On Sunday morning, Roger Federer became the oldest man in the Open Era to be crowned singles champion at Wimbledon when he defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. He also became the first player to achieve this feat without conceding a single set since Bjorn Borg in 1976, and is now atop the list for the most men’s singles titles at the All-England Club.
The match opposing seven-time champion Federer and one-time Grand Slam champion Cilic marked the 131st Gentlemen’s Singles finals played at the All-England Club.
In the first set, Federer managed to break his big serving opponent twice, the second time thanks to a double fault from the Croatian. This costly error by Cilic allowed Federer to take the first set in 36 minutes.
The Swiss Maestro continued his dominant play to start the second set, breaking his opponent early to take a quick 3-0 lead. After an emotional Cilic called for the trainer during a changeover, the crowd rallied behind the Croatian, who seemed to regain confidence and elevated his play. Federer, who has been playing some of the best tennis of his career since the start of the year, continued to overpower Cilic to take the second set.
Prior to the start of the third set, Cilic called the trainer for a second time and receiving treatment on his foot. Although the set was more tightly disputed, Federer was opportunistic and converted on the only break point he needed to take the lead. He capped off his historic victory with an ace.
It was a record setting performance from Federer, who was playing in his eleventh final and surpassed Pete Sampras for the most titles in the Open Era with his eight crowns at the All-England Club. Sunday’s win also brings Federer’s total Grand Slam title count to 19.
The two players had met seven times previously, with Federer leading their head to head with six wins. His only loss to the Croatian came at the 2014 US Open semi-finals, where Cilic went on to capture his first Grand Slam title.
Feature photo: Joel Marklund