REUTERS / EPA
Roger Federer clinches his eighth Wimbledon crown at the expense of Marin Cilic (left)
The trainer and doctor were twice called to Centre Court but Cilic quickly had to reconcile himself with the truth – there is no known cure for Federer in this sort of mood.
A hotly-anticipated final had turned into a one-sided turkey shoot, with Federer picking off a potentially dangerous opponent at will, before finally finishing him off with a final ace before raising his arms in triumph.
From the start there had been double faults, and nervous pauses before the ball toss – but initially it was Federer who seemed to be struggling with the occasion in the opening exchanges.
Sure enough, a double fault from the man chasing his 19th grand-slam in all then a careless backhand into the net handed Cilic the first break point of the match.
A big kicker of a second serve was too much for the Russian to control and the whole episode appeared to jolt Federer into his groove. Having escaped the danger, Federer then rattled off the next five points as well, and suddenly Cilic was the one under pressure.
Marin Cilic breaks down in TEARS during Wimbledon 2017 final Sun, July 16, 2017
Marin Cilic broke down in tears during the Wimbledon final against Roger Federer.
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In fairness, Federer needed all three break points, but there was a giant cheer when Cilic’s backhand failed him – it was clear popular support was behind the creation of a slice of history.
Federer did not concede another service all set while Cilic double-faulted on set point to deliver a telling indictment on how the match was now looking.
The second started in similar vein, Federer breaking a player who suddenly looked as though he had been pulled out of the stands and stuck in a pair of tennis shorts.
Another emphatic Federer hold marked the moment of Cilic’s mini-breakdown, for all the courtside he was given there seemed to be little physically wrong with him.
Both the trainer and the doctor were called to the court but unfortunately for the 2014 US Open champion, there is simply no cure for Federer in this sort of form.
Bravely he returned to his feet to hold serve and slow down the Federer charge. But there was no stopping it.
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Roger Federer celebrates his winning point
Merciless Federer broke again and we were barely into the second hour before Federer had secured his second set.
At this point there was more insight into what specifically might be ailing Cilic. His giant left tennis shoe was removed to reveal strapping around his toes that was reapplied by the trainer. Evidently it was not only Federer’s tennis that was blistering.
Despite fresh encouragement for Cilic from spectators desperate to get their money’s worth out of this contest, he continued to struggle to hold.
There was no respite from some emphatic Federer service games and sure enough, Cilic finally cracked in the seventh game of the third set, and from then it was just a case of awaiting the coronation. It wasn’t long.