If the number eight is not Roger Federer’s lucky number then it should be. He served his eighth ace on championship point to win a record setting eighth Wimbledon crown and the number of games he lost in the final was eight, and his birthday is on the eighth of the eighth. Federer has achieved something no other man has done, win eight Wimbledons. He was playing a record eleventh Wimbledon final, no other man has reached eleven finals at any of the majors.
Federer defeated an injured Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in one hour 41 minutes to make history.
“It is very special. Wimbledon was always my favourite tournament, will always be my favourite tournament,” Federer said. “My heroes walked the grounds here and walked the courts here. Because of them, I think I became a better player, too. To mark history here at Wimbledon really means a lot to me just because of all of that really. It’s that simple.
“Funny enough, I didn’t think that much of it throughout today, throughout the trophy ceremony. I was more just so happy that I was able to win Wimbledon again because it’s been a long road, it’s been an exciting road. It’s been tough at times, but that’s how it’s supposed to be.
“So to be Wimbledon champion for an entire year now is something I can’t wait, you know, to savour and just enjoy. So it was super special. Number eight obviously means a lot to me because at that level, to be part of Wimbledon history, is truly amazing.”
The Swiss maestro says he is surprising himself with some of his results and achievements. In addition to this being his eighth at the All England Club, it was his 19th career major and second this year. He made it clear that back in 2001 when he upset Pete Sampras in the same Centre Court, he could never have dreamt he would be in such a position.
“I didn’t think I was going to be this successful after beating Pete here. I hoped to have a chance maybe one day to be in a Wimbledon finals and have a chance to win the tournament,” he said. “Winning eight is not something you can ever aim for, in my opinion. If you do, I don’t know, you must have so much talent and parents and the coaches that push you from the age of three on, who think you’re like a project.
“I was not that kid. I was just really a normal guy growing up in Basel, hoping to make a career on the tennis tour. I guess I dreamed, I believed, and really hoped that I could actually maybe really do it, you know, to make it real. So I put in a lot of work, and it paid off.”
One had to feel sorry for Cilic, one of the nicest guys on the tour.. He had played so superbly to reach his first Wimbledon final but it was obviously he was having trouble physically. Early in the second set he had the doctor and the physio around him and he was sobbing. It looked like he might have retired but he continued to play on and later on revealed the issue.
“It was definitely one of the unfortunate days for me to happen. I got a really bad blister. Even I felt it in the match with Querrey in the semis. Fluid just came down under my callous in the foot. The last 30 hours, they were just constantly almost with me. They did as much as they could, but unfortunately I still felt the pain.
“Every time I had to do a reaction fast, fast change of movement, I was unable to do that. Obviously was very tough emotionally because I know how much I went through last few months in preparation with everything. It was also tough because of my own team. They did so much for me. I just felt it was really bad luck.”
He said he was not crying because of the pain but more the fact that he knew he could not give his best in his first Wimbledon final on the most famous court in the world. He was so hoping to emulate his countryman Goran Ivanisevic who won it in 2001.
But Marin can feel immensely proud of what he has achieved.
And if you want to know what keeps Roger going, well this is what he says: “I love to play. Wonderful team. My wife’s totally fine with me still playing. She’s my number one supporter. She’s amazing. I love playing the big stages still. I don’t mind the practice. I don’t mind the travel. Because I’m playing a little less, I actually get more time in return. I feel like I’m working part-time these days almost, which is a great feeling.”
The doubles title was won by Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot who defeated Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in a five set nail biter, 13-11 in the final set.