Like all good wine, Roger Federer seems to get better with age. The dulcet backhand return invariably falling at the opponent’s feet is the finest testament to the beauty of his game. Combined with Swiss watch precision in his court movements, his craft makes him a player for all seasons. An unprecedented eighth Wimbledon title on the hallowed London turf on which his childhood heroes walked and played, and a 19th Grand Slam title marks the 1998 All England junior champ as one of the greatest players of all time. He is now four ahead of Rafael Nadal on the Grand Slam count. None of his opponents over the past two decades is likely to reach anywhere near in tennis supremacy.
Beyond his court craft is the champion’s demeanour that has made him a sporting legend. “It’s cruel sometimes”, Fedex said wistfully of opponent Marin Cilic’s plight as a blister hindered the Croatian from giving his best in the final. It’s unlikely any sportsman of such calibre would also find the sport-life balance Federer has achieved. His acknowledgement of family values, as his two sets of twin girls and boys sat with their mother in the players’ enclosure, is a further endorsement of a legend the world will be in awe of. Making it a twin delight at Wimbledon this summer was the victory of Gabrine Muguruza, the young Venezuela-born Spaniard with a genial outlook and a promising array of strokes, who eclipsed the bid of America’s Venus Williams to prove that age is no barrier.