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Wimbledon: King Federer pockets N924m

Roger Federer became the first man to win Wimbledon eight times and extended his record to 19 Grand Slam titles with victory over Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

Federer pocketed 2.2m pounds (about N924m) after yesterday’s historic feat.

The Swiss third seed won 6-3 6-1 6-4 as seventh seed Cilic struggled with blisters on his left foot and broke down in tears during the second set.

Federer, 35, finished the contest in one hour and 41 minutes to claim his first Wimbledon title since 2012.

He becomes the oldest man in the Open Era to win the Wimbledon title.

“It is cruel sometimes,” Federer said of Cilic’s physical difficulties.

“But Marin fought well and is a hero, so congratulations on a wonderful tournament.”

Federer surpasses Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, who won their seventh titles in 2000 and 1889 respectively, with only Marina Navratilova still ahead in terms of Wimbledon singles titles on nine.

He has won two of the three Grand Slam titles so far this year, having returned from a six-month break to win the Australian Open in January.

With 19 major titles he extends his lead over Rafael Nadal in the men’s game to four, and now stands joint-fourth on the all-time list with Helen Wills Moody, five behind Margaret Court on 24.

Among his long list of achievements, Federer became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win the Wimbledon title without dropping a set.

The tournament favourite from the outset, he was rarely troubled over the course of seven matches, and Cilic was not in the condition to provide a serious test.

“I never give up in a match. I gave it my best – it’s all I can do,” he said afterwards.

Federer was playing in his 11th Wimbledon final and Cilic his first, and the gap in experience showed from the early stages.

Cilic hit a forehand which bounced before the net on the opening point as the nerves appeared hard to shake off.

Federer offered up a couple of early double faults but there was a sense of inevitability about the first break, which came in game five after Cilic fell heavily chasing down a drop shot, and then sent a backhand into the net.

A beautiful cross-court forehand helped Federer towards set point in game nine and Cilic duly double-faulted, ending the set with a 49% first-serve percentage that hardly troubled the Swiss.

After Federer made it 3-0 in the second set, a tearful Cilic sat in his chair as the doctor, tournament referee and supervisor attended to him.

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Editor, Online: Ikenna Emewu
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