Despite a strong start by Andy Murray and all of Britain rooting for its man, Roger Federer rallied to win the Wimbledon final on Sunday, taking the match, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, for his 17th Grand Slam title and seventh on Wimbledon’s fabled grass.
This was something of a dream final, featuring one player attempting to elevate himself to higher levels than anyone has achieved, while the other hoped to finally pull his country off the mat. Whoever won, history was going to be made.
No British man has won any Grand Slam singles title since Fred Perry won Wimbledon in 1936 — 76 years ago. Beyond the national drama, you may have heard there was plenty at stake for Murray as an individual as well. As collateral damage of the so-called “Golden Era” of men’s tennis in which he plays, which has starred Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, Murray has for several years held the title of best player not to have won a Slam. He has come achingly close, reaching three previous finals and an additional six semifinals. But Wimbledon is where Murray’s tennis has been its most reliable, and clearly this match represented his best opportunity so far.
Federer and Switzerland suffered through a drought of their own, though not nearly as daunting. Federer hadn’t won a Grand Slam since the 2010 Australian Open, the longest drought of Federer’s since he won his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon 2003. The win bumped Federer back to No. 1 for the first time since 2010, and equalled Pete Sampras’ record of seven Wimbledon titles.