LONDON: Roger Federer outplayed Britain’s Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title and 17th Grand Slam crown.
In an absorbing encounter, the Swiss tennis maestro, who will become the new world number one for a record-equalling 286 weeks, recovered from a set down to dominate the match, ending home favourite Murray’s hopes of becoming the first British man to win the title on home soil for 76 years.
After winning one set apiece, both men were forced off Centre Court due to rain, which halted play for 40 minutes. When play resumed under the closed roof, it was Federer who looked more composed and dangerous. He began to dominate the rallies and the third set hinged on the sixth game, when he converted a break point to open up a 4-2 lead, before wrapping it up with an ace.
Murray tried in vain to cling on at the start of the fourth set, but Federer was in no mood to be complacent, breaking serve with an outrageous crosscourt winner to lead 3-2. He subsequently sealed victory with his second match point in three hours and 24 minutes.
An ecstatic Federer could not hide his delight in winning the pinnacle prize of tennis for the seventh time, an achievement that ties him with American Pete Sampras and Briton William Renshaw. “I played some of the best tennis in my last couple of matches,” Federer said after lifting the coveted trophy. “I couldn’t be happier. It feels great being back here as the winner and it’s a magical moment. It feels nice to have this trophy back after three years.”
World number four Murray struggled to hold his emotions together during the presentation ceremony. “I am getting closer,” he tearfully told the crowd. “I’d like to congratulate Roger. He played a great tournament and he’s not bad for a 30-year-old.”
Federer’s victory also sees him become the first man since Andre Agassi to win a Grand Slam past the age of 30. (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM NEWS DESK)
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2012.
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