A NEW name, a comeback and records are the outcome of 2003 Wimbledon. Roger Federer was relieved to have finally won a Grand Slam title after clinching the Wimbledon trophy with a straight sets triumph over Mark Philippoussis 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in the men's singles.
The new Swiss champion had long been tipped as a winner of major titles, but until this year's championships had never got past the quarter- finals in any Grand Slam.
"I proved it to everybody and it was a big relief because there was pressure from all sides, especially from myself, to do better in Slams," he said. "There is no guarantee of anything, but I knew I had the game and I have always believed in myself. I kept my level up here in the semi-finals and the final and to lift the trophy is an absolute dream."
The 21-year-old added that the back injury he sustained in the fourth round against Feliciano Lopez had left him doubtful that he would make it through the tournament.
Federer dedicated his win to his circle of friends and family, including former coach Peter Carter, who was killed in a car accident last year.
Philippoussis, who has now lost in two Grand Slam finals after his defeat to fellow Australian Pat Rafter at the 1998 US Open, conceded that Federer had outplayed him in a surprisingly one-sided final.
"The first tiebreak was huge to get the momentum going. At 4-3, I missed a forehand and double-faulted and that cost me," said Philippoussis. "Whoever won that first set was going to go on a roll and that's what happened."
But the 26-year-old denied that he had allowed the tiebreak to play on his mind. "I can't really say that I did much wrong -- he came up with some great passing shots, running forehand, backhand returns. What can you do?" he said.
Philippoussis, who has spent long periods out of the game with a serious knee injury, insisted he would be back to win the title.
"The final will definitely help me in the future. Goran [Ivanisevic] was in the final three times before he won it so I am never going to give up," he said. "There's a lot of positive things to take away and I'm definitely going to hold that trophy up before I retire. That's for sure."
As for the women, Serena Williams clinched her second straight Wimbledon crown with a three-set victory over her sister Venus. The 4-6, 6-4, 6- 2 win reasserted Serena's position at the top of the women's game after her defeat at the hands of Justine Henin- Hardenne in the semi-final of the French Open.
But Venus, playing with strapping on her left thigh and her stomach, was clearly suffering from the abdominal strain that she aggravated in her semi- final against Kim Clijsters, and neither player produced their best tennis consistently.
The mixed doubles title went to Martina Navratilova who comfortably won a record-equalling 20th Wimbledon title. The 46-year-old joins American Billie Jean King as the only two players to win 20 titles at the All England Club.
Navratilova joined forces with India's Leander Paes to breeze past Israeli Andy Ram and Russian Anastassia Rodionova 6-3, 6-3.
"All my titles here are special but the last one was eight years ago and I never thought I'd play again after that," said Navratilova. "It's been a great ride and this is very, very special."
Paes, who joined forces with Navratilova at last year's US Open, also paid tribute to his partner. "Watching Martina play inspired me as a kid growing up in India and now playing with her here on Centre Court is a dream come true," said Paes. "Thank you Martina for being my vehicle to greatness."
Navratilova broke another record on Sunday, even though it was one she had previously held herself. The Czech-born player, aged 46 years and 261 days, became the oldest winner of a Grand Slam. Navratilova won her 19th Wimbledon trophy with Jonathan Stark in 1995 before retiring to the commentary box.
But driven by her desire to match King's record, Navratilova came out of retirement three years ago. Sunday's mixed doubles win also saw her capture her 58th Grand Slam crown.
Second seeds Kim Clijsters and Ai Sugiyama won the women's doubles 6-4, 6-4 to claim their first Wimbledon title.
The Dutch-Japanese pair beat top seeds Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suarez in a repeat result of last month's French Open final.
Australia's Todd Woodbridge clinched a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon men's doubles title as he teamed up with Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman to beat Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi. The fourth-seeded pair fought back from the loss of the first set to beat the top seeds 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.
Woodbridge, who won six of his titles with Mark Woodforde and one with Bjorkman last year, matched the record set by brothers Hugh and Reggie Doherty between 1897 and 1905.
Woodbridge now has 14 grand slam men's doubles titles to his name.