Roger Federer brought his “A” game, as did British hope Andy Murray.
In the end it was the 30-year-old Swiss who proved the most resilient, winning his seventh Wimbledon title 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, tying the seven titles of Pete Sampras and the Open Era record at the All England Club.
Rain forced a delay of the match in game three of the third set as the roof was closed on center court.
Throughout the first two sets both players flowed through their service games with only a break here and there separating the two. After Federer clinched the third set, the physical match started showing its toll on Murray, who grimaced through some lower body pain after taking numerous tumbles on the grass. At one point a 26-point, almost 20-minute game took some of the wind out of both players.
With the win Federer again rises to No. 1 on the ATP Rankings, a feat few predicted after the Swiss fell to No. 3 and his the 30-year mark behind youngsters Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
It was the first-ever grasscourt meeting between the two, and evened their career head-to-head series at 8-8. Federer also improved to 3-0 over Murray in Grand Slam meetings.
Federer joined Sampras (Wimbledon) and Rafael Nadal (French Open) as the only players in the Open Era to win seven titles at a Grand Slam event. It was the 17th Slam title for the Swiss.
The Swiss broke into tears in his chair after match point after the players embraced at the net.
Murray was looking to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. British men are 0-8 in Slam finals since then. Like his coach Ivan Lendl, Murray is now the second man in Open Era history to lose his first four Slam finals he has appeared in.
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