Fed­erer claims his­toric eighth

Wim­ble­don’s oldest man bags the ti­tle again, set­ting record

The Witness - - SPORT -

ROGER Fed­erer won a record eighth Wim­ble­don ti­tle and be­came the tour­na­ment’s oldest cham­pion yes­ter­day with a straight­sets vic­tory over in­jury­hit Marin Cilic who dra­mat­i­cally broke down in tears mid­way through the fi­nal.

Fed­erer claimed his 19th Grand Slam ti­tle 6­3, 6­1, 6­4, 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 3­0 be­hind in the sec­ond set.

The sev­enth seeded Croa­t­ian, the 2014 U.S. 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.

“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 I am to­day with the eighth. It’s fan­tas­tic, if you keep be­liev­ing you can go far in your life.”

Cilic, who had spent four­and­a­half 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.” — AFP.

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