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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

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King Federer back on Wimbledon throne

When Roger Federer last strode off Centre Court as Wimbledon champion it must have seemed impossible to the Swiss great that it would take another three years of frustration and angst before he would reclaim his crown. Fededer's 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Andy Murray in Sunday's final secured a record-equalling seventh title at the All England Club and returned him to the top of the world rankings after a two-year absence.

Although Federer has become accustomed to Wimbledon glory, the emotion he showed after his victory over Murray suggested this meant much more than just the thrill of increasing his record tally of major titles to 17.

This was a cathartic moment for Federer, who has spent the last three years fending off pointed questions about his supposed decline following a barren run at the Grand Slams stretching back to his 2010 victory at the Australian Open.

However much Federer argued otherwise, for sometime now the feeling has persisted that for a father of two young daughters, tennis was no longer quite so important as when he first unveiled his dazzling talent by shocking Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001.

So reestablising his primacy at Wimbledon was the perfect response to the critics. No wonder he fell to the turf crying tears of joy.

It was a marked contrast to his last Wimbledon triumph against Andy Roddick in 2009.

That success felt like a resumption of normal service for Federer after the previous year's defeat in a five-set classic against Rafael Nadal snapped his remarkable run of five successive Wimbledon titles.

At that point Federer had just completed the rare double of back to back wins at the French Open and Wimbledon and still seemed at the peak of his powers.

Yet the following 36 months would be the toughest period of Federer's career and by the time he arrived in south-west London for his 14th Wimbledon campaign two weeks ago, the 30-year-old was widely regarded as a fading force.

London AFP

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