Game, set, match. Three words Roger Federer is entirely familiar with, and yesterday he claimed his 8th spectacular win at Wimbledon against a frustrated Marin Cilic in straight sets 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. Roger has now surpassed the Wimbledon all time record, previously shared between Pete Sampras, William Renshaw and himself. It marks the 19th Grand Slam win for Roger, and finally, crowns Federer the oldest winner of Wimbledon and the greatest of all time.
There is a certain feeling of Déjà vu when observing Roger Federer’s effortless stride out onto Wimbledon’s Centre Court. The Wilson bag, white uniform and calm entrance of Roger Federer, accompanied by perfectly cut green grass and an eloquently presented chair umpire seems to be a familiar mental photograph we have seen many times. Perhaps this is because Roger Federer has greeted cameras, spectators, officials and opponents at Wimbledon ten times previously. Today the world was graced with what David Foster Wallace would describe as one of the greatest ‘Federer moments’ in tennis history.
“These are times, as you watch the young Swiss play, when the jaw drops and eyes protrude and sounds are made that bring spouses in from other rooms to see if you're O.K. The Moments are more intense if you've played enough tennis to understand the impossibility of what you just saw him do.” - David Foster Wallace
The opening set was full of tension; Marin’s serve accompanied by his pounding ground strokes, indicated what would be required to get passed an ever so sharp Federer. It was brute strength versus defence and accuracy. If Federer was to take anything away from the first couple of games, it was the need to slow the pace of the game down, absorb Marin’s ballistic ground strokes and cause unforced errors.
The match quickly became a Federer ‘Master Class’, reliable service games toyed with a furious Cilic. Dictating backhands allowed Federer to become the aggressor, and Cilic had no answer. As Marin faded early in the second, physio’s took to his side, where commentators explained Marin may have been experiencing a mental breakdown. A white towel attempted to shield the world number six’s face from the cameras as tears fell. Hyperventilating, Marin seemed to be distressed and overwhelmed by the cauldron, which was Centre Court. Unforced errors piled up as Roger's 'cat like' reflexes and settled nerves propelled him to a convincing 8th Wimbledon title.
Roger has not only negotiated the laws of physics for years, hit winners off winners and remonstrated against the impassable and the unmovable. He has become the champion we all hoped for when we were young. A champion that has demonstrated growth on and off the court, free of scandal and first to shake hands no matter the outcome. A champion who has broken most, if not all records there are to break. Today Roger Federer became the Champion of Champions.