Roger Federer beats Andy Murray, wins his 7th Wimbledon title | Tennis
Roger Federer beat Andy Murray in four sets to win his seventh Wimbledon singles title, giving him a share of the men's record along with William Renshaw and Pete Sampras.
WIMBLEDON, England — As rain gave way, if only briefly, to sunshine and the Wimbledon men's final approached, lovers, friends and families took turns posing in front of the Fred Perry statue on display outside Centre Court.
Perry's statue has been a photo opportunity for years at the All England Club, but this was the day when Perry, the last British man to win the singles title here (it was in 1936), could finally get company in earnest: the day when Andy Murray of Scotland was about to play for the title against Roger Federer of Switzerland.
A Murray victory Sunday would have been a national moment, a thunderous start to London's Olympic summer. But nobody in tennis today does history quite as well as Federer, and though Murray played well, Federer was the one who ended up happily falling to the grass surface with milestones to savor.
Federer's 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory gave him a seventh Wimbledon singles title, which ties the men's record shared by William Renshaw, a Briton who ruled in the 1880s, and American Pete Sampras, who won his last title here in 2000.
Sunday's victory guaranteed Federer, 30, would return to No. 1 Monday and — in another week — surpass Sampras' record of 286 total weeks atop the world rankings.
"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 of Federer.
It was Federer's 17th singles championship in a Grand Slam tournament, padding his lead in the career men's standings.
"I mean there was so much on the line, so I didn't try to think of the world number-one ranking or the seventh or the 17th," Federer said.
Federer last won a major title at the 2010 Australian Open. Though he has continued to pile up titles on the regular circuit in best-of-three-set events, Federer has been eclipsed at the Grand Slam tournaments in the last two years by rivals Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Rafael Nadal of Spain.
But Wimbledon, the oldest of the Grand Slam events, remains beautifully suited to Federer's Swiss army knife of a skill set: his speed and innate grace, his first-strike instincts, his medley of options off his single-handed backhand, his ability to improvise off a bad bounce and perhaps his traditionalism, too.
Federer won his first title here in 2003 and reeled off four more before Nadal stopped him in the epic 2008 final that is considered one of tennis' finest matches. Federer won again in 2009.
"I never stopped believing, and I started playing more even though I have a family," he said. "I don't know. It all worked out."
Sunday's final was stopped because of rain at 1-1 in the third set after 2 hours and 2 minutes of play with Federer serving at 40-0. The decision was made to close the retractable roof over Centre Court and when Federer and Murray resumed play 40 minutes later, they were indoors — a first for a Wimbledon singles final.
"When the roof closed, he played unbelievable tennis," Murray said of Federer.
After losing in the semifinals each of the previous three years, the 25-year-old Murray was the first British man to reach the final at Wimbledon since Bunny Austin in 1938.
Murray dropped to 0-4 in finals at Grand Slam events.
"I'm getting closer," Murray said afterward, his voice cracking and tears flowing.
|Comparing the records of Roger Federer and retired Pete Sampras:|
|Weeks ranked No. 1||286||286|