The Swiss are jubilant and exuberant today, having just witnessed their native son, Roger Federer win the men’s finals for his eighth Wimbledon cup at 35 years of age.
35 is pretty old in professional tennis, so the stamina that Federer displayed in dispatching his finals opponent, Croatia’s Marin Cilic, is just one more amazing facet of the overall Federer story.
Federer took out Cilic in straight sets, 6-3. 6-1 and 6-4 to sweep Cilic, who was not only contending with Federer’s power game, but a blister on his left foot. Federer was gracious in winning, saying of Cilic, “It is cruel sometimes, but Marin fought well and is a hero, so congratulations on a wonderful tournament.”
Of his losing struggle with Federer, Cilic said, “I never give up in a match. I gave it my best – it’s all I can do.”
Roger Federer’s commanding performance, wrapping matters up in 1 hour, 41 minutes at the All England Club makes him the oldest man to win there and his win, his first since 2012.
Federer won two of three Grand Slams in 2017 so far, taking the Australian Open in January.
Federer’s win today, was a plot reversal of the Wimbledon Women’s final yesterday.
The court side audience wondered if today would be a repeat of top seeded players being upset as five time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams was by Spain’s 23 year old Garbine Muguruza. Without realizing the double edge of her compliment, Muguruza said of Williams: “She’s such an incredible player. I grew up watching her play.” When the crowd laughed, Garbine added to Williams, “sorry!”
Muguruza acknowledged Williams as being the tennis player she sought to emulate, if not in playing style, at least in greatness in the game. “I was so excited to go there and win especially over someone like a role model.”
How focused Williams was, given that she was involved in a serious car accident in Palm Beach just 9 days ago that claimed the life of a 79 year old man, is up for speculation.
Perhaps if the Williams sisters weren’t so often winding up competing against one another – one of them might have singularly legendary records.
Federer however, not being handicapped by having to play against a brother equally talented, has now placed himself in a winning category all his own.
He is the first eight time winner at Wimbledon and now has 19 Grand Slam titles. Only two other men have won even seven times – one, Pete Sampras, back in 2000 and before that, one has to go all the way back to the 19th century to find another 7 title winner – William Renshaw in 1889.
Federer now is poised to make the feat of anyone trying to equal or surpass his record, nearly or at least seemingly impossible. He is, with 19 titles in major tournaments, 4 ahead of Rafael Nadal and fourth among all players, exclusive of gender, tied on the all-time list with Helen Wills Moody and five behind Margaret Court with 24.
As a point of comparison in the Grand Slam department, Pete Sampras has 14, Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver have 11 and Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi and Ivan Lendl, 8. Sweden’s Borg had 5 wins at Wimbledon.