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Federer Wins 7th Wimbledon Title

Federer Wins 7th Wimbledon Title
Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 3:37pm

Roger Federer secured a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title to dash the hopes of Andy Murray and a partisan Centre Court crowd.

Federer made it 17 Grand Slam titles to his name after a two-and-a-half-year drought and matched the haul of American Pete Sampras at the All England Club.

The Swiss will return to the top of the world rankings as a result of his 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 victory.

For Murray, the first Briton to reach a men's singles final at Wimbledon in 74 years, it represented his fourth defeat in major finals, his pain acutely felt by a fervent crowd at Wimbledon.

Federer's triumph was his first at Wimbledon since 2009, his last major win coming at the Australian Open in 2010, when he also beat Murray.

"It's amazing," Federer told the host broadcaster of winning his seventh Wimbledon title. "It equals me with Pete Sampras, who is my hero, so it feels amazing.

"I think I played some of my best tennis in the last couple of matches. It's worked out so many times here that I play my best in semis and the final. I couldn't be more happy -- it feels being great being back here as the winner. It's a great moment."

Federer's victory means he is only the second player in the men's game to have held the top ranking over the age of 30, alongside Andre Agassi.

"As we know, the world No. 1, you don't get that gifted," he added. "I was up two sets to love in the quarters last year, two sets to love up at U.S. Open, so many chances, maybe I got nervous, maybe the other guys were just too good.

"I never stopped believing and I started playing more even though I have a family and it all worked out, I got great momentum and confidence and it all came together. It's a magical moment for me.

"I've obviously gone through some struggles as well, a lot of changes has happened in my life since so this one comes at the right time, as any Grand Slam victory."

Murray had started well, spurred on by a fervent home crowd desperate to see a first British winner in the men's singles since Fred Perry in 1938, breaking Federer in the very first game.

And though the 25-year-old then lost his own serve, he summoned another break to take his first set in a Grand Slam final.

As a tense second set neared its climax, Federer then executed two perfect drop shots to stun Murray and take it 7-5.

The third set was locked at 1-1 when a heavy burst of rain arrived, forcing the players off court as the recently installed roof was closed.

The change in atmosphere played into Federer's hands as he reappeared rejuvenated. An epic sixth game of the set lasted for 20 minutes and ten deuces as Murray desperately tried to cling on to his serve.

But once Federer secured the break he quickly finished the set and then broke for 3-2 in the final set, sinking to the turf as a cross court forehand from Murray handed him his seventh title.

Afterwards, a tearful Murray joked: "I'm getting closer. I'd like to congratulate Roger. I was getting asked the other day after I won my semifinal, was this my best chance because Roger is 30 now? Well, he's not bad for a 30-year-old.

"He played a great tournament. He showed what fight he still has in him. So, congratulations Roger you deserve it."

Murray saluted the fans on Centre Court who offered him such support throughout the tournament, and remarked on the pressure that comes with carrying a nation's hopes of finally ending a 74-year British wait for the men's title.

"Everyone always talks about the pressure of playing at Wimbledon but it's not because of the people watching," he added. "They make it so much easier to play. The support has been incredible so thank you."

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