Federer in seventh heaven at Wimbledon
Tennis:Andy Murray’s bid to become Britain’s first men’s singles champion at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 ended in disappointment as Roger Federer landed a record-equalling seventh title.
Despite making an ideal start by taking the opening set of the final, Murray’s performance level dropped after Federer got back to one apiece against the run of play.
And Federer was unrelenting as he clinched a 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 triumph on Centre Court.
It was a momentous win for the Swiss player, who tied Pete Sampras with seven titles and extended his overall Grand Slam record to 17.
Tomorrow he will return to the top of the rankings for the first time since May 2010, replacing Novak Djokovic, and will be only the second man, after Andre Agassi, to be ranked number one in his thirties.
Murray played at a completely different level to his previous three Grand Slam finals, two of which he also lost to Federer, but the result was the same, and he joins coach Ivan Lendl in having lost his first four Slam finals.
The consolation for Murray is that Lendl went on to win eight.
Murray led their head-to-head 8-7 going into the match but knew he had lost the two most important matches. The Scot had started nervously on both those occasions but today he was aggressive from the first point.
Instead it was Federer making the simple errors and it cost him as a forehand volley over the baseline handed Murray a break in the opening game.
Federer quickly settled and took his chance to level at 2-2, drawing a backhand error from Murray.
The Swiss forced two break points in the eighth game but Murray held firm, finding the corner with a pinpoint volley on the second, and he got his rewards in the next game.
The fourth seed played a shot straight out of the Lendl handbook when he drilled a shot right at Federer’s head, and Murray broke to lead 5-4 when his opponent netted a forehand.
The crowd were on their feet, and the home hope served it out confidently. But, as big as winning the first set was, there was still an awfully long way to go, and Federer came out firing at the start of the second with a hold to love.
He then engineered another break point on the Murray serve but, once again, the 25-year-old showed a cool head when it mattered most, forcing an error on the Federer backhand.
It was a big hold for Murray, and he continued to make life very difficult for Federer, creating break points in the fifth and ninth games but coming up just short.