Roger Federer won a record eighth Wimbledon title with a 6-3 6-1 6-4 win over a tearful Marin Cilic.
An adoring Centre Court hailed Federer, who surpassed the seven All-England titles won by Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, and extended his all-time Grand Slam record to 19.
Federer dominated an anti-climactic final in which Cilic battled both nerves and a foot injury. The Croat was in tears as he received treatment at 0-3 in the second set, and needed another medical time-out before the third.
[Matchcast: How the final played out]
While his movement did not appear significantly hampered, Cilic never seriously tested Federer in a match that lasted just over 100 minutes. But it is hard to imagine even a fully-fit Cilic – admirably as he has competed this fortnight – upsetting the Swiss on his favourite court. This was his most dominant Wimbledon performance, coming through seven matches without losing a set.
He said: “I feel disbelief that I can achieve such heights. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to be here in another final after last year (he lost to Milos Raonic in the semi-finals)… I kept on believing and dreaming so to be here with the eighth is fantastic.”
Federer won the Australian Open in February but missed the entire clay-court season to spare his body ahead of Wimbledon.
He said: “I’ve got to take more time off! I’ll be gone again for the next six months! This tournament I’ve played, not dropping a set and holding the trophy – it’s magical. It’s too much really”
Cilic welled up again during the post-match interviews saying: “I never gave up, once I started a match. I gave my best and that’s all I could do.”
Federer, gracious in victory as ever, said of his vanquished opponent: “It is cruel sometimes but he fought well and he’s a hero. You should be really proud.”
Federer turns 36 next month yet remains at the top of his game. His second Slam of the year moves him to three in the world rankings, and tantalisingly close to regaining the world number one spot for the first time since November 2012.