Roger Federer has won his seventh Wimbledon title after defeating Andy Murray in four sets at the All England Club. The win secured Federer’s 17th major title and prevented Murray from breaking a 76-year drought of British success in the men’s final. Murray was also the first British man to make the final at Wimbledon in 74 years.
Murray took the first set and was close to winning the second before Federer fought back to win the next three sets and take the title. After the match, Murray thanked the crowd and said rather than creating too much pressure for him, the home crowd enthusiasm made it “so much easier to play”.
Federer’s win gave him his first major title since the Australian Open in 2010. Many suspected that his best was behind him and he was no longer a power in the world of tennis. Murray praised Federer after the game and said “He’s not bad for a 30-year-old”.
It would seem odd to most but there are whispers on the street that Roger Federer is ‘past it’ and ‘too old’. Perhaps yesterday’s Wimbledon victory over Andy Murray will silence the critics for just a moment. He may not be the player that he once was, when you’ve won a record 17 major titles you set a high standard, but his latest victory is evidence that he still has something to offer at the elite level.
Too often in sport we see athletes judged by the year on their birth certificate rather than their achievements. If a young athlete has a form slump it’s accepted as exactly that; a form slump. If an older athlete has a form slump it’s a sure sign that they’re on the decline and should hang up the boots.
Rather than writing off champions like Federer, we should appreciate the opportunity we have to watch them ply their craft. He is a breathtaking player and also one of the most humble sports stars in the world. No doubt the critics will be back as soon as he registers his next loss but I salute Federer for his latest victory and hope that we see a few more.
Do you agree? Are athletes too often judged on their age rather than their form? Or is Roger actually too old and I’m just hanging onto the past?
Read more at TheAge.com.au.
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