If it were possible, Roger Federer has collected yet another milestone and made history on Sunday when he beat Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in 1 hour and 41 minutes to win his eighth Wimbledon title – to win the most titles for a male player at the All England Club. He was locked at seven Wimbledon titles with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw from 2012 Wimbledon when Federer beat Andy Murray. With the win, he has also extended his total Grand Slams won tally to 19. At 35 years 342 days, Federer was also looking to became the oldest man in the Open Era to win the Wimbledon title – edging his own record when he had won the Australian Open earlier in the year. The win will push Federer from the current World No 5 to World No 3 in the world when the rankings are officially updated on Monday.
Appearing in his 11th Wimbledon final, Federer barely broke a sweat against Cilic who looked to be suffering from an injury to the left foot which needed treatment in the second set. At that juncture, Cilic also broke down in tears with the trainer tending to him. He got further treatment to his toe before the third set but by then it was too little too late. Incidentally, with an ace down the tee, his eighth of the match, Federer sealed his eighth Wimbledon.
Cilic and Federer both had their serves tested early on but neither were broken until the fifth game where the Croat hiccuped under rising nerves and from then on, the match swung dramatically in Federer’s way.
Then on, Federer dictated terms with so much ease that it became embarrassing for Cilic who was making his first Wimbledon appearance in 11 attempts. And at 0-3 in the second, Cilic broke down into tears but was only helped up by the crowd who cheered him on and his resolve to keep going. For a moment it appeared as if we were destined for first retirement in a final since 1911.
Cilic then regained his composure and gave tough fight to Federer in-front of 15,000 fans in attendance at Centre Court. But there was no stopping Federer and soon enough he took the second set and added to Cilic’s confidence breaking mode. The second set lasted all of 25 minutes.
Before the third set, Cilic took a medical timeout and had his toe wrapped up and further tightened after it being tight already.
The third set was more of a contest with both players holding serve despite some tough hitting from the back even as Cilic tried to change tactics with a serve-and-volley approach. Federer broke in the seventh game as his opponent crashed yet another groundstroke into the net. The end came quickly enough with Federer serving at 5-4 to regain the title he has been most prolific on. He missed a match point with a forehand error but closed things out with an ace.