Federer Picks Up 7th Wimbledon Title
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Roger Federer dashed the hopes of Andy Murray and the British tennis-loving public yesterday. Murray had hoped to be the first British man to win the Wimbledon title in 76 years, but it didn't happen. Instead, the story was Federer winning his seventh Wimbledon singles title, a record he now shares with his idol Pete Sampras. Yesterday's match was interrupted by rain. Federer and Murray resumed play once the retractable roof over center court was closed. It was the first time that's happened during a singles final at Wimbledon.
For more on the highs and lows at the tournament final weekend, we reached Douglas Robson, who covered Wimbledon for USA Today. He's on his way back. In fact, he's at Heathrow Airport in London.
DOUGLAS ROBSON: Great to be here.
WERTHEIMER: Now, yesterday's match and its conclusion was very, very emotional. Andy Murray was obviously under a lot of pressure. He was, after all, playing for queen and country.
ROBSON: Yes, he was, and a nation was transfixed. The stage was set for a patriotic outpouring with the London Olympics later this month and the celebration this year of the queen's diamond jubilee. And Murray lived up the billing for a couple of sets, but clouds rolled in, the retractable roof closed, and Federer got his mojo back in action.
You could see after the match how much this meant to Murray. In the trophy ceremony, he broke down crying several times. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. And I dare say there were a few red eyes in the press room, as well.
WERTHEIMER: Now, the big winner, Roger Federer, on this side of the pond, I think there were a lot of people rooting for him. And he has a dramatic story, too, I guess. I mean, he's on the old side to be this kind of a champion.
ROBSON: Oh, he certainly is. He's the oldest winner since Andre Agassi in 2003 at the Australian Open. And, you know, Federer is a great champion who hadn't won a major for two-and-a-half years. You know, certainly, there were people talking about his decline.
But I had a really interesting conversation with his coach, the American Paul Annacone, who also coached Pete Sampras at the end of his career. And he really drew the distinction that Federer is a process-oriented player, while Pete was a goal-oriented player. And Roger loves what he does. He loves the game. He loves practicing. And Annacone told me that it's an endless pool of youthful exuberance from Federer.
WERTHEIMER: Let's talk for a second about the women's side. The Williams sisters made a partial recovery. Serena won very impressively after some big disappointments in earlier matches. But Venus washed out early, then came back for doubles. How did they stand?
ROBSON: Well, you know, I guess 30 really is the new 20, because both Federer and Serena, you know, are past their 30th birthday. Both hadn't won a major for a couple of years. And Serena came into Wimbledon off possibly the worst loss of her career. She went out in the first round of the French Open. She was devastated.
But she let her racket do the talking. She arrived at Wimbledon and, you know, behind that serve - I mean, that serve is - even Martina Navratilova, who was the greatest server of her generation, you know, is in awe of what Serena Williams has when she steps up to the line with two balls in her hand.
Venus, too, made a recovery here in the doubles. And it was really touching to see Serena play kind of the older sister for the first time. You know, Venus has been very protective of Serena through the years, but in the early rounds of their doubles Venus was struggling. You could see Serena really, you know, consoling her, pumping her up, you know, holding her own. And I think it showed a side of Serena that we don't get to see very often.
WERTHEIMER: Douglas Robson of USA Today. He joined us from London. Doug, thank you.
ROBSON: Pleasure to be here.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
WERTHEIMER: This is NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.