Since he won his first title in 2003, Roger Federer is 63-3 at the Wimbledon Championships. The 2003-07, 2009 and now 2012 champion feels the most comfortable on grass, and his accomplishments on the surface speak for themselves. It took a formidable effort by Rafael Nadal in 2008, a lights-out Tomas Berdych in 2010 and an incredible serving job by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011 to take Federer out of Wimbledon in recent years.
After Federer’s recent shortcomings at SW19 and Novak Djokovic’s victory in 2011, the Serb was the deserving favorite to repeat in 2012. This year, however, order was restored.
Federer started off his campaign with easy victories over Spaniard Albert Ramos and Italian Fabio Fognini in the first two rounds. In the third round, however, Federer faced his sternest test of the early stages of the tournament, taking out Frenchman Julien Benneteau after dropping the first two sets and being within a couple of points of losing in a fourth-set tie break.
In the fourth round, Federer was slightly troubled by an ailing back but prevailed in four sets against Belgian Xavier Malisse and followed it with a trouncing of Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the quarterfinals.
Federer, however, as is usually the case, saved his best for the later stages of the tournament. In the semifinals, he produced one of his best matches of the season, earning an impressive four-set victory over then No. 1 Novak Djokovic, which he followed by defeating hometown hero Andy Murray in the final again in four sets and thus winning his 17th major title.
This championship might end up being one of the sweetest of his career, as it brought him back to World No. 1, thus allowing him to break Pete Sampras’ record for most weeks in the position.