Federer beats Murray, wins his seventh Wimbledon

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Federer beats Murray, wins his seventh Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England - A Grand Slam title drought did indeed end in Sunday’s historic and riveting Wimbledon final, only it was 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.

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.

“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 two-and-a -half years. It also clinched his return to the top of the ATP rankings, overtaking Novak Djokovic. Federer’s 286th week at No. 1 will tie 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.”

After a record seven consecutive Wimbledon finals from 2003-09, winning the first six, Federer lost in the quarterfinals in 2010 and last year, then wasted two match points and a two-set lead against Djokovic in the U.S. Open semifinals last year, raising questions about whether he might be slipping.

“A couple tough moments for me the last couple years, I guess,” Federer said. “So I really almost didn’t try to picture myself with the trophy or try to think too far ahead, really.”

After losing in the semifinals each of the previous three years, Murray was the first British man to reach the final at Wimbledon since Bunny Austin in 1938, and was trying to become the host’s first male title winner since Fred Perry in 1936.

Alas, Murray dropped to 0-4 in Grand Slam finals, three against Federer. “I’m getting closer,” Murray told the crowd afterward, his voice cracking and tears flowing.

“Everybody always talks about the pressure of playing at Wimbledon, how tough it is,” he said. “It’s not the people watching; they make it so much easier to play. The support has been incredible, so thank you.”

A key switch happened at 1-all in the third, when heavy shower caused a 40-minute delay while the retractable cover was moved over the court for the first time in a singles final.

Until then, Federer had won 86 points, Murray 85. Under the roof - with no wind to alter trajectories - Federer won 65 points, Murray 52.

“The way the court plays is a bit different,” the fourth-seeded Murray said. “I think he served very well when the roof closed. He served better.” AP
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