As only he can do, Roger Federer made it look easy as he cruised to his record 8th Wimbledon title, defeating Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. In the process, Federer became the oldest Wimbledon champion ever.
After surviving a few tense moments early in the match, the Swiss maestro quickly found a lead and never looked back. Cilic, plagued by a foot injury, was completely outmatched both physically and mentally. But who wouldn’t be when playing against the greatest tennis player of all-time at his favorite tournament?
After the match, Federer said, “I always believed that I could maybe come back and do it again…And I’m happy I kept on believing and dreaming, and here I am today for the eighth.”
It was less than a year ago that the future for Federer looked bleak to put it mildly. He had arthroscopic knee surgery in early 2016 and didn't even play the second half of the season. Throughout the media, pundits were murmuring about the end of his career. Now, in the midst of a magical 2017 season that includes 2 major titles, Federer has completely flipped the script.
Perhaps more significant than any of his prodigious physical abilities is the belief that has been required for a comeback of this magnitude. Each time Federer takes the court, he leaves us in a state of pure astonishment as we watch this belief manifest itself in graceful, effortless movements that confound and amaze even the casual viewer. We invariably think to ourselves, “It can’t possibly be that easy.” But alas, at the age of 35 (making him an ancient artifact in tennis years), Federer continues to conjure these same reactions of incredulous admiration.
It’s impossible to know how much longer the brilliance of Federer will shine. We may have just witnessed his last masterpiece or maybe he has many more left to create. But regardless of what is on the horizon for Federer, we can count ourselves fortunate to have witnessed one more incredible performance before the sun sets on his unparalleled career.