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Roger Federer gets record-breaking 8th Wimbledon title

LONDON — After Roger Federer closed out a Wimbledon final that was more of a coronation than a contest with an ace, he sat in his changeover chair and wiped away tears. [...] Federer wasn’t focused on the notion of winning the grass-court tournament more often than any other man in the history of an event first held in 1877. All he’d been concerned with, consumed with, was being healthy enough to compete at a high level and, he hoped, to win a title, regardless of what the total count would be. Capping a marvelous fortnight in which he did not drop a set, Federer won his eighth Wimbledon trophy and record 19th Grand Slam championship overall by overwhelming Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in 1 hour, 41 minutes Sunday. Wimbledon was always my favorite tournament. Will always be my favorite tournament. Because of them, I think I became a better player, too, said Federer, who will turn 36 next month and is the oldest male champion at the All England Club in the Open era, which began in 1968. Federer couldn’t be sure another final, let alone title, was possible a year ago, when he lost in the semifinals, then took off the rest of 2016 to let his surgically repaired left knee heal. Sunday’s outcome was in doubt for only about 20 minutes, the amount of time it took Federer to grab his first lead. Cilic said that he developed a painful blister on his left foot during his semifinal Friday, and that affected his ability to move properly or summon the intimidating serves that carried him to his lone Grand Slam title at the 2014 U.S. Open, in which he surprisingly beat Federer in the semifinals. Sampras won all but one of his in the 1990s; Renshaw won each of his in the 1880s, when the previous year’s winner advanced automatically to the final. With clouds overhead and a bit of chill in the air Sunday, Federer’s early play was symptomatic of jitters. For everything he has accomplished, for all of the bright lights and big settings to which he has become accustomed, the man many have labeled the “GOAT” — Greatest of All Time — admits to feeling heavy legs and jumbled thoughts to this day. Federer became the first man in 41 years to win Wimbledon without ceding a set. Against Cilic, he had 23 winners, only eight unforced errors. Feeling refreshed and fully fit, Federer returned to the tour in January and was suddenly playing like the man of old, rather than like an old man. In a turn-back-the-clock moment, he faced Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final and, with a fifth-set comeback, won his first Grand Slam title in 4½ years. [...] Federer is the Wimbledon champion again. “It’s disbelief that I can achieve such heights,” Federer said in the postmatch ceremony. Most Wimbledon singles titles Reggie Doherty (1897-00); Tony Wilding, New Zealand (1910-13); Rod Laver (1961-62, 1968-69)

Article by By Howard Fendrich (c) Top Sports Stories RSS Feed - Read full story here.