In a vintage performance, Roger Federer outclassed his Croatian opponent Marin Cilic in the finals of Wimbledon to claim his eighth title on the lawns of All England club – an Open era record.
Playing in the 11th Wimbledon final of his career, Federer never gave his big serving opponent any chance as he racked up winners and aces to win a one–sided match 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in little under two hours.
His Grand Slam tally now stands at an unprecedented 19, an Open era record that is unlikely to be broken anytime soon.
In contrast, Cilic was playing in the first Wimbledon final of his career and was up against the most successful player of the modern era, an onerous task for any player in his position.
Still, he would’ve liked his chances considering his past performances against Federer.
On way to winning his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2014 US Open, Cilic absolutely annihilated Federer in the semis, playing total lights-out and winning in straight sets.
Last year, in the Wimbledon quarters, he was two sets up against Federer and held multiple match points before eventually losing in five gruelling sets.
These matches went a long way in cementing his stature as a big game player.
But, come Sunday, Cilic wasn’t able to reproduce any of his magic. He struggled to find rhythm with his trademark forehand and was on the receiving end of an unfortunate injury, painful blisters on his left foot which practically skewed his chances at glory.
Federer was untroubled for most of the match, he never lost his serve and broke Cilic in each of the three sets to cruise to victory.
In the immediate aftermath of the match, Federer was hailed for his age-defying exploits.
Media and fans alike agreed that the Swiss ace is in the form of his life, and there is no reason why he cannot add to his collection after a fairy tale run this year.
After taking an injury layoff for six months after last year’s Wimbledon, he has hit a rare purple patch and has gone on to win two Grand Slams and a couple of Masters titles as well.
At 35 years of age, he still keeps breaking records for fun.
The question then begs to be asked – how long can he continue to do this?
If you ask the maestro himself, at least another four to five years!
The main reason being, Federer believes, just like everybody else who has watched him play these last six months, that he is playing quite possibly the best tennis of his career.
Speaking after his Wimbledon victory, he was quoted as saying: “It is magical. I think I have maybe played the best tennis ever. It is disbelief that I have achieved such heights. Is it possible I could be still playing here when I am 40? You would think so, health permitting, and everything is okay.”
He then jokingly added: “You could take 300 days off beforehand, just prepare for Wimbledon, put yourself in a freeze box, then you come out and train a bit – you’re not going to be injured.
“At some stage you have to play a minimum of matches, otherwise you’re just not going to be successful any more. That’s going to be the interesting thing moving forward, how I’m going to be able to manage that.”
Cryogenics or not, we would love to see Federer around for as long as humanly possible. After all, who doesn’t like witnessing poetry in motion?