Roger Federer said he always believed he could win Wimbledon again, after ending a five-year wait for his eighth title with victory over Marin Cilic.
The Swiss, 35, won 6-3 6-1 6-4 to become the most successful man in Wimbledon singles history, and claim a 19th Grand Slam title.
Federer’s previous triumph at the All England Club was in 2012, and he has since lost in the 2014 and 2015 finals.
“It’s special, Wimbledon was always my favourite tournament,” he said.
“I truly believed. For me, it was also important that my team believed it, as well.
“My heroes walked the grounds here and walked the courts here. Because of them, I think I became a better player too.
“To make history here at Wimbledon really means a lot to me just because of all of that really. It’s that simple.”
Federer makes history – highlights
Fourteen years after his first Wimbledon triumph, Federer added to his lengthy list of achievements:
- He becomes the first man to win Wimbledon eight times, surpassing Pete Sampras (2000) and William Renshaw (1889).
- He is the oldest man to win Wimbledon since the Open era began in 1968.
- He extends his record to 19 Grand Slam titles, ahead of Rafael Nadal on 15.
- He stands joint-fourth on the all-time Grand Slam list with Helen Wills Moody, five behind Margaret Court.
Federer has lost just two matches in 2017, and held match points in both of those, collecting titles at the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami Masters, Halle and now Wimbledon.
His success is all the more remarkable after he left the All England Club 12 months ago and chose to miss the rest of 2016 to fully recover from a knee injury.
Twelve months ago, the state of Federer’s knee and his future in the sport were uncertain. Six months away from competition worked wonders and he is now within striking distance of returning to the top of the rankings.
The now 19-time Grand Slam champion turns 36 in three weeks and yet it is he or Rafael Nadal who will be the next world number one. With Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic weighing up the best way to treat hip and elbow injuries, Federer is up to number three and doesn’t have a single ranking point to defend for the rest of the year. – BBC