Wimbledon 2017: Roger Federer rolls to a record eighth title, 19th Grand Slam win
In front of a crowd of celebrities and supporters, Federer humbles Marin Cilic in straight sets
Just get out of Roger Federer's way.
The Swiss marvel, closing in on his 36th birthday, claimed a record eighth Wimbledon title on Sunday and his 19th Grand Slam win by utterly dominating Marin Cilic of Croatia in a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 sweep. Federer was so overwhelming, he reduced the big-swinging 6-foot-6 Croatian to tears midway through the second set. Cilic continued, but was mentally broken with a pro-Federer crowd cheering on the ageless Swiss champion.
Federer's win comes five years after his last triumph at the All England Club and makes him Wimbledon's oldest men's champion of the modern era, succeeding Arthur Ashe who was nearly 32 when he won Wimbledon in 1975. He also moves past Pete Sampras and William Renshaw in what's still officially called Gentlemen's Singles. Sampras won all but one of his in the 1990s; Renshaw won each of his in the 1880s, back in the days when the previous year's champion advanced automatically to the final and therefore was able to successfully defend a title with one victory.
Federer had come close to bettering his predecessors but couldn't quite do it. He lost in the 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon finals to Novak Djokovic, and in the semifinals last year after erasing match points to get past Cilic in a five-set quarterfinal. It's also his second Grand Slam title this year after winning his fifth Australian Open title in January.
The emotions of another Grand Slam title got to him after he slammed home an ace to close out Cilic in the third set.
Roger Federer is overcome with emotion after winning a record 8th Wimbledon title. ð pic.twitter.com/6CdRv7dMoJ— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 16, 2017
"I always believed that I could maybe come back and do it again. And if you believe, you can go really, really far in your life, and I did that," Federer told reporters after the match, per the Associated Press. "And I'm happy I kept on believing and dreaming and here I am today for the eighth. It's fantastic."
Federer won 11 of 13 points in the first set to take a 4-2 lead as Cilic, fighting nerves, struggled with his first serves. With Federer up 5-3, Cilic hit his second double fault to hand Federer the 37-minute opener.
The second set was where it all fell apart for Cilic. He called for on-court treatment after Federer had won five straight games after going up 4-3 in the first set, then dissolved into tears. Federer pushed ahead to a 5-1 lead, then drilled his third ace, in a love hold, to take the second set.
Cilic came to life again in the third set, but it was too little, too late, as Federer put on a clinic. Cilic, who had had his feet freshly taped at the end of the second set, tried to stay aggressive but he just couldn't put cracks in Federer's service game. Federer grabbed a 4-3 lead when Cilic hit a forehand into the net. It was over after that, with Federer closing out the match with an ace.
In a hectic men's bracket at Wimbledon,. Rafael Nadal was ousted by Gilles Muller, while and couldn't overcome injuries in addition to their competition. Some questioned Federer going in, but he didn't lose a single set during the entire tournament. So much for the next big things in men's tennis. Rafael Nadal didn't drop a set to win his 10th French Open last month, and now Federer is back on top at Wimbledon.
Both of his sets of twins -- boys, 3, in their light blue blazers; girls, 7, in their dresses -- were in the guest box for the trophy ceremony. One son stuck a couple of fingers in his mouth; a daughter grabbed her brother's hand.
"They have no clue what's on. They think it's probably a nice view and a nice playground. But it's not quite like that here, so one day hopefully they'll understand," Federer said about his boys.
As for the girls, he said: "They enjoy to watch a little bit. They come for the finals, I guess."
When Dad is Roger Federer, you can wait until the last Sunday to show up.
Federer had plenty of celebrity fans on hand watching him play on Centre Court in a pro-Federer crowd, among them Bradley Cooper, Eddie Redmayne, Hugh Grant and the Prince William and Princess Kate. Other celebrity fans also chimed in on Twitter.
Hugh Grant, Eddie Redmayne, Bradley Cooper, Justin Rose and Michael McIntyre are some of the famous faces in the royal box at Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/evon78gohJ— PA Showbiz (@PAshowbiz) July 16, 2017
You can relive the match through the live blog:
The Associated Press contributed to this story
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After winning the first four games, Federer was put on his toes by Cilic