Roger Federer, unmoved by the tide of hysteria that was closing in around him, sang his song like only he can on a bitter-cold London evening to claim his 17th Grand Slam title with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win. Final stroke silenced the will of a nation that was urging, pleading, begging its hero, 25-year-old Andy Murray, to bring home the title.
As expected, there were going to be tears at the end of this Wimbledon men’s final, because both Roger Federer and Andy Murray have some precedent there. In the end, they came from the winner and the runner-up. Federer’s tears began almost before he fell to the court in triumph, tears of joy and relief as he won his seventh career title at Wimbledon, the 17th major of his career, the first in 2½ years.
Roger Federer left the door tantalisingly ajar for local hero Andy Murray in the Wimbledon men’s singles final, then slammed it shut to win a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title and in so doing return to the top of the world rankings. The Swiss great, contesting his eighth final at the All England Club, flirted with danger in the second set after losing the first but just when Murray looked like ending 76 years of plucky British failure Federer gave a stunning reminder of his genius to win 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 on Centre Court.
For the second time in three grand slam finals against Murray he reduced the Scot to tears, although this match, unlike the others, was a contest to savour. At 30 years and 335 days he also became the oldest men’s champion since Arthur Ashe in 1975 and, to put the icing on the cake, the win gave Federer his seventh Wimbledon crown and the World No. 1 ranking, which will take him past Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks at the game’s top. He’s the second oldest player, at the age of 30 years and 335 days, to hold the No. 1 ranking, following Andre Agassi at 33 years and 131 days.
Number of championship wins for Federer at the Wimbledon as he equalled William Renshaw’s and Pete Sampras’ world record of winning the coveted singles title on seven occasions each. Federer has won in 2003 to 2007, 2009 and now in 2012, while Renshaw did it in the era of Challenge Rounds in 1881 to 1886 & 1889, and Sampras more recently in 1993 to 1995 & 1997 to 2000 (both years inclusive).
RECORD 17 GRAND SLAM TITLES
MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS OF ROGER’S CAREER
- In 2003, becomes the first Swiss man to win a grand slam after beating Mark Philippoussis in the Wimbledon final.
- Is the only man to win five consecutive titles at two different grand slams – Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
- Is the first man to win Wimbledon-U.S. Open double four years in a row.
- Is the only man in the professional era to win three consecutive majors twice in his career when he captured the 2007 Australian Open title.
- Equalled Bjorn Borg’s record of five consecutive Wimbledon titles in 2007.
- His run of reaching 10 consecutive grand slam finals is snapped by Novak Djokovic in the 2008 Australian Open semi-finals.
- The 2008 five-set epic at Wimbledon is regarded by many as the best ever tennis match. He lost the match to Rafael Nadal.
- His 2009 French Open crown made him the sixth man – after Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Andre Agassi – to have won all four grand slam titles during his career. Nadal has since become the seventh to achieve the feat.
- Breaks American Pete Sampras’s record of 14 grand slam titles with his 15th win in the 2009 Wimbledon final to reclaim the world number one spot from Nadal.
- In 2009, becomes the first man to reach seven successive Wimbledon finals since the abolition of the Challenge Round in 1922. Reaches a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon final in 2012, extending his overall major final appearance record to 24.
- His record run of reaching 23 consecutive grand slam semi-finals is snapped by Robin Soderling in the last eight of the 2010 French Open. That record is widely considered as one of the most astonishing in sport as it means Federer finished in the top four at a major for almost six successive years. His streak is more than double the previous record held by Ivan Lendl, who reached 10 consecutive major semis.