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Wimbledon 2017: Federer beats Cilic to seal record eighth title – live!

The Guardian
Sunday 16 July 2017 16:57

Live scoreboard from SW19Tom Jenkins’s best shots of Wimbledon 2017 - in picturesFeel free to email Jacob or tweet him @JacobSteinberg 3.57pm BST Federer’s four children are perched over the edge of his box as the presentations get underway. Marin Cilic receives a big round of applause as he comes up to collect his consolation prize. 3.56pm BST The average number of slams for a GOAT is 19 ... N-n-n-n-nineteen 3.55pm BST Related: Roger Federer wins record eighth Wimbledon title against Marin Cilic 3.55pm BST He’s crying now. “Do you think that Federer, as the winner, now gets to announce the new Dr Who?” says David Wall. He’d make a good time lord actually. 3.54pm BST Roger Federer, 36 next month, has just won a grand slam without dropping a set. His second of the year. This isn’t normal. But he’s making it normal. 3.53pm BST Roger Federer’s name is on the trophy here. He just needs to add the final few flourishes. History beckons. His heart is beating that little bit faster as he walks to the baseline to serve. Cilic, like a condemned man heading to the gallows, takes his place, ready to return. The sun’s come out at last. Of course it has. But Federer still needs some points. He loses the first, sending a backhand long. 0-15. But he steadies himself with an accurate serve. Another one makes it 30-15 and he gees himself up with some Swiss-German. He has two championship points when Cilic screws a forehand return off to the right. Applause. Silence. A missed first serve. A rally. It’s not over yet. Cilic finds the angles to force Federer to hit a forehand long. 40-30. Federer misses another first serve. There’s only one thing for it: a second-serve ace down the middle. That’s it! Roger Federer is the Wimbledon champion again! He looks very emotional, almost in tears, but he remembers that there’s a man who’s feeling a fair bit more emotional than him right now and he walks to the net to shake hands with poor Marin Cilic. It’s all over. Federer is the owner of an historic eight Wimbledon titles and a mere 19 majors overall. Take that, Rafa. 3.48pm BST Third set: Cilic* 3-6, 1-6, 4-5 Federer (*denotes server): Cilic is serving to stay in the final, although he in reality he left it spiritually a long time ago. He is, however, determined to make Federer serve for it. His fifth ace of the match sets him up for a rare simple hold, even though there is the blemish of a double-fault. Federer will serve with new balls for his 19th grand slam title. “Given this has been such an anti-climax, and is finishing so quickly, do you think they could ask Federer to knock up against one of those back-walls, so we get to see a bit more of him playing on centre court?” says David Wall. “Even he can only have a couple more years on the tour and it’ll leave an enormous hole when he does retire.” 3.45pm BST Third set: Cilic 3-6, 1-6, 3-5 Federer* (*denotes server): There’s rain in the south-west London area, but it’s not going to stop Federer. Another hold. Another step closer. 3.42pm BST Third set: Cilic* 3-6, 1-6, 3-4 Federer (*denotes server): Cilic sends down an ace to make it 15-0, but it’s 15-30 when he flicks a backhand wide. He challenges to no avail. Then he nets a forehand, even though Federer was stranded on the baseline. Two break points. They double up as championship points. And it really is Federer’s to lose now. Cilic wheels into another forehand ... and dumps it into that blasted net. Federer is two games away from his eighth Wimbledon title. 3.38pm BST Third set: Cilic 3-6, 1-6, 3-3 Federer* (*denotes server): Federer sails through another service game. It feels as though Cilic’s best hope is a tie-break. 3.36pm BST Third set: Cilic* 3-6, 1-6, 3-2 Federer (*denotes server): Cilic holds with an ace out wide. He clenches his fist, glaring at his box, resolve and steel returning. You forget athletes are humans with real emotions. The sport of tennis is so hard because you're out there all by yourself. 3.33pm BST Third set: Cilic 3-6, 1-6, 2-2 Federer* (*denotes server): He’s obviously not winning this and it’s a terrible final, but I’d say Cilic has done a lot to enhance his reputation in the past few games. It would have been very easy for him to throw in the towel. But Federer’s still so miserly, scrooge-like when he’s serving. He offers Cilic false hope by letting this game drift to deuce - the drama! - but he still holds. 3.29pm BST Third set: Cilic* 3-6, 1-6, 2-1 Federer (*denotes server): Alarm bells are ringing when Cilic spoofs a forehand into the net for 0-30. Somehow, though, he fights to 40-30, one backhand winner taking the breath away. This is gutsy from a man who is enduring some very public turmoil. Unfortunately the chap on the other side of the net is not making this any easier, making it deuce with a searing crosscourt backhand, earning a break point when Cilic nets a forehand. Admirably Cilic saves it with some serve-volley. Then he holds. This hurts, but tanking would hurt even more. “Is this a record for unforced errors?” says Henry C. “I feel sorry for Cilic but has got to be one of the worst finals ever. Hoping that something will change, but it is saying something when the first two sets lasted less than the Women’s final.” 3.22pm BST Third set: Cilic 3-6, 1-6, 1-1 Federer* (*denotes server): Federer lopes forward off a second serve, planting a deft backhand volley out of reach for 15-0. He holds to 15. No mercy. There’s no room for the stuff at this level. 3.19pm BST Third set: Cilic* 3-6, 1-6, 1-0 Federer (*denotes server): Cilic holds to 15. The comeback starts here. It would be frankly hilarious if he wins this. 3.14pm BST Marin Cilic is now receiving treatment. Though I’m not sure there’s a doctor in the world who can find a cure for Federer. 3.13pm BST Marin Cilic has taken some pills. There hasn’t been a retirement in a Wimbledon final since 1911. Cilic is now having tape taken off his left foot, revealing it to be heavily bruised. 3.12pm BST Federer leads 15-0 when Cilic sends a forehand return wide. It’s 30-0 when he attacks a short return with a whipped forehand. Soon he has three set points. He takes the first with a swinging ace down the middle. I don’t mean to be insensitive, but this is the worst men’s final for a long time. The doctor is back on court. 3.10pm BST Second set: Cilic* 3-6, 1-5 Federer (*denotes server): Cilic is now using serve-and-volley on every point, which is enough to make you think he isn’t interested in long rallies. He’s drawn into one at 40-30, though, and he nets a forehand for deuce. Federer’s not going to give him anything now. He gives a second serve the treatment, a sweet backhand return earning him a break point. Federer can’t take it, though, knocking a return miles wide and challenging the call for absolutely no reason at all. But when Cilic sends down an 134mph serve, Federer’s flicked return brings up a second break point. Federer knocks a backhand down the line, the stretching Cilic hangs out his racket and volleys long. Federer will serve for a two-set lead. 3.04pm BST Second set: Cilic 3-6, 1-4 Federer* (*denotes server): Of course, it’s one way to get the crowd on your side when you’re playing Federer. The sympathy vote. It’s not going to knock Federer off course, though, as he holds to 15. They retreat to their chairs. There’s no sign of Cilic requiring any more treatment. 3.02pm BST Second set: Cilic* 3-6, 1-3 Federer (*denotes server): Another cheer for Cilic when he wins the first point of this game with a big serve. The game goes to 30-all. The last time I saw something like this in a grand slam final was when Sabine Lisicki collapsed emotionally in the 2013 final. It’s not clear if he’s distressed or physically hurting. But he does manage to hold to 30, keeping this final alive. 2.59pm BST The medical team and supervisors have left the court. It seems that Cilic, who was bawling his eyes out a moment or two ago, is going to continue. He doesn’t want this to end early. But this is awful to see, even though he’s given a huge ovation by the crowd as he prepares to serve. 2.58pm BST Might that slip in the first set have hurt Cilic more than we first suspected? He hasn’t been moving well now I come to think of it. 2.57pm BST Marin Cilic is sobbing in his chair. Something’s up here. A trainer and a supervisor are consulting him. This has come out of nowhere. This final could be over. Oh no. 2.56pm BST Second set: Cilic 3-6, 0-3 Federer* (*denotes server): Cilic can barely do anything right now. Federer holds to 15 and all he has to do at the moment is wait for Cilic to miss. 2.54pm BST Second set: Cilic* 3-6, 0-2 Federer (*denotes server): Cilic makes himself feel a bit better with an ace for 30-15. It’s not long before Federer has a break point, though, with Cilic’s game in danger of coming apart at the seams. The errors keep on coming. Cilic pulls a backhand wide and Federer leads by a set and a break. 2.50pm BST Second set: Cilic 3-6, 0-1 Federer* (*denotes server): The good news for Marin Cilic is that this isn’t over yet. The bad news is that Federer hasn’t lost a grand slam match from a set up since the 2014 Wimbledon final. He’s such a strong frontrunner. That’s probably why Cilic hit his chair with his racket during the changeover. He suspects this final might already be running away from him. Federer begins the set with a straightforward hold to love. 2.47pm BST Serving to stay in the set, Cilic’s pulled back to 30-all from 30-0. He decides it’s time to serve and volley, but he sets Federer up for a backhand pass, which is a bit like showing Leo Messi on to his left foot. Set point. A big serve forces Federer to return wide, but an errant forehand from Cilic brings up a second set point. Cilic is showing signs of strain. He misses a first serve. His second serve clips the top of the net and skitters wide to gift Federer the first set! That was all a bit flat. 2.42pm BST First set: Cilic 3-5 Federer* (*denotes server): When he’s in the mood, Federer’s flash by like a Kryptonian going for a jog round the park. He holds to love and Cilic was never in the game. 2.40pm BST First set: Cilic* 3-4 Federer (*denotes server): Cilic gambols into a 40-0 lead. Federer makes it 40-15 with a crisp forehand return down the line, then 40-30 with a preposterous, hypnotic backhand drop shot that draws a deeply satisfied sigh from the crowd. Suddenly there’s uncertainty in Cilic. From a position of dominance, it’s deuce after a double-fault, the class of Federer unsettling the Croatian. Fortunately for Cilic, Federer can’t take advantage. He holds to keep the distance between them to a single break. 2.35pm BST First set: Cilic 2-4 Federer* (*denotes server): With Federer ahead, Cilic looks to haul himself back into the set with some aggressive hitting. Federer’s backhand slice seems to head wide - it’s called out - but the umpire overrules the line judge. The point’s replayed, Federer skips into a 15-0 lead and it’s 40-0 before Cilic has time to regroup. Federer clinches his first hold to love without any problems at all in the end, but that could have been a much tougher game. 2.32pm BST First set: Cilic* 2-3 Federer (*denotes server): Trailing 0-15, Cilic goes for a drop shot. Federer reads it. The 35-year-old springs forward to dink. Cilic hurtles forward, prods a backhand from left to right and falls heavily, leaving the court open for Federer to dab a backhand away for 0-30! That exchange seems to take the wind out of Cilic, who’s facing three break points after an awful forehand. He saves the first two, Federer’s returns drifting long. Not the third, though. Cilic doesn’t move his feet and he nets a poor backhand to hand the first break to Federer. “Could the Prime Minister’s presence be a bad omen for fans of Roger Federer?” says David Wall. “She’s been poison for what seemed to be sure-things in recent times.” Will Federer end up shedding a solitary tear? 2.27pm BST First set: Cilic 2-2 Federer* (*denotes server): Cilic is starting to use his power to good effect, returning heavily and drawing an error from Federer for 0-15. It’s tense. Federer’s second double-fault of the match makes it 30-all. Hitting deep, Cilic is starting to boss a few rallies. A penetrative backhand makes Federer net a slice, bringing up the first break point. Federer nets a first serve. He goes for a body serve with the second, though, and Cilic stiffs a backhand into the net. The game goes to deuce and Federer ends up holding to considerable relief around Centre Court. 2.22pm BST First set: Cilic* 2-1 Federer (*denotes server): You’d almost think Federer’s feeling the pressure. He’s missing a lot early on. Cilic holds to 15 without ceremony. 2.19pm BST First set: Cilic 1-1 Federer* (*denotes server): We begin with a see-saw rally, Federer on top at first and making most of the running before Cilic takes control with a big forehand down the line, forcing the Swiss to net a backhand. A smooth serve makes it 15-all. But Cilic appears to have shaken off the nerves. He repels a big first serve and asserts himself with a huge forehand for 15-30. Sensing danger, the crowd cheers when Federer makes it 30-all at the net. The game goes to deuce after Federer’s first double-fault, but he holds. There’s a lot of nervous energy out there. 2.14pm BST First set: Cilic* 1-0 Federer (*denotes server): Here we go, the 131st men’s singles final, with Marin Cilic serving first after Roger Federer elected to receive. It begins. Cilic sees a second serve rammed down his throat and dribbles a forehand into the net to make it 0-15. A purposeful, urgent start from Federer, while Cilic looks a little tight, slamming a forehand long to make it 15-30. The Croatian’s nervy. He’s grateful to see Federer miss a couple of backhands, but the game goes to deuce when Cilic slaps a forehand into the net. Here’s early pressure. But Cilic does well to deal with it and hold. A break there would have been sub-optimal. 2.09pm BST They’re walking to the baselines. It’s time. 2.09pm BST You’d think she would invest in a good pair of gloves.Mirka Federer has spent 35.7% of her life clapping - 13.923 years in total - and has worn through 193 pairs of palms. 2.07pm BST Tok! Tok! Tok! They’re knocking up. In the press centre, there’s a huge queue to get on Centre Court. I think people are excited. It’s 14 years since Federer’s first Wimbledon final, when he beat Mark Philippoussis in straight sets, and five since he won his seventh title, beating Our Andy in four. 2.06pm BST “I asked this about yesterday’s final as both women carried their own bags onto court (as well as their flowers), yet today the men are having their bags carried for them,” says David Wall. “Did Mugaruza and Williams just chose to carry their own gear then, or have they stopped offering that to the women? I think it’s a good tradition, they’re in the final so should get all the special treatment going (in fact I’m disappointed there aren’t rose bearers casting petals in front of the players for them to walk on).”I have no idea, David, but it’s a good question. 2.04pm BST Roger Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Time for some photographs. Almost time to get down to business. 2.03pm BST It’s time for the coin toss. Here’s some info on the young chap who’s taking part.Luca Schmetzer (aged 11), who attends Allfarthing Primary School, Wandsworth, will take part in the coin toss ceremony on Centre Court.Luca is representing Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity which provides emotional and therapeutic services in schools across the country helping children cope with issues including bullying, bereavement and family breakdown. 2.01pm BST The players are making that familiar walk through the corridors of Centre Court. Well, it’s familiar for one man. Not so much for Marin Cilic. Cilic is leading the way here. They’re walking past so many photographs of old champions, so much history, so much pomp. The sense of occasion - it’s impossible not to feel it. It’s nothing new for Federer, of course, and he looks so relaxed. He’s seen it all before. Eventually they emerge to a huge ovation. The camera doesn’t linger long on Cilic, who’s smiling slightly. It’s soon fixated on Federer, following him as he makes his way to his chair, before finding his father in the crowd. Of course Federer Snr’s wearing a RF cap. 1.49pm BST Theresa May’s in the Royal Box today. This is where I’m contractually obliged to do a joke about strong and stable tennis. 1.47pm BST You might have heard that Roger Federer is the oldest man in the Wimbledon final since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974. Rosewall got absolutely destroyed by Jimmy Connors that day. All yours, Marin. 1.44pm BST Pictures! Get yer Tom Jenkins pictures here! Tom’s never knowingly taken a bad snap, so this Wimbledon gallery’s bound to be worth a look. Get clicking! Related: Tom Jenkins's best shots of Wimbledon 2017 - in pictures 1.41pm BST It was in 2001 when Croatia last had a male singles champion to celebrate. And what a final! One of the greatest of all time! Goran Ivanisevic, who had taken three days to defeat Tim Henman in the semis, and Pat Rafter on a Monday afternoon. It was an epic. You can read about it in more detail in this Joy of Six from 2013. Related: The Joy of Six: great Wimbledon finals 1.37pm BST Pre-match reading: Related: The Joy of Six: Roger Federer Related: Better haircuts, wiser shots: Wimbledon veterans turn back Centre Court clock Related: Roger Federer vows to attack in final against big hitter Marin Cilic | Kevin Mitchell 1.35pm BST 1.30pm BST This has been Roger Federer’s route to the final: 6-3, 3-0 (ret), 7-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4. Marin Cilic, by contrast, came through a five-set quarter-final and a four-set semi-final. He was a set down to Sam Querrey on Friday and a break down in the fourth set. 1.25pm BST Quite the paragraph from Goran Ivanisevic 1.23pm BST “What a match between the British-Japanese pair and De Groot and Buis,” says Chris Page. “That it is Whiley and Kamiji’s fourth consecutive Wimbledon doubles title. They lost the first set 6-2, but there was no doubt in my mind that they would come back to win. They’re almost telepathic. They took the second set comfortably, then the third was a 6-0 walk-over - including a 30 stroke rally! Follow that, Roger and Marin...”If you haven’t treated yourself to the delights of wheelchair tennis before, you’re missing out. It’s a terrifically absorbing sport: physical, skilled, inventive. After Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett’s triumph yesterday, this is another fine moment. 1.22pm BST Roger Federer leads the head-to-head 6-1. That one, of course, came in New York three years ago, when Marin Cilic overpowered Federer to reach the US Open final. The caveat there is that Federer was knackered after fighting back from two sets down to beat Gael Monfils. Federer is not knackered today. 10.24am BST Hello. It’s interesting. If you’re actually at Wimbledon, you don’t actually have to watch a Roger Federer match to know how it’s going. You don’t even have to listen the umpire calling out the score after each point. All you need to do is stand outside Centre Court and listen to the crowd. If they’re in a state of unbridled glee verging on pure lust, if they’re oohing and aahing and panting and fawning after every point, you can safely interpret that as Federer dominance. Enthusiastic applause: Federer’s won the point. Grudging applause: the other bloke’s not playing ball.This is how it’s supposed to go. This is Federer’s kingdom, his palace from palace. There’s no desire for him to be pushed too hard. There’s no interest in an upset. Sure, it’s nice to see Federer’s opponent muster some defiance, just to keep the show going for as long as possible, but he’s not actually supposed to win. He’s supposed to be a good boy, know his place, let the master do as he pleases and lose in straight sets. You are the comedy sidekick, there to be willingly loaded into a cannon, to have a custard pie slammed in your face and raise no objections; take it, it’s all you’re good for here. This is the deal. There might be some pretence from the crowd that they’d like to see something resembling a contest, some confected jeopardy, like a tie-break in the first set, which is really about as dangerous and adventurous as splashing out on the Creuset pan instead of the John Lewis own brand (other brands are available). The Fed-lust can only stand so much risk.
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