Vintage Federer in seventh heaven
Up to that point the Swiss player lost a set he should have won and Murray did likewise in the second. There is no doubting the seminal moment of the contest; the sixth game of the third set. It was a 20-minute tussle that veered one way then another. Murray led 40-0 on serve but was pegged back to deuce. Murray had four game points, Federer five break points on the sixth, he struck decisively.
He closed out the set struck again to break in the fifth game of the fourth set. Federer was playing beautifully but to his credit Murray fended off several break points in subsequent games to make his opponent serve for the match.
Federer by numbers simply adds to the legend and brooks no argument about the greatest tennis player in history. He equals the seven singles titles his hero, Pete Sampras, won at the All England club in a record eighth final. In doing so reclaimed the world number one ranking for a 286th week in his career to date, exactly matching the American. The list of his accomplishments and records would fill a supplement.
He said of his achievement: “You never quite get used to it. Today was unique because of playing Andy. Finishing a match under the roof has never been done before so that’s different and nice. I know the occasion and how big it was for Andy and myself. I am happy I got the victory; it was very, very special.
“There was so much on the line that I didn’t try and think of the world number one ranking or the seventh (Wimbledon) and 17th (Grand Slam). I think it will take me longer to understand what I achieved today.
“I just had to believe that things were going to turn around for me, and not just naturally but work at something. I played a lot of tennis, good tennis but I wanted to win titles, not just lose in the quarters and semis (at tournaments).”
Federer explained that he had received from high profile, in terms of the sporting world, encouragement over the last few days: Tiger Woods.
“I got one (message) from him. He was very supportive, pumped up on my behalf. It’s nice to know that other greats believe in me. They push me further even in the rain delay when they cheer you on.”
The Swiss maestro had a word for Murray: “I really do believe deep down that he will win Grand Slams; not just one. I genuinely wish him all the best. He works extremely hard and is as professional at you can be. Things just didn’t quite turn out for him in the finals but he got a step closer to a Grand Slam. I believe and hope that he will win one soon.”
For now though . . . the king is dead. Long live the king.