Federer on verge of Wimbledon immortality
London, UK - Five years after his last Wimbledon triumph, Roger Federer can capture a record eighth All England Club title Sunday and become the tournament's oldest men's winner of the modern era.
With his 36th birthday next month, the evergreen Swiss will comfortably succeed Arthur Ashe, who was almost 32 when he won in 1975, as Wimbledon's most senior
champion. Victory over Croatian giant Marin
Cilic will also give him a 19th career Grand
Slam title and second in three majors this year after sweeping to a fifth Australian Open in January following a sixmonth absence. "I was hoping to be in good shape when the grass court season came around," said Federer who, for good measure, also pocketed back-to-back Masters at Indian Wells and Miami as well as a ninth Halle grass court crown.
"The first three, four months were just like a dream really. So this is something I was working towards, you know, Wimbledon, to be in good shape. I'm happy it's paying off here now."
Federer admits his form in 2017 has surprised even himself after he shut down his 2016 season to rest a knee injury in the aftermath of his brutal five-set semifinal loss at Wimbledon to Milos Raonic. He has 30 wins and just two losses this year and he has reached his 11th Wimbledon final without dropping a set.
Sunday's match will be his 102nd at the tournament and his 29th final at the majors. "It makes me really happy, making history here at Wimbledon. It's a big deal. I love this tournament," said Federer, who has been tied with Pete Sampras on seven Wimbledon titles since beating Andy Murray in the 2012 final.
"All my dreams came true here as a player. To have another chance to go for number eight now, be kind of so close now at this stage, is a great feeling. Yeah, unbelievably excited. I hope I can play one more good match. 11 finals here, all these records, it's great. I'm so close now."
Federer, revelling in the spotlight of having played all his matches on Centre Court, has hardly been troubled on his way to the final. He has lost serve just four times and spent four and a half hours less on court than Cilic. Federer also boasts a 6-1 career record over Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion who has made his first Wimbledon final at the 11th attempt.
However, Cilic's game is made for grass and 12 months ago he led Federer by two sets to love and held three match points in an epic quarterfinal which the Swiss superstar won.
When Cilic won his only Slam in New York three years ago, he demolished Federer in straight sets in the semifinals. "I don't want to say it's more relaxed going into it because I have a good headto-head record against Marin, even though the matches were extremely close," said Federer.
Cilic is only the second Croatian man to reach the Wimbledon final after Goran Ivanisevic, his former coach, who swept to a title win in 2001.
"This is Roger's home court, the place where he feels the best and knows that he can play the best game," said Cilic.
"Obviously I'm going to look back, 12 months ago I was one point away from winning a match against him here. But it's still a big mountain to climb."
The final match begins at 5pm.