London: Roger Federer became the most decorated men’s singles player in the history of tennis, after he defeated Marin Cilic of Croatia in the Wimbledon final on Sunday.
The Swiss legend has made a habit of winning Grand Slam titles (19); he has also made himself the undisputed King of Grass Courts with an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon title.
The 35-year-old, yet again broke into tears at the All England Cup, after an unforced error by Cilic handed him his eighth Wimbledon title.
Federer won his first Wimbledon title 14 years back in 2003 after defeating Mark Philippoussis in straight sets, and soon broke into tears of joy.
Little did the 21-year-old Swiss know back then that he would go on to lift the iconic trophy seven more times, making him the undisputed King of Grass Courts.
Looking back down memory lane, Federer said, after his win on Sunday, that he never imagined reaching such heights back in the early days of his career, when at the age of 19, he defeated the legendary Pete Sampras in the fourth round.
"I didn't think I was going to be this successful after beating Pete here," said Federer who also won a fifth Australian Open in January. "I hoped to have a chance maybe one day to be in a Wimbledon final and have a chance to win the tournament.”
Incidentally, Cilic’s compatriot Goran Ivanisevic went on to become the first Croat to win the title that year, after Federer bowed out to Briton Tim Henamn in the quarterfinals.
Federer never looked back once he broke his Wimbledon duck. He went on to win the title five consecutive times, following that up with wins in 2009, 2012, and 2017, against Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray.
"Winning eight is not something you can ever aim for. If you do, you must have so much talent and parents and the coaches that push you from the age of three on, who think you're like a project. I was not that kid," continued the Swiss Maestro. "I am surprised that it's this good. I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level.”
Federer even went on to state that even he did not believe that he would be able to win two Grand Slams this season, at the age of 35.
"So I guess you would have laughed, too, if I told you I was going to win two slams this year. People wouldn't believe me if I said that. I also didn't believe that I was going to win two this year," he said.