Andy Murray could only watch as Roger Federer coolly and calmly collected the Wimbledon trophy today in London after winning the men’s championship.
He performed much the same way in the final, absorbing Murray’s best and returning it twofold to win a record-tying seventh Wimbledon with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory at center court.
“I couldn’t be more happy,” Federer told BBC during an on-court interview afterward. “It feels so familiar.
“It’s like it never left me. … This one obviously comes at the right time.”
Or the wrong time if you’re British.
All of Great Britain was cheering for 25-year-old Murray who was born in Dunblane, Scotland, and lives in London; he was trying to become the first Brit to win the men’s championship since Fred Perry in 1936.
Murray paused numerous times, trying to compose himself – find his voice – before addressing the crowd after the match.
“I’m getting closer,” he said to applause and laughter. “I’m going to try this; it’s not going to be easy.”
What “getting closer” meant, exactly, wasn’t obvious – holding back tears or breaking through to win a major – but his words were appropriate.
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The fourth seed in London has lost four Grand Slam championship matches in his career, and was tantalizingly close against Federer today.
Murray hit four aces and twice broke Federer, who hit an uncharacteristic 16 unforced errors, to breeze to a first-set win. Federer cleaned up his game in the second set, served better and slowly built momentum to win a tight second set.
They quickly started the third set before pausing for a short rain delay to close the roof. After the restart, Murray struggled, slipping twice and generally flailing against Federer in a lopsided third set.
The turning point in the entire match came with Federer leading 3-2 in the third and Murray serving.
The point stretched through six break points, when Federer capitalized on a tepid second serve to beat Murray with a backhand winner and a 4-2 lead.
“Roger’s 30 now,” Murray said. “He’s not bad for a 30 year old. … He’s shown what fight he still has left in him.”
Despite hitting six aces, it was all or nothing for Murray in the fourth set. Just 45 percent of his first serves were successful, while Federer won the fourth thanks to 17 winners against Murray’s eight.
“It all came together,” Federer said. “It’s a magical moment for me.”
Federer will return to the top of the world rankings when they are released Monday, The Guardian said.
Not only did he equal Pete Sampras and William Renshaw with seven Wimbledon trophies, he also ties Sampras’s record with 286 weeks ranked number 1 in the world.
Federer, seeded third at Wimbledon, also adds to his own record with a 17th Grand Slam title; he's a likely favorite to win the Olympic gold, too, when the Summer Games begin in London later this month.
At least England had one reason to celebrate a victory after Jonny Marray and his Danish partner, Freddie Nielsen, won the men’s doubles championship.
They defeated Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-3 to end at least one significant drought.
Not since Perry in 1936 has a Brit won the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon.
The triumph is even more significant because Marray and Nielsen entered the tournament as wildcards, meaning they weren’t ranked high enough to qualify on their own, The Press Association reported.
“I've been saying to Freddie, I don't feel any different or anything. It’s just like winning another tennis match. I suppose it will take time to sink in,” said Marray, a 31-year-old Liverpool native.
“When I see my friends and family and speak to them about it, over the course of a few days, a few weeks, I’m sure it will sink in a bit more.”
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