WASHINGTON, July 8, 2012 — Call him the Swiss Machine. Call him King of Grass. Just don’t call him Yesterday’s News. Roger Federer came to conquer Wimbledon and regain his No. 1 ranking as the best player in the world and he did it taking down British champ Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
Almost written off as a has-been in the making, Federer has now silenced his critics as he took his seventh Wimbledon title, tying him with Pete Sampras for the most Wimbledon wins in history along with William Renshaw in 1889.
Federer was cool under pressure, but Murray felt the pressure and it showed, even falling a few times. But the scrappy Scot fought hard till the last point, never giving an inch. So Federer had to earn every point he took, but his formidable forehand and uncanny sense of placement combined with serves that came in at 125 mph made denying him the title nearly impossible, no matter how tough Murray was. Murray certainly played a more forceful game, probably taking the advice that his friend Novak Djokovic gave him to be more aggressive.
The set after set of volleys throughout the game were works of art, each exquisite in their delivery and placement, making fans not care who took the point and enjoying the moment for itself. It was that kind of a match.
What may have helped Federer, who at 30 was facing a younger Murray at 25, was the rain delay which interrupted play at a crucial juncture in the middle of Federer’s serve 1-1, 40-0 in the third set while the All-England Club officials debated Hamlet-style whether to close the roof or not to close the roof before deciding to close the Centre Court roof. It’s a process that takes 35 minutes as the court is prepared again for play and air conditioning is set. With the roof closed, this became the first men’s final to be played at least partially indoors.
So the rest period may have helped rejuvenate Federer because he returned to serve as strong if not stronger. And if anything he seemed more focused than ever in the closed arena.
Even as Murray slipped and slid and even somersaulted on the grass, Federer stayed sure-footed, demonstrating why he has always been known as the best player in the world on grass, even as critics were starting to write him off.
No more. After winning the Semifinal match against No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic and then thwarting Great Britain’s favorite Andy Murray, Federer once again looks unstoppable.
For Murray, this is only the beginning, not the end. Ranked No. 4, he had been in a “tennis wilderness,” thanks to the domination of the Big Three, Federer, Djokovic and Nadal. And even though he didn’t break the English curse and make history as the first Brit since 1936 to win the Men’s Finals, he will have another crack at it next year.
How much prize money do the winners take home?
Singles, men and women winners take home $1.8 million a piece
Doubles winners, men and women, take home $407,212 a piece.
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