At 35 years and 11 months, Roger Federer has become the oldest man to win a Wimbledon tennis title in the modern era.
Federer won his eighth title against Croatian Marin Čilić in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. Čilić took a medical timeout between the second and third sets for what appears to have been a foot injury. Halfway through the second set he was visibly distraught and had to be calmed down by his team. In the third set, Čilić was given pills by his medical team, likely anti-inflammatories for his foot.
Although Federer’s playing style has been described as “poetry in motion,” today’s match will not likely go down as the most memorable of Major finals: The two players had 31 unforced errors between them, and Čilić’s foot injury was clearly weighing heavily on his mind as he played. But still, Federer dispatched Čilić with relative simplicity, winning in under two hours.
The previous oldest man to win the UK’s premier tennis tournament was was 31-year-old American Arthur Ashe in 1975. Federer, who turns 36 on August 8, won his 18th tennis Major title when he beat Rafael Nadal in January at the Australian Open.
Partially because of his concerns about the inevitable passage of time and its effects on his body, Federer decided to skip the more physically demanding clay courts of the French Open to focus on Wimbledon. And it seems to have paid off, as the Swiss won his 19th title. Federer already held the record for the most men’s Major titles previous to today’s victory, with Nadal sitting in second with 15 titles. Federer is also the only man to ever win eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles.
The US Open starts 20 days after Federer turns 36, where he could continue his dominance into his late-30s at the stadium named after Arthur Ashe.