Roger Federer - Rewriting the history books in a historic Wimbledon 2017 title

Roger Federer won his 20th Grand Slam title in grand style as he clinched a record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title without losing a set.

Roger Federer in a file photo. (Image credit: Twitter)

He was over 35 at the time. A father to a set of twins. Fatherhood would have been the main priority for Roger Federer at that time. But, he was determined to rewrite the Tennis history books. What better way to do it than at Wimbledon, the tournament that saw the emergence of Federer as one of the greatest in the business. Ever since beating Pete Sampras, the seven-time Wimbledon champion in 2001, the torch passed to the next generation.

From the time he beat Sampras in 2001, Federer became the ultimate great in Tennis. He registered five straight Wimbledon titles from 2003 to 2007. Federer completed the career Grand Slam in 2009 when he won the French Open. The Swiss was the first to achieve it all. In the next decade, he would be joined by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The trio would dominate the sport unlike anybody before or after them.

The backdrop of 2017 Wimbledon title

Roger Federer had finally overcome his losing streak to win in epic style in the Australian Open against Rafael Nadal. In a pulsating five-set encounter, both players turned the clock back as Federer overcame a defiant Nadal. However, the Spaniard continued his dominance at the French Open as he won it for a record 10th time. But, heading into Wimbledon, the equation had changed.

Nadal had won his first three rounds in straight sets. However, in the fourth round, he encountered a brilliant challenge from Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller. Nadal was down two sets but he bounced back to win the next two 6-3,6-4. In the fifth set, the match was titanic. Both players refused to yield but in the end, Muller won the set 15-13 and the match to knock Nadal out.

Novak Djokovic entered the quarterfinal but he suffered an elbow injury that ruled him out of the season. That set the path for Roger Federer to achieve history.

Roger Federer dominates in 2017 Wimbledon

In the first round, Federer was comfortably leading against Alexandr Dolgopolov when the Ukranian withdrew due to injury. Federer had a comfortable ride until the fourth round, beating Dusan Lajovic, Mikhail Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov all in straight sets.

In the quarterfinal and semifinal, Federer only became better as he beat Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych to enter the final. In the summit clash, Croatia’s Marin Cilic awaited him. Cilic was the 2014 US Open champion so he did have experience of the big match stage.

Federer puts on a clinical display

On Centre Court in the final, Federer put on a masterful exhibition. Federer set the tone of the match when he returned the very first serve with a brilliant forehand that Cilic had no shot of handling. The Swiss quickly moved into a position to threaten a break on the first service game, but Cilic did end up holding after some trouble. Federer forced the first break when Cilic was serving at 2-2. Federer hit a beautiful backhand winner and forced a couple of forehand errors, and had a triple break point opportunity. Cilic fought back and won a couple of points, but Federer broke him, forcing a backhand error.

The early tempo clearly distressed Cilic. He was in tears. The Croatian knew that Federer was in god mode at Wimbledon. He would not be stopped. The second and third set followed a similar pattern. Federer demonstrated his genius and managed to win in straight sets. His 6-3,6-1,6-4 win helped Federer create history by winning Wimbledon for the eighth time.

Records for Roger Federer

Federer surpassed Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, who had each won it seven times.  He also became only the second man in the Open era, after Bjorn Borg in 1976, to win Wimbledon without losing a set. This was Federer’s 70th appearance at a Grand Slam, tying the record for male players and a record-breaking 11th men’s singles final at the same Grand Slam tournament. Federer also registered a record number of wins in Wimbledon. This was also Federer’s 19th Grand Slam win. After he won the Australian Open in 2018, he would win his 20th Grand Slam, making him the first male Tennis player to reach that landmark.

Four years later, Federer was dumped out of the quarterfinal with a 0-6 loss to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are now tied with 20 Grand Slam titles. But, if one saw the last time Federer was in god mode, then 2017 Wimbledon was the zenith of it.

Sportslumo Desk

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