Death of a dream: Champion Roger Federer leaves crying game to Andy Murray

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

'Getting closer,' says beaten Briton after blistering start is overturned by Swiss maestro to win seventh Wimbledon title 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4

Wimbledon

As an emotional Andy Murray fought back the tears after his defeat to Roger Federer in the men's singles final here yesterday, he might have recalled the words he found in similar circumstances after the Australian Open final two years ago. "I can cry like Roger," Murray had told the crowd in his post-match interview in Melbourne. "It's just a shame I can't play like him."

Click HERE to view 'Men's Singles finals in numbers' graphic

 

There was certainly no shame in losing 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to the greatest player who has ever wielded a tennis racket, but for Murray this defeat was clearly the hardest of all his four losses in Grand Slam finals to take. Although the 25-year-old Scot contributed hugely to a final of the highest quality, he was ultimately outplayed as the 30-year-old Federer joined William Renshaw and Pete Sampras as the only men who have won the All England Club title seven times.

Britain had waited 74 years for a home player to make it to the final of the men's singles here. When Murray took the first set – the first he had won in a Grand Slam final after three straight-sets defeats – and had the edge for much of the second, it seemed that he might just be on course to become the first British champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

Federer, however, responded magnificently and played especially well after the roof was closed because of rain early in the third set. In claiming his first Grand Slam title for two and a half years, he also took back the world No 1 ranking and became the first thirtysomething to win a Grand Slam title for nine years.

At the end the emotion was too much for Murray. In an on-court interview the only words he could manage at first were: "Getting closer". Fighting in vain to hold back the tears, Murray took the microphone and said: "I'm going to try this and it's not going to be easy."

Having again taken time to compose himself, Murray said: "I was getting asked the other day after I'd won my semi-final whether this was my best chance. Roger's 30 now – and he's not a bad 30-year-old. He played a great tournament. I know he had some struggles with his back early on, but he showed what fight he has left in him. So congratulations. You deserve it."

Murray's mother, Judy, and his girlfriend, Kim Sears, were also in tears as the Scot thanked his team and the crowd before going over to Federer, who put his arm around him. Murray apologised, saying he had not wanted to draw attention to himself and away from the Swiss. "He laughed," Murray said later. "He said: 'This is meant to be the easy part, doing the speeches afterwards, but sometimes it feels quite hard compared with playing a tennis match'."

Asked later about how emotional he had been on court, Murray said: "I guess I'd probably be playing the wrong sport if I wasn't emotional. I thought I played a pretty good match. A lot of close shots, a lot of close games, a lot of break points here and there. He played very, very well, the last two sets especially. When the roof closed he played unbelievable tennis."

The Wimbledon public has not always got behind Murray in the way they used to support Tim Henman, but the support for the world No 4 could hardly have been better. From the moment he walked on court the home crowd cheered him to the rafters.

"It makes such a difference when you're on the court and you have the support behind you and know that all of the people in there are wishing you well and wanting you to win," Murray said. "It's been amazing. They're certainly not the ones that make it hard to play here. They make it much, much easier. When you have a crowd like that behind you, it's a lot easier to play. Yes, thanks for the dedication. I'm sorry I couldn't do it for them."

The crowd had been swelled by royalty, politicians, major sporting figures and celebrities alike. The Queen, who has visited the All England Club only once since Virginia Wade was the last Briton of either sex to win the singles title here in 1977, was not present, but there was a large contingent of royals in the box, including the Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by her sister, Pippa Middleton.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Boris Johnson and Alex Salmond were also there, along with Sir Steve Redgrave, David and Victoria Beckham and former Wimbledon champions in Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Stan Smith, Manuel Santana, Jan Kodes, Ashley Cooper and Neale Fraser.

The home contingent at least had come in the hope of watching Murray join the list of great names who have won here, but in the end they could only salute what has been a remarkable comeback by Federer, who is the first man to have played in eight Wimbledon finals and extended his own tally of Grand Slam singles titles to 17. He lost the world No 1 spot more than two years ago, but in seven days' time he will break Sampras's record of 286 weeks at the top of the rankings.

Murray said: "He's still playing amazing tennis. A lot of people have been asking me: 'Has he started slipping? Is he not playing as well?' If you look at the matches he lost in the last couple of years, they were very, very close matches, matches he definitely could have won. He could be sitting on 20 Grand Slams but for one point or a couple of inches here or there. He's still playing great tennis. I don't think you get to No 1 unless you deserve it."

Federer said: "I know how big the occasion was for Andy and myself. I'm happy I got a victory today, but obviously it was very, very special."

Murray said he had felt more comfortable going into the match than he had in his three previous Grand Slam finals. "I'd say that's the best I've played in a Slam final," he said. "I created chances. I went up a set. It was a long match. Even the last two sets, I still had chances."

He added: "It wasn't like I gave away bad games or stupid games. I played a good match. I made pretty good decisions for the most part, so I'm happy with that."

News
peopleTop Gear presenter and all-round controversialist is at it again
Life & Style
techHow a 'grey brick' took over the world of portable gaming
Sport
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after opening the scoring in Arsenal's win over Hull `
sport
News
peopleActress speaks out against historic sexual assault claims, saying things have 'gone quite far now'

VIDEO
News
Coren Mitchell, who is the daughter of the late broadcaster Alan Coren and is married to comedian David Mitchell, produced a hand to make poker history at the 98th EPT main event.
peopleJournalist and TV presenter becomes first ever two-time winner of the European Poker Tour
Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
food + drinkSprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
politicsLabour launches the 'completely hollow' Easter Clegg
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
sport Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Arts & Entertainment
Last, but by no means least, is Tommy Cooper and the fez. This style of hat became a permanent trademark of his act.
comedyNot Like That, Like This centres on alleged domestic abuse
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players