Roger Federer made history as the first man ever to claim eight Wimbledon singles titles following a dominant 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 straight-sets victory over an injured and emotional Marin Cilic on Sunday (16 July).
The resurgent 35-year-old defied his status as the second oldest male SW19 finalist of the Open Era to win a second Grand Slam of the year and 19th overall. He had been tied with Pete Sampras and amateur William Renshaw on seven All England Club triumphs since his last success five years ago.
Having at last reached the Wimbledon showpiece after a record 11 attempts, 2014 US Open champion Cilic, appearing in only his second major final, endured a difficult day both physically and emotionally as he broke down in tears and struggled with a lingering foot issue.
Federer was forced to save a break point to pull level at 2-2 in the opening set and quickly turned the tables by bringing up three of his own.
He wasted the first two before Cilic netted a backhand to concede the advantage. The Croatian later batted away one set point but double-faulted on the second to leave himself with a mountain to climb.
Cilic smashed his racket in sheer frustration before the relentless Federer held to love and broke again with the help of a wide backhand. Trailing 3-0 in the second set, the Croatian was seen crying at the changeover and called for the trainer to an assess an apparent injury that did not seem to be overly restricting his movement.
Cilic battled on and held thanks to a deft half-volley, but was broken again at 1-4 and could not prevent Federer from taking the first of three set points with a stylish ace. The seventh seed then took a medical timeout to receive treatment on his strapped left foot, provoking fears that a Wimbledon singles final could be prematurely curtailed by a retirement for the first time since 1911.
There was hope for Cilic when he stopped the rot at the start of the third and saved another break point to take a 2-1 lead. He then took his opponent to deuce, but could not make him pay for a smattering of unforced errors and crucially conceded another break while tied at 3-3 as dark clouds hovered menacingly over southwest London.
Cilic held easily to stay alive trailing 4-5 and managed to see off two championship points before the masterful Federer sealed the title with an ace and lifted the Gentlemen's Singles Trophy for the eighth time in front of an adoring crowd that included wife Mirka and his young children.
Andy Murray and Johanna Konta may have fallen short in their respective pursuits of Wimbledon glory, but there was to be one British champion at SW19 in 2017. Top seeds Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis broke Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen in the seventh game of each set to secure a 6-4, 6-4 win in the mixed doubles final.