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Roger Federer played some of the best tennis of his life to beat Britain’s Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final yesterday.
Federer came back from a set and a break down to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, claim his seventh Wimbledon title and 17th career grandslam.
It was his first major victory since January 2010, and the king of the grass was relieved to be back at the top after a couple of years absent from the Wimbledon final with people doubting him.
“I think the belief got me to victory today, and almost two other ones in the last couple of years as well,” he said.
“When it all happened I was just so happy that it was all over and that the pressure was gone, basically.
“I guess that came due to the tough loss I had here last year. There were a couple of tough moments for me over the last couple years.
“But I think I’m playing some of the best tennis of my life right now.”
An emotional Murray was reduced to tears in front of his home crowd, showing how much the Wimbledon title meant to him.
He has now lost all four of his grand-slam finals – a feat that only his coach, Ivan Lendl, and Kim Clijsters have ever done before – the future looks bright if history is anything to go by.
This was by far his best effort; however, and while he will take some time to recover from this loss, he will be proud of the improvements he has made, particularly in his mental game.
“I am getting closer,” a tearful Murray said to the BBC immediately after the match.
“Everybody always talks about the pressure of playing at Wimbledon, but it’s not the people watching – they make it incredible.
“I felt like I was playing for the nation and I couldn’t quite do it.
“We’re talking about one of the greatest athletes of all time. You’ve got to put it in context a little bit.”
Murray got off to a flying start and made the Swiss superstar look distinctly average for a set and half. But after Federer clinched the second set the rain came down, meaning the remainder of the match was played under the roof of centre court.
Federer was able to hit his precise shots without the elements affecting him and showed the world why he has such an immaculate indoor record.
Murray never gave up fighting however, and pushed Federer until the final point.
A twenty minute game in the third set on the Scot’s serve in which he saved six break points before surrendering to the relentless pressure of Federer was the turning point of the match.
The 30-year-old continued to elevate his game, and played two of the best sets of his life to complete the turnaround.
He now regains the number one spot and will match Sampras’ record of 286 weeks at the top of the rankings.
Murray many have lost the final, but he won the hearts of a nation, and showed the world how close he is getting to that elusive grand slam he deserves.
He will join Federer and the other top players back at SW19 in a few weeks to compete for the Olympic title before the American hard court season and the US Open at the end of next month.