Roger Federer became the first man in history to win eight Wimbledon singles titles after he posted a routine 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 victory over the seventh-seeded Marin Cilic on Sunday.
The Swiss also claimed a 19th Grand Slam trophy – the most ever won by a man and fourth-most in history among men and women – and he did without dropping a set throughout the fortnight in south-west London.
At 35 years and 342 days, Federer also became the oldest man in the Open Era to claim a Wimbledon singles trophy. It’s his second major success of the season, and he now has a tour-leading five titles in 2017.
The Swiss broke into tears following his victory, overcome by emotions while sat at his bench, as he realised what he had just accomplished.
“Gotta take more time off, I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe I’ll go away for another six months,” joked Federer, who had a six-month hiatus last year to get over niggling injuries and returned to win two Slams this season.
“It feels great, it means the world to me, we worked so hard last year. Holding the trophy now, not dropping a set, I can’t believe it yet. It’s too much really.
“I kept on believing and dreaming and here I am today with the eighth, it’s fantastic.
“I hope this wasn’t my last match and I hope I can come back next year to try to defend the title.”
Federer’s whole family was in his box, including his four children.
“They have no clue what’s going on, they probably think this is a nice playground. I hope one day they’ll understand,” he said of his younger twins, Leo and Lenny.
Centre Court was the place to be on Sunday afternoon with tennis legends, Hollywood stars, politicians and royals all in attendance.
Both players made nervy starts on serve but held, with Cilic showing early signs of those mighty groundstrokes that earned him 336 winners heading into the final.
The first break point of the contest was for Cilic in game four but a Federer serve made it go away and the Swiss held for 2-2.
A moment of Federer magic saw the Swiss flick a round-the-post drop shot from a tough position and seconds later he had triple-break point.
Cilic saved the first two with good serves but he got broken on the third, as Federer attacked with his famous backhand to inch ahead 3-2. The No3 seed easily consolidated for 4-2.
A ridiculous exchange that featured powerful backhands from Federer and quick reflexes from Cilic at the net gave the 35-year-old his first set point in game nine. Cilic saved it with his serve but he lost the set soon after on a double fault as Federer took the lead in 36 minutes.
A wide Cilic backhand gave Federer the break early in the second set and he quickly opened up a 3-0 advantage.
Cilic broke down in tears during the changeover and had the trainer come out but didn’t get a medical timeout. He held on the restart for 3-6, 1-3. Federer went up a double-break on a long Cilic volley and went up two-sets-to-love inside 61 minutes.
Cilic got a medical timeout after the second set, took pills from the trainer and received treatment on a taped left foot.
The Croat saved a break point to hold for 2-1 in the third but Federer got the break he needed in the seventh game and nothing could stop him from making more history.
“That’s what I did throughout my whole career, I never gave up during a match, and that’s what I did today,” said Cilic. “I had an amazing journey here, played the tennis of my life. I really want to thank my team, they gave so much strength to me.”
Federer consoled Cilic and said: “It is cruel sometimes but he fought well and he’s a hero, so congratulations on a wonderful tournament, Marin. You should be really proud, this is such a special occasion to be in the finals. I hope we can play down the road some better ones. So well done.”
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