Roger Federer wins record eighth Wimbledon championship

Another record for the great Roger Federer.

He has now conducted the most expensive tennis clinic in history.

The frustrated student Sunday was Croatia’s Marin Cilic, playing in his first Wimbledon final. Federer, a veteran of 11, coolly dispatched him, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, making it look less like a match and more like a victory lap.

It was an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon title for Federer, who had been tied at seven with his tennis idol Pete Sampras and William Renshaw.

“Winning eight is not something you can ever aim for, in my opinion,” said the Swiss star, who turns 36 next month. “If you do, I don't know, you must have so much talent and parents and the coaches that push you from the age of 3 on, who think you're like a project. “I was not that kid. I was just really a normal guy growing up in Basel, hoping to make a career on the tennis tour. I guess I dreamed, I believed, and really hoped that I could actually maybe really do it, you know, to make it real. So I put in a lot of work, and it paid off.”

Federer receives $2.88 million in prize money for winning Wimbledon, bringing his career earnings to $107.33 million. In terms of Grand Slam victories at a single tournament, his eight Wimbledon titles are surpassed only by Rafael Nadal’s 10 French Opens.

“Wimbledon was always my favorite tournament, will always be my favorite tournament,” said Federer, who won the first of his 19 Grand Slams here. “My heroes walked the grounds here and walked the courts here. Because of them, I think I became a better player, too.

“To mark history here at Wimbledon really means a lot to me just because of all of that really. It's that simple.”

Federer, who appropriately ended Sunday’s match with ace No. 8, didn’t lose a set throughout the tournament. It was his first Wimbledon title since 2012. The match was over in a breezy 1 hour, 41 minutes, the identical time it took Federer to beat Andy Roddick in the 2005 final here.

Coming off knee surgery last year, Federer lost in the semifinals at Wimbledon. He then took the rest of the year off and spent it with his family. Amazingly, he essentially came in cold and won the Australian Open upon his return, then skipped the clay-court season, including the French Open.

Then, he returned again and won Wimbledon, meaning he won both Grand Slams he played in this year.

“Honestly, I'm incredibly surprised how well this year is going,” he said.

“I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level. So I guess you would have laughed, too, if I told you I was going to win two slams this year. People wouldn't believe me if I said that. I also didn't believe that I was going to win two this year.”

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 and was bothered by a blister on the ball of his left foot. Typically, Federer was a machine with his fluid ground strokes and deft play at the net.

Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open winner, said after the match he had hoped to play through the pain of the blister but that it wound up altering his strategy.

“In the match, I tried to change it up and play serve and volley to put myself in a situation where I didn’t have to move laterally left to right,” said Cilic, who certainly got no help from the surgical Federer in that regard.

Federer said he was confused about what was ailing his opponent.

“I couldn't tell you if he was struggling moving to his forehand or to his backhand,” he said. “Because he was serving big. He was serve and volleying. So I guess movement for that reason wasn't the biggest problem maybe. I thought when he called the doctor first, I thought maybe he was dizzy or something.”

Of course, this wasn’t a case of Cilic losing the match. Federer imposed his will and won it.

The question is, how many more Wimbledons can he win?

He was asked if he can see himself doing this at age 40, for instance.

“I mean, you would think so, if health permitting, and like you say, everything is okay,” he said. Then, with a smile: “You could take 300 days off beforehand, just prepare for Wimbledon, put yourself in a freeze box, then you come out and train a bit, you know you're not going to be injured. “Yeah, playing Wimbledon and winning Wimbledon are two separate things. Don't forget that.”

After his unforgettable performance in this tournament, that is abundantly clear.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesfarmer


UPDATES:

11:05 a.m.: This article has been updated throughout with details about the match and comments from Federer.

This article was first published at 8 a.m.

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