Federer Becomes Oldest Men's Winner At All England Club; Trump Is First Sitting President To Watch Championship

By Ann Liguori
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There are not enough superlatives to describe the greatness of Roger Federer.

The Swiss maestro continues to dazzle, impress and set records. On Centre Court at Wimbledon on Sunday, the 35-year-old won a record eighth Wimbledon title, dominating Marin Cilic of Croatia, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, becoming the oldest male player to win at the All England Club in the Open era (which began in 1968).

Federer’s latest Wimbledon title broke the record of seven, held by himself, William Renshaw and Pete Sampras.

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Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates victory after the Gentlemen’s Singles final against Marin Cilic of Croatia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, the U.S. Women’s Open feted a new champion, Sung Hyun Park of South Korea, and it was the first time in history a sitting U.S. President watched the event. President Donald Trump owns the course where the top female golfers competed — Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey — and he spent the weekend there. President Bill Clinton watched the men’s U.S. Open back in 1997. Trump’s visit provided the women’s major with a huge promotional boost, despite several groups who protested.

Park shot a 67 on Sunday to finish with an 11-under par 277, two shots ahead of amateur Hye-Jin Choi, also of South Korea. In fact, the top four finishers and eight of the top ten finishers were South Korean. The top American finisher was Marina Alex, who was 4-under overall and finished tied for 11th. Alex grew up in nearby Wayne, New Jersey.

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Sung Hyun Park of Sourth Korea imitates a ‘selfie’ with the championship trophy after winning the U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Trump National Golf Club on July 16, 2017 in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Venus Williams almost made the weekend a historic trifecta, as the 37-year-old tried to become the oldest female player to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era. But 23-year-old Garbine Muguruza from Spain got in the way of Williams’ historic run, beating her in the women’s final, 7-5, 6-0. Just getting to the women’s final was quite the accomplishment for Williams, who was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome six years ago, which causes joint pain and fatigue.

Williams is also dealing with the emotional aftermath of a car accident she was involved with in Florida in which a 78-year-old man died. The man’s family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the seven-time Grand Slam winner. After initially saying she was at fault in the crash, police recently released a video of the crash and a statement saying that Williams entered the intersection “lawfully.”

While Trump was supporting the top female golfers in the world in New Jersey, Prince William and Kate Middleton, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, were among those in the Royal Box on Centre Court watching Federer win his 19th Grand Slam title.

After a six-month layoff recuperating from back and knee issues, Federer returned in January and has since won five of the seven tournaments he entered, including the Australian Open. He skipped the French Open. Federer’s game plan all along was to peak for Wimbledon. He believed he could win it yet again, and all his work, training and strategy paid off.

Cilic struggled with a blister on his left toe, and the frustration of not playing his best, crying at one point during a changeover when he was down 3-6, 0-3. It’s too bad he couldn’t play like he did when he won the 2014 U.S. Open. He’s certainly capable of being a formidable opponent.

Federer made his eighth Wimbledon win look so effortless and easy. His speed and agility on the court go hand in hand with his mental strength and focus. And it was endearing to see his twin daughters and twin sons all dressed up and watching their dad on Centre Court win another title, even if they’re too young to understand what a legend he is and how he continues to rewrite the history books.

Follow Ann on Twitter at @AnnLiguori

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