Roger Federer is savouring yet more strawberries and cream after capturing an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon men’s singles crown.
A month short of his 36th birthday, Federer eclipsed the record he shared with American Pete Sampras with a crushing 6-3 6-1 6-4 triumph over wounded Marin Clic to become the oldest champion at The All England Club since 1930.
Merciless and majestic in equal parts, Federer’s stirring victory ended a five-year Wimbledon title drought and came 14 years after first reigning on London’s hallowed lawns in 2003.
With his wife, two sets of identical twins, mother and father all in the stands, Federer wept tears of joy after penning the latest remarkable chapter of his storied career.
Incredibly, after needing six months off after sustaining a career-threatening knee injury in last year’s semi-final loss to Milos Raonic, Federer now holds two grand slam trophies for the first time since 2009.
“It’s disbelief that I can reach such heights,” Federer said.
“I was never sure if I was going to be back here in another final, but I always believed that I could come back and do it again.
“It feels great. It means the world to me, just feeling great and holding the trophy.”
Having already seen off two generations of challengers, Federer’s latest victim was the 13th different player he’d conquered in a grand slam final.
“He’s superhuman,” said the legendary Rod Laver, who watched on in awe from the Royal Box and insists the ageless superstar is playing as well as he ever has.
Federer’s crazy numbers back Laver up.
The Swiss marvel has never before won the crown without dropping a set, the rare accomplishment matching his 2007 Australian Open feat when in his absolute pomp.
“It’s magical. I can’t believe it really. It’s too much,” Federer said.
The resurgent 19-times grand slam champion will now head to New York next month chasing a 20th major as a 36-year-old father of four.
Contesting his record-extending 11th final, Federer had Cilic on the back foot from the first point, the rangy Croat caught off guard by the speed of the third seed’s opening return and clumsily landing his reply before the net.
Two more forehand errors handed Federer a break point just two minutes into the contest.
Cilic held firm with a body serve before turning the tables and piling pressure on Federer in the fourth game with some heavy baseline hitting.
Federer responded to hold before gaining the first service break in the fifth game after a breathtaking backhand winner from almost outside the doubles lines.
He brought up set point with ferocious backhand crosscourt pass before Cilic double-faulted and angrily smashed his racquet in disgust as Federer drew first blood.
There was high drama after Cilic dropped his first service game of the second set to quickly fall 3-0 behind.
He broke down in tears at the ensuing changeover, called for a trainer and doctor and also had the tournament supervisor on hand.
The sixth seed played on, but dropped serve for a fourth time as Federer stormed to a two-sets-to-love lead before Cilic had strapping applied to his left foot.
But while Federer at times looked like he was playing exhibition tennis as he showcased his full box of party tricks, the 2014 US Open champion struggled to move.
Intent on a quick kill, Federer gained one more break to wrap up victory in his 29th grand slam final after only one hour and 41 minutes.