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The Daily Wildcat

 

Federer wins seventh Wimbledon title, proves age is just a number

Roger+Federer+kisses+the+championship+trophy+after+defeating+Andy+Murray%2C+4-6%2C+7-5%2C+6-3%2C+6-4%2C+in+the+men%26apos%3Bs+singles+final+at+Wimbledon+in+London%2C+England%2C+July+8%2C+2012.+%28Imago%2FZuma+Press%2FMCT%29
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Roger Federer kisses the championship trophy after defeating Andy Murray, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, in the men's singles final at Wimbledon in London, England, July 8, 2012. (Imago/Zuma Press/MCT)

The All-England Club hosts professional tennis players from around the world, dressed in regal white clothes and praying that the freshly cut grass under their feet won’t trip them up. Tennis players are known for their poise, technique and mental toughness, but after playing two grueling weeks on the prestigious grounds they share a sole trait: the thirst to be crowned the 2012 Wimbledon Champion.

Sunday morning, tennis fans witnessed the first grass court meeting between Swiss legend Roger Federer and the hopeful Scotsman Andy Murray in the men’s singles championship match. After a rain delay, four hours of tennis and shifting momentum, Federer beat Murray in four sets, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, to earn the coveted crown.

The win gives Federer his seventh Wimbledon championship, tying Pete Sampras of 2000 and William Renshaw of 1889 for the most grass court victories in history. To add to his list of accomplishments, Federer now touts 17 Grand Slam titles, reclaimed his No. 1 ranking on the ATP Tour after dethroning reigning champion Novak Djokovic and equaling Sampras’ record of 286 weeks as the top-ranked player.

In the first set, Murray looked promising, with the highest percentage of first serve points, break points and receiving points won. Federer made an unusual 16 unforced errors compared to Murray’s 5 unforced errors. The crowd cheered on Murray, in hopes that he would become the first player from the United Kingdom to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. Sunday marked Murray’s 24th Grand Slam appearance and their fourth meeting in a Grand Slam final. With an 0-3 record against Federer, Murray’s taking of the first set seemed a strong step in the right direction for fans.

Then came the rain.

Officials closed Centre Court’s roof for the first time in a championship match, and resumed play after a 40-minute rain delay. Federer came out swinging and Murray’s consistent game started to collapse, punctuated by several tumbles on the court’s slippery surface. Murray was down 6-5 in the second set, losing in a tie-break.

The next three sets showcased the talent and poise of the world’s greatest tennis player in the Open era, as Federer’s game caught fire. With his wicked one-handed backhand, swift footwork and unmatched composure, he dominated the court like he was in his 20s again.

Federer became the first player over 30 to win a Grand Slam tournament since Arthur Ashe in 1975, a victory that ended his two-year drought of a Grand Slam title. His last was the 2010 Australian Open with another victory over Murray in the championship match.

As for Murray, the loss was another blow to his self-esteem and reputation for being the greatest player to consistently lose in Grand Slam finals, a reputation his coach Ivan Lendl shared during his tennis career.

“I’m getting closer,” a broken-hearted Murray said to fans between tears.

Unable to look at his family and coaches in the crowd, he offered a sincere thank you to supporters and congratulated Federer.
“Murray played like a champion,” said Boris Becker, German tennis legend who was the youngest player to ever win Wimbledon at age 17. “There is no shame in losing to Roger Federer.”

In the next week the All-England Club will be prepped for the 2012 London Olympic Games, where Federer hopes to break another record with his first gold medal for Switzerland.

— Courtney L’Ecuyer is the perspectives editor. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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