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Federer In Seventh Heaven

Wimbledon, England

Federer © Getty ImagesRoger Federer inflicted more heartache on Andy Murray to win his 17th Grand Slam title.

Roger Federer will return to World No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on Monday after winning a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon crown with victory over Great Britain’s Andy Murray.

Watched by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, the 30-year-old Swiss defeated the fourth-ranked Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday in the final of The Championships, which lasted three hours and 24 minutes.

“Today was unique because of playing Andy,” said Federer. “Obviously, being able to play or finish a match under the roof, I don't think that's ever been done before here for a final. So that's been different, as well. I'm happy I got a victory today, but obviously it was very, very special."

Federer joined William Renshaw and Pete Sampras as the only seven-time winners at the All England Club, adding to his triumphs in 2003-2007 and 2009. He has a 66-7 record at the grass-court Grand Slam and was contesting his eighth final, with his only defeat coming to Rafael Nadal in 2008.

Federer also extended his own record by winning a 17th major singles title. It was his first Grand Slam crown since defeating Murray in the Australian Open final in 2010. He won his first major trophy at Wimbledon in 2003 (d. Philippoussis).

Read: How The Wimbledon Final Was Won

When Federer returns to World No. 1 he will tie Sampras’ all-time record of 286 weeks in the top spot. At 30 years and 335 days, he is the second-oldest man to hold the No. 1 ranking, behind Andre Agassi who was 33 years and 131 days old. He was dethroned from the top spot by Nadal on 7 June 2010.

"This year, I guess, I decided in the bigger matches, to take it more to my opponent instead of waiting a bit more for the mistakes," said Federer. "This is, I guess, how you want to win Wimbledon, by going after your shots, believing you can do it, and that's what I was able to do today. It's special.

"This one hasn't quite sunk in yet for some reason. I guess I was trying to be so focused in the moment itself that when it all happened I was just so happy that it was all over and that the pressure was gone basically."

Federer has a 46-4 match record on the season and has won four ATP World Tour titles. Only David Ferrer has won more matches this season with 47 victories. The Basel native was victorious in Rotterdam (d. del Potro), Dubai (d. Murray) and at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells (d. Isner) and Madrid (d. Berdych).

MurrayThe 25-year-old Murray was bidding to end Great Britain’s 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam champion; since Fred Perry triumphed at the 1936 US championships. The Scot tasted defeat in a Grand Slam final for the fourth time, having finished runner-up to Federer at the 2008 US Open and the 2010 Australian Open, and to Novak Djokovic at the 2011 Australian Open.

“I thought I played a pretty good match,” said Murray. “[There was] a lot of close shots, a lot of close games, a lot of break points here and there. He played very, very well the last two sets especially. When the roof closed, he played unbelievable tennis.”

Murray dropped to a 32-10 record in 2012, highlighted by winning the title in Brisbane (d. Dolgopolov) and reaching the finals in Dubai and Miami (l. to Djokovic). He was also a semi-finalist at the Australian Open, falling to Djokovic in five sets.

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