Roger Federer's four-set (4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4) win over Andy Murray showed off all that is great about the legend. One month before he turns 31 years old, Fed pulled off the most impressive Grand Slam victory of his illustrious career.
For the seventh time, Federer is the Wimbledon champion. What makes it even more amazing is that this victory is a full nine years after his first in 2003. That is the longest span between any man's first and last Wimbledon titles in the Open Era.
Only Bill Tilden had a longer span (10 years) in the history of the sport and the tournament.
This speaks to Federer's virtually unequaled long-standing greatness. These are the types of feats that validate claims that an athlete is the best of all time.
Against a pro-Murray crowd at the All-England Club, Federer made the local fans wait at least one more year for a hometown champion. Federer is now the No. 1 player in the world for the first time since 2010.
How did Federer get it done?
Note: Statistics acquired via Wimbledon.com
Surviving Murray's First Serve
Federer won 26 percent of the points when he returned the first serve. Combine that with the fact that Murray's first serve was not consistent (only 56 percent of his first serves were good), and that was a huge key.
Overall, Federer won 40 percent of the returning service points.
Effective & Aggressive Service Game
Throughout the latter part of this tournament, Federer was still attacking in his second serve. That trend continued in the final, as his second serve averaged just under 100 mph.
He won an awesome 76 percent of his first service points and 69 percent of his service points overall.
Playing the Net Well
Federer also had the advantage over Murray at the net. He won 78 percent of the net points and especially attacked the net on Murray's second serves.
His aggression in this aspect further showed his determination to grab this title.
The long rallies are often the make-or-break points in a match. These are the points that lead to demonstrative fist pumps on one side and head- and racket-dropping gestures on the other.
Federer won 57 percent of the points with rallies of nine shots or more and 55 percent of the points with three to eight shots in the rally.
He didn't play a perfect match, as he made 38 unforced errors. But as is often the case, he played to the opponent's weakness—in this case, Murray's inaccurate first service—and he won.
That is something I began to doubt he'd ever do again at a Grand Slam. How long he can maintain this form remains to be seen, but what is a certainty is Fed's place as arguably the greatest ever.
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