Can Federer win eighth Wimbledon title to be crowned king of grass?
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | July 6, 2016
No man in any era of tennis has won more Wimbledon singles titles than Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, who are all tied on seven apiece.
And it seems that it’s now or never that the greatest of them all Federer can finally be crowned the standout king of grass by lifting the famous golden trophy for an unprecedented eighth time.
The Swiss superstar is fast approaching his 35th birthday, and is aiming to become the oldest man since Ken Rosewall (then aged 37) at the 1972 Australian Open to win a Grand Slam. He is 9/4 with Coral to do so at 2016 Wimbledon.
Federer’s path to the final has been made all the more easy too, as dominant ATP world number one Novak Djokovic’s dream of completing a hugely rare Super Slam was surprisingly ended, for this year at least, by Sam Querrey in the third round.
Fed express eventually steams past Cilic
The 17-time Grand Slam champion has looked in devastating form these Wimbledon Championships so far, not dropping a single set until his quarter-final comeback triumph from 2-0 down against Marin Cilic.
Despite facing match points against him, Federer eventually came through 6-7 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-3, much to the delight of the British crowd, who simply adore the Swiss as one of their own.
Standing in his way of reaching an 11th Wimbledon men’s singles final will now be Milos Raonic, a man he’s lost to just twice in 11 meetings.
Although, the Canadian won their only battle this year in straight sets in Brisbane, and is now under the guidance of the legendary John McEnroe.
Raonic has already come through a five-setter being 2-0 down of his own this tournament, against David Goffin in the fourth round, so this should certainly be a highly competitive showdown.
Another Federer-Murray final on the cards
If Federer is to record a 10th victory over the Montinegrin-born big-server, who is not too dissimilar to Cilic in style, it seems likely he’ll meet old foe Andy Murray in the final.
While he leads a closer 14-11 in head-to-heads over the Scot, Federer has in fact won each of their last five duels, including in the semis here last year 3-0.
Federer clearer has the mental edge over Murray most recently but, with Ivan Lendl back in the Brit’s corner and the Swiss showing signs of vulnerability at times in his grand old age, can he have one last hurrah to lift an eighth Wimbledon and 18th Grand Slam title?
It seems that the 34-year-old’s decision to miss the French Open, an event he finally claimed to complete his Career Grand Slam at the 11th attempt in 2009, due to a back issue has paid off, as Federer has looked in great condition, as it showed when he outlasted the much younger Cilic.
Can Federer emerge as Wimbledon’s greatest man?
As it stands, all of Wimbledon men’s singles record holders Federer, Sampras and Renshaw have their own unique story at the All England Club.
Federer, along with Swedish great Bjorn Borg, holds the achievement of winning the Grand Slam five times in succession in the Open Era, while American Sampras claimed all his in just eight years.
As for Britain’s Renshaw, he is the only man in history to get six in succession, as he did so from 1881-1886. Though, it is perhaps not as remarkable as today’s efforts from players due to the fact that the defending champion was given a bye straight to the final back then.
Having beaten the best the world still, there is every chance Federer can win a first Grand Slam since Wimbledon in 2012, so can he convert two final losses here the past two years into a victory?
You’ll find full coverage of both the Wimbledon men’s and ladies’ singles throughout the championships on the tennis page.