A Moral Victory

Last Sunday, a day after the Fourth of July, Americans had a little bit more to celebrate. Tennis fans all over the country spent their mornings following one of the greatest tennis matches in recent memory. Although hometown hero Andy Roddick came up just short against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, his effort was applauded all over the world. It was what is called a moral victory - when athletes can take pride in their efforts despite losing.

Roddick vs. Federer: Heading into the final match, few people gave Roddick much of a shot against Federer. Federer, who is from Switzerland, is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Before last Sunday's Wimbledon final, Federer had won 14 Grand Slam titles. Roddick had won just one - the 2003 U.S. Open. While Roddick is one of the Top 10 players in the world and the No. 1 American player, nobody believed that he could come close to beating Federer.

The Match: As most people know by now, Federer beat Roddick for his 15th Grand Slam title, making him the most successful tennis player ever. Roddick didn't make it easy for the champion. The match went five sets and lasted more than four hours. Federer won the final, deciding set 16 games to 14. Roddick made him work for every single point and every game. It has been said that Federer is so good that he doesn't have to break a sweat in order to win his matches. That certainly wasn't true at Wimbledon.

What It Means: When the match was over, Federer lifted the Wimbledon championship trophy. Everybody congratulated him on his 15th Grand Slam victory, a world record. While this was happening, Roddick looked on. He was sad, but also very proud. Most of the tennis world was proud of him, too. Roddick played the best match of his career against the best player in the world. He did his absolute best. Fans will always remember Roddick's effort in this match. He tried as hard as he could, and that's the most important thing in all of sports.

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