Never let someone say you can’t come back. Roger Federer’s lengthy-for-him gap between trophies that came to a close, rather than Britain’s 76-year wait for a homegrown men’s champion.
Making sure everyone knows he is still as capable as ever of brilliance on a tennis court – particularly one made of grass, and with a roof overhead – Federer came back to beat Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 indoors on Centre Court for a record-tying seventh championship at the All England Club.
“It feels nice,” Federer said, clutching the gold trophy only Pete Sampras has held as many times in the modern era. “It’s like it never left me.”
The victory also increased Federer’s record total to 17 major titles after being stuck on No. 16 for 2 1/2 years, and clinched a return to the top of the ATP rankings, overtaking Novak Djokovic, after an absence of a little more than two years. Federer’s 286th week at No. 1 ties Sampras for the most in history.
“He doesn’t want to stop now. He knows he’s going to continue to play well and try to break seven, and he could very well end up with eight or nine Wimbledons,” Sampras said in a telephone interview. “I just think he’s that much better than the other guys on grass, and he loves the court the way I loved that court. He’s a great champion, a classy champion, and I’m really happy for him.”