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By Ed Osmond
LONDON, July 8 Roger Federer outgunned Andy
Murray 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 on Sunday to win a record-equalling
seventh Wimbledon title and 17th grand slam crown.
The Swiss third seed recovered from a sluggish start to
dominate the match and return to the top of the world rankings,
ending Murray's hopes of becoming the first British man to win
the title on home soil for 76 years.
After sharing the first two sets, rain halted the contest
for 40 minutes early in the third and when the players returned
under the closed roof on Centre Court Federer took control.
He made the decisive break in a marathon sixth game and
broke again for 3-2 in the fourth set before sealing victory on
his second match point in three hours 24 minutes.
"I played some of my best tennis in my last couple of
matches," Federer told the crowd after lifting the trophy.
"I couldn't be more happy. It feels great being back here as
the winner and it's a great moment. It feels nice to have this
trophy back after three years."
An emotional Murray struggled to hold himself together when
he took the microphone after his first Wimbledon final.
"I am getting closer," Murray, who had twice lost to Federer
in straight sets in grand slam finals, tearfully told the crowd.
"I'd like to congratulate Roger. He played a great tournament
and he's not bad for a 30-year-old."
Murray broke Federer's serve in the opening game of the
match but the Swiss immediately broke back to level at 2-2.
Federer mixed up his game to increase the pressure on Murray
but the fourth seed dug in and conjured up his second service
break in the ninth game before serving out to seal the first set
in just under an hour.
The second set went with serve and Murray generally held the
upper hand but Federer suddenly found some magic in the 12th
game and broke his opponent with a sublime drop volley to level
Rain halted play at 1-1 in the third set and it resumed
under the closed roof.
Playing aggressively Federer began to dominate the rallies
and the set hinged on the sixth game in which Murray slipped
over three times and Federer converted his sixth break point to
open up a 4-2 lead.
The Swiss, peppering the lines with his groundstrokes,
clinched the set with an ace to move within touching distance of
Murray tried desperately to cling on at the start of the
fourth set but Federer sensed his chance, breaking serve with a
brilliant dipping crosscourt backhand winner to lead 3-2.
Federer, in ruthless mood, was not going to miss his
opportunity and after netting his first match point he secured
victory when Murray sent a forehand narrowly wide.
(Editing by Martyn Herman)