Fourteen years after his first Wimbledon triumph, Roger Federer rewrote the record books on the hallowed turf of Centre Court, storming to an unprecedented eighth title at the All England Club.
In the end, his eleventh final at his most successful grand slam event was over in a flash. One hour and 41 minutes to be precise, following a 6-3 6-1 6-4 victory over Croatia’s Marin Cilic, who was clearly hampered by an unfortunate foot injury.
Midway through the second set the giant Croat, who had played some inspired tennis on route to his first Wimbledon final, broke down in tears, as he was unable to mount a significant challenge.
Federer's incredible comeback goes on
Even so, this was all about Federer, who continues to produce one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time.
After taking six months off at the end of last year, Federer, who turns 36 next month, has now won five of his seven tournaments in 2017.
They include a fifth Australian Open triumph (his first grand slam for four and a half years) the seaside double in Indian Wells and Miami and a record eighth title at the Wimbledon tune-up event in Halle.
Now he has moved past Pete Sampras to become the most successful male singles player at SW19
Federer’s decision to skip the whole clay court season and save himself for the verdant grass now appears an inspired one.
For the first time in his career he has won Wimbledon without dropping a set. An incredible feat, which surely not even Federer himself believed was possible.
Cilic injury results in one-sided final
As a match, this was something of an anti-climax though.
Cilic is a dangerous player who had match point against Federer in the quarter-finals here last year. However, for whatever reason- Injury? Nerves? A combination of the two? – he couldn’t produce his best tennis on the biggest stage.
The Croat earned the first break point of the match in the fourth game, however he was unable to capitalise, clattering a second serve return into the net.
From there, the match had an inevitability about it, as Federer ruthlessly pocketed the next two games to lead 4-2.
A year ago, Cilic’s powerful forehand pushed Federer to the brink on the same court. Here the Croat regularly misfired from his stronger wing, allowing Federer to take control.
Cilic’s other major weapon, his booming serve, was also floundering and by the end of the first set his first serve percentage dwindled at 49 per cent.
Federer then broke serve again to wrap up the opening set in 36 minutes.
At the change of ends, Cilic slammed his racquet onto his chair and it soon became clear that he was struggling.
After going down an early break at the start of the second set, Cilic broke down in tears when the players changed ends, meaning the tournament director and trainer were both called to court.
Ruthless Federer shows no mercy
After falling two sets behind, the Croat received a medical time out for a foot injury, however his belief had long been depleted by then.
Federer ruthlessly continued, pouncing onto Cilic’s second serves while manoeuvring his opponent around the court with a combination of topspin and slice.
Cilic’s serve kept him in contention at the start of the third set, however a couple of forehand errors handed Federer a decisive break in the seventh game.
Three games later, the Swiss served out the match, finishing with his eighth ace to win unparalleled eighth Wimbledon title.