Roger Fed­erer wins record eighth Wim­ble­don ti­tle as Marin Cilic bid ends in tears

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Lon­don, UK - Roger Fed­erer won a record eighth Wim­ble­don ti­tle and be­came the tour­na­ment's old­est cham­pion on Sun­day with a straight-set vic­tory over in­jury-hit Marin Cilic who dra­mat­i­cally broke down in tears mid­way through the fi­nal.

Fed­erer claimed his 19th Grand Slam ti­tle 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 and at 35 is Wim­ble­don's old­est men's win­ner of the modern era, suc­ceed­ing Arthur

Ashe, who was al­most 32 when he won in 1976.

How­ever, the

Swiss su­per­star's

11th Wim­ble­don fi­nal, and 29th at the ma­jors, will also be re­mem­bered for the mov­ing sight of the pop­u­lar Cilic break­ing down in tears af­ter slip­ping 3-0 be­hind in the sec­ond set.

The seventh seeded Croa­t­ian, the 2014 US Open cham­pion, sobbed in­con­solably and buried his head in his towel as his ti­tle dream slipped away.

He had his left foot taped at the end of the sec­ond set but it was in vain as Fed­erer be­came the first player since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win Wim­ble­don with­out drop­ping a set in the en­tire tour­na­ment.

"He's a hero," Fed­erer said of his op­po­nent as he re­ceived the tro­phy.

Twelve months ago, Fed­erer was de­feated in five sets in the semi­fi­nals by Mi­los Raonic and promptly shut down his sea­son to rest a knee in­jury.

"It's dis­be­lief I can achieve such heights. I wasn't sure I would ever be here in an­other fi­nal af­ter last year," said Fed­erer who turns 36 in three weeks' time.

"I had some tough ones in the fi­nals, los­ing two against No­vak (Djokovic).

“But I al­ways be­lieved. I kept on be­liev­ing and dreaming I could get back.

"Here am I to­day with the eighth. It's fan­tas­tic, if you keep be­liev­ing you can go far in your life."

Cilic, who had spent four and a half hours more than Fed­erer get­ting to the fi­nal, said re­tir­ing with his in­jury was never an op­tion.

"I never give up in a match. I gave it my best - it's all I can do," said Cilic who was still emo­tional at the tro­phy pre­sen­ta­tion.

"I had an amaz­ing jour­ney here. I played the best ten­nis of my life. I re­ally want to thank my team - they gave so much strength to me."

Be­neath a star-stud­ded Royal Box where Prince William and wife Kate rubbed shoul­ders with ac­tors Hugh Grant and Bradley Cooper, Cilic had his first break point in the fourth game.

It was saved by Fed­erer and it was to be Cilic's only glim­mer of hope.

Fed­erer broke in the next game when his op­po­nent suf­fered a nasty fall on the worn sur­face which was to ul­ti­mately un­der­mine his chal­lenge.

Fed­erer then served up two love ser­vice games be­fore claim­ing the opener 6-3 off a Cilic dou­ble fault, the Croa­t­ian's sec­ond of the fi­nal.

The Swiss su­per­star swept into a 3-0 lead in the sec­ond set and at the changeover, Cilic slumped in his court­side chair in tears and in ob­vi­ous pain.

The trainer and doc­tor were sum­moned be­fore Cilic hid his head in his towel in a des­per­ate at­tempt to com­pose him­self.

The 28 year old held serve on the re­sump­tion but the lethal bar­rage con­tin­ued, Fed­erer stretch­ing his lead over his friend to 4-1.

Cilic dropped the set 6-1 and called a med­i­cal time­out to have his left foot ban­daged and take a painkiller.

His dis­com­fort was re­flected in his sta­tis­tics.

By the end of the sec­ond set, he had served just two aces com­pared to the 130 he had fired past bam­boo­zled op­po­nents in his pre­vi­ous six rounds.

Fed­erer pounced again with a break for 4-3 and wrapped up the one-sided fi­nal with a sec­ond serve ace to com­plete his corona­tion af­ter just one hour 41 min­utes. Fit­tingly, he too wept at the end.

Fed­erer ti­tle moved him past Pete Sam­pras and William Ren­shaw into sole pos­ses­sion of first place on the list of men Wim­ble­don cham­pi­ons.

Even by Fed­erer's sky-high stan­dards, his record tri­umph was an es­pe­cially golden mo­ment and the Swiss star was in tears as he waved at his wife Mirka and four chil­dren be­fore the Cen­tre Court tro­phy pre­sen­ta­tion.

"Hold­ing the tro­phy now, af­ter not drop­ping a set in the tour­na­ment, it's mag­i­cal re­ally. I can't be­lieve it yet. It's too much," Fed­erer said.

Hav­ing won the Aus­tralian Open in Jan­uary, Fed­erer took the clay­court sea­son off to rest his body ahead of Wim­ble­don and his de­ci­sion has paid rich div­i­dends.

"I’ve got to take more time off! I'll be gone again for the next six months! I don't know if it will work as well again," Fed­erer said with a grin.

Kubot and Melo win men’s dou­bles fi­nal

Fourth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo clinched the Wim­ble­don men's dou­bles ti­tle on Sat­ur­day with a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6, 3-6, 13-11 win over Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic.

The fi­nal lasted a marathon four hours 41 min­utes and was only the fourth Wim­ble­don men's dou­bles fi­nal to go to five sets in the last 20 years.

Later on Sat­ur­day, Olympic cham­pi­ons Eka­te­rina Makarova and Elena Ves­nina of Rus­sia won their first Wim­ble­don women's dou­bles ti­tle with a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Hao-Ching Chan and Mon­ica Niculescu in a 55-minute fi­nal.

Marin Cilic with the run­ner-up tro­phy

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