Tennis

Roger the Gr-eight

Swiss star wins record eighth Wimbledon singles title, extends Grand Slam tally to 19

Roger Federer has been crowned Wimbledon champion for a record eighth time after cruising through his 11th final at the tournament yesterday.

The Swiss maestro eased his way to a 19th Grand Slam title, beating Croatian Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in just one hour and 41 minutes on Centre Court.

Federer lifted his arms above his head after serving an ace to win the final in straight sets.

The 35-year-old became the first man to win eight Wimbledon titles and, 23 days before his 36th birthday, the oldest man in the Open era to lift the trophy.

Federer could not quite believe his own progress through the competition, storming to the trophy without dropping a single set.

He said: "It's magical, I can't believe it yet. It's too much really."

"I guess it's disbelief that I can achieve such heights and I wasn't sure if I was ever going to be here again in another final after last year.

"If you believe, you can go really far in your life.

"I kept on believing and dreaming and here I am today."

Federer sobbed as he took in the magnitude of his victory ahead of the prize-giving ceremony.

In the players' box, his twin daughters, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, who were born in 2009, and twin sons, Leo and Lenny, who were born in 2014, looked on at their father.

The girls, wearing matching dresses, and the boys, wearing matching blue blazers, were joined by their mother Mirka.

Federer's daughters had seen him win Wimbledon before, but it was a new experience for the boys.

He said: "They have no clue what's going on, they think this is probably a nice view and a nice playground.

"Hopefully one day, they will understand. It's a wonderful moment for us as a family."

Federer was challenged early on but, once he broke a nervous Cilic in the fifth game of the opening set, the match became a no-contest.

For Cilic, his first final on Centre Court became a nightmare broadcast to hundreds of millions around the globe.

After a reasonably solid start, he became discombobulated and, after falling 3-0 behind in the second set, he slumped on his courtside chair and could be seen sobbing as a physio and tournament referee attended to him.

For a moment, it looked as though the final might end in a retirement for the first time since 1911.

Given sympathetic cheers by the Federer-favouring 15,000 crowd, the 28-year-old Croat managed to regain his composure, but there was no chance of Federer letting up.

Cilic required a medical time-out after surrendering the second set in 25 minutes - a problem apparently with his foot - but it was his spirit that appeared broken.

Federer was unrelenting and with Cilic's brain still out of contact with his legs, the Swiss third seed broke in the seventh game of the third set as his opponent crashed yet another groundstroke into the net.

The end came quickly as Federer served at 5-4 to regain the title he cherishes above all others.

He missed a first match-point when a forehand went wide but converted the second with his eighth ace of the match.

Federer called Cilic a "hero" for his performance.

"It is cruel sometimes, but he fought well and he is a hero, so congratulations on a wonderful tournament, Marin," he said.

Cilic looked visibly emotional as he said he hoped one day to be back at SW19 to try and lift the trophy himself.

He said: "I gave my best and that's all I can do." - WIRE SERVICES

Roger FedererWimbledonTennis