year the two best grass-court players in the world, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, collide for the Wimbledon championship. Last year, Roddick played about as well as he could have but in the end, even a sub-par Federer was just too good.

This year, Federer has again rolled through the draw dropping just one set to bump his current win streak of 35 straight wins on grass and 20 consecutive victories here at Wimbledon. In title matches, Federer has won an incredible 20 straight tournament finals and has dropped only one set in four Slam final appearances.

With a U.S. Open already in the bag, the 22-year-old Roddick has said this is the title he now wants to win the most. To finally get it, he'll have to beat Federer, someone he's only defeated once in nine prior tries. Since Roddick's lone victory in the 2003 Canadian Open semifinal, Federer has lost just one set to the American in four straight wins. In fact, Federer has lost just four sets to Roddick in their nine career meetings.

Roddick has won 32 of his last 34 matches on grass, with his only two losses coming to Federer here the last two years. While Federer's road to the final has been comfortable, Roddick's has been rocky despite what should have been a friendly draw. The No. 2 seed survived a five-setter in the second round with the lightly regarded "lucky loser" Daniele Bracciali, and then won another five-set test over two-time Wimbledon semifinalist Sebastien Grosjean. In the semifinals Saturday, Roddick needed four tough sets to outlast Thomas Johansson.

The Federer-Roddick matchup marks just the fourth time at Wimbledon that the same two players have advanced to successive finals in the Open Era, the most recent being the Boris Becker-Stefan Edberg meetings between 1988 and 1990.

Miki Singh is a tennis researcher for ESPN.

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