Roger Federer wins record eighth Wimbledon championship


Roger Federer wrote a new chapter in his historic tennis career Sunday, beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic to win a Wimbledon men’s singles title for an unprecedented eighth time.

Although it was back and forth for the early parts of the opening set, the match was soon lopsided with Federer winning, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.

Federer, who appropriately ended the match with his eighth ace, didn’t lose a set throughout the tournament. It was his first Wimbledon title since 2012.

“It’s disbelief that I can achieve such heights,” said Federer, 35, who lost in the semifinals at Wimbledon last year, hampered by a knee injury, and took the rest of the year off. “I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to be in another final here since losing last year… but I always believed I could come back and do it again.”

Federer, is the oldest man to win Wimbledon in the Open Era, which began in 1968. Earlier this year, when he won the Australian Open, he was the oldest to do so since 37-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1972.

The 6-foot-6 Cilic wasn’t overpowered, but buckled under the weight of a slew of unforced errors. Typically, Federer was a machine with his fluid groundstrokes and deft play at the net.

At one point, with Federer leading in the second set, 3-0, Cilic spent an extended period in his courtside chair, was talked to by a medical team, then, red-faced and clearly upset, he pulled a towel over his head and sat there for several moments. He got a standing ovation when he returned to play.

After he lost that set, Cilic removed his left shoe and had his bandaged foot examined. He then took a medical timeout while his foot was re-taped. The nature of Cilic’s injury wasn’t clear, but it was vaguely referenced in the on-court interview after the match.

“Throughout my career, I never gave up once I started a match,” he said. “I gave my best today and that’s all I could do.”

Coming into the match with seven Wimbledon singles championships, Federer was tied with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw in that category.

Federer now has the second most titles in the same Grand Slam tournament, two shy of Rafael Nadal’s 10 French Open titles, and is 19-10 in Grand Slam finals.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

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