Roger Federer equaled Pete Sampras’ record seventh Wimbledon title yesterday by beating Britain’s Andy Murray in four sets. In doing so, he also bought himself the enviable haul of a 17th Grand Slam title, regained the world number one spot from Novak Djokovic, and will now surpass the 286 week record for number of weeks at world number one.
Having not won a Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 2010, Federer came into Wimbledon this year as third favourite behind defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic and the 2010 champion Rafael Nadal, both of whom are five years Federer’s junior. His early form in the tournament including falling to two sets down to 29th ranked Frenchman Julien Benneteau did not inspire confidence that this run was about to change. But the 30 year old Swiss fought through to the second week, and as all great champions do, he seemed to hit peak form just at the right time by navigating his way past dangerous Belgian Xavier Malisse and then dropping only five games in dispatching Russian Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets in the quarter finals.
The semi-finals pitched a showdown between Federer and the defending champion Djokovic, and Federer duly won through the slightly off colour Serbian in four sets in a match that despite dropping the second set 3-6, he never really looked in danger of losing.
In the final against British number one Andy Murray, Federer lost the first set 4-6 and looked threatened at points in the second against an opponent clearly determined to get out of the blocks quickly in his first Wimbledon final. However Federer broke Murray’s serve at a critical time from 30-0 down at 6-5 to suddenly win the second set, and never looked back from there closing out the final two sets 6-3, 6-4 to win the £1 million winners prize and the aforementioned honours that came with it.