Five years after his last Wimbledon triumph, Roger Federer can capture a record eighth All England Club title Sunday and become the tournament's oldest men's champion of the modern era.
With his 36th birthday fast approaching, the evergreen Swiss will comfortably succeed Arthur Ashe, who was almost 32 when he won in 1975, as Wimbledon's most senior champion.
Victory over Croatian giant Marin Cilic will also give him a 19th career Grand Slam title and second in three majors this year after sweeping to a fifth Australian Open in January following a six-month absence.
"I was hoping to be in good shape when the grass court season came around," said Federer who, for good measure, also pocketed back-to-back Masters at Indian Wells and Miami as well as a ninth Halle grass court crown.
"The first three, four months were just like a dream really. So this is something I was working towards, you know, Wimbledon, to be in good shape. I'm happy it's paying off here now."
When Cilic won his only Slam in New York three years ago, he demolished Federer in straight sets in the semi-finals.
"I don't want to say it's more relaxed going into it because I have a good head-to-head record against Marin, even though the matches were extremely close," said Federer.
"But it's not like we've played against each other 30 times. You feel like you have to reinvent the wheel.
"It's more straightforward, in my opinion. I think that's nice in some ways. It's a nice change, but it doesn't make things easier."
Cilic is only the second Croatian man to reach the Wimbledon final after Goran Ivanisevic, his former coach, who swept to a memorable title victory in 2001.
A win on Sunday would also make him the first Wimbledon champion outside of Federer, Murray, Djokovic and Nadal since Lleyton Hewitt triumphed in 2002.
However, he has only won one of his last 12 matches against a top five player at the Slams, even if that was over Federer in New York three years ago.
Cilic has fired 130 aces at Wimbledon this year and dropped just 10 service games.
Jul 16, 2017 8:26 pm (IST)
Jul 16, 2017 8:26 pm (IST)
Jul 16, 2017 8:24 pm (IST)
So, that's it the final score for Roger Federer reads 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 and he wins it in straight sets..
Jul 16, 2017 8:24 pm (IST)
6-4, that's it. Roger Federer has done it. He seals it in style with an excellent ace down the T. Federer is in tears but that's more the occassion. This was probably the easiest of the eight victories. Gotta feel for Cilic who it seems has exploded at the biggest moment of his career. Gotta feel for him, but that's how the sport is.
Jul 16, 2017 8:20 pm (IST)
4-5, Cilic manages to hold but now Federer will serve for the Championship with new balls..
Jul 16, 2017 8:15 pm (IST)
5-3, an exquisite drop shot earns Cilic the only point in that game, but Federer has made this a real stroll in the park. Just one game away from the title..
Jul 16, 2017 8:13 pm (IST)
3-4, Cilic is broken again and Federer is just 2 games away from Wimbledon title number 8, Cilic again making an unforced error on the forehand as his error count keeps on rising.
Jul 16, 2017 8:10 pm (IST)
Some Royalty on the show today..
Jul 16, 2017 8:09 pm (IST)
3-3, Federer holds that serve in less than a minute. Again a love hold for the Swiss ace.
Jul 16, 2017 8:07 pm (IST)
3-2, Cilic trying to pump himself up, this was atleast a solid game for him, sealing it off with an ace. His first serve percentage also improving slightly. But still a long way to go for the Croat in this one.
Jul 16, 2017 8:05 pm (IST)
2-2, Federer holds but atleast Cilic makes the job a bit difficult. He is practicing his feet movement now, something which players usually do in the first set. Federer not making the job any easy but atleast Cilic is trying to make a game out of it
Jul 16, 2017 8:00 pm (IST)
2-1, Cilic somehow manages to hold serve. But its getting increasingly difficult. His feet movement are not upto the mark, and Federer is not in a mood to show any mercy here.
Jul 16, 2017 7:53 pm (IST)
1-1. Federer holds to 15. Cilic venting out his frustration here which might be good for him. He is clearly a much better player than what he is currently performing right now,
Jul 16, 2017 7:50 pm (IST)
1-0. The medical time-out seems to have done a bit of work for Cilic, his big serve are atleast back as he holds to 15. But the timeout revealed his left foot to be heavily bruised. No one has retired in a Wimbledon final since 1911!
Jul 16, 2017 7:43 pm (IST)
6-1, Federer seals the second set with no fuss at all. The doctors are again out for Cilic and you can't help but feel for the Croat, this is his first final appearance on the 11th attempt but its all going horribly wrong for him. This could be one of the shortest Wimbledon men's singles final ever..
Jul 16, 2017 7:41 pm (IST)
1-5, Another break for Federer and he is just rushing away with it, giving Cilic no chance to fight back. Again the backhand coming to the fore, to cancel Cilic's lob and serve play.
Jul 16, 2017 7:36 pm (IST)
4-1, Federer holding to 15 there. Cilic doesn't seem to be anywhere close to breaking Federer here. Cilic doesn't need a medical time out but he seems to be struggling emotionally there..
Jul 16, 2017 7:32 pm (IST)
1-3, Cilic manages to hold but it was a struggle. His box is trying to encourage him, Cilic clearly trying the serve and volley game but Federer is way too good for that..Will be intresting to see if Cilic continues this approach or changes it..
Jul 16, 2017 7:28 pm (IST)
Wow, some scenes as Cilic seems to be sobbing in the chair out of nowhere. The coach and the trainer are out there consulting him..
Jul 16, 2017 7:27 pm (IST)
3-0, Atleast its not a love hold here for Federer, but despite not being at his very best, Federer seems to be getting the job done here. Cilic not making the job any difficult for the swiss ace..
Jul 16, 2017 7:26 pm (IST)
0-2, Another early break in the second set for Roger Federer. Cilic not exactly sorted out with his foot work. He also already has 13 unforced errors. Cilic is too inconsistent for the big day here.
Jul 16, 2017 7:21 pm (IST)
1-0, Another love hold for Federer. If Cilic doesn't up his game here, we could be in for a rather short final..
Jul 16, 2017 7:18 pm (IST)
3-6! Federer takes the first set without much effort. Cilic will be livid with himself, again he rushed to a 30-0 lead before allowing Federer to claw back in, an exquisite cross court backhand gave Federer a set point at 30-40 before Cilic manages to take it to deuce. Ultimately, its the double fault which hands Federer the first set on a plate.
Jul 16, 2017 7:13 pm (IST)
5-3, Another love hold for Federer..too easy for the Swiss maester as the Croat has no reply to the quality and accurate serves..
Jul 16, 2017 7:10 pm (IST)
3-4, Cilic manages to hold but just. He rushed to a 40-0 lead, before Federer fought back to make it 40-40 including an exquisite drop shot leaving Cilic in no man's land to make it 40-30, but Cilic manages to get out the serves when needed and win the game.
Jul 16, 2017 7:06 pm (IST)
4-2, Another easy hold for Federer, the strong quality serving giving Cilic absolutely no chacne. Federer wins it to love.
Jul 16, 2017 7:03 pm (IST)
2-3, Federer gets the first break and just how. He suddenly ups his game. Excellent point to make it 0-30, he drops in a slice, coming close to the net. Cilic manages to get the reply cross court but Federer shows excellent court coverage to just get the ball past the falling Croat, he had three break points and the swiss maester was never going to miss these many opportunities.
Jul 16, 2017 6:58 pm (IST)
2-2, Federer holds but again Cilic had a break point there, you just wonder if he will have to take all the opportunities he gets today. Federer, also rather uncharacteristically already has a couple of double faults to his name.
Jul 16, 2017 6:53 pm (IST)
2-1, a rather easy hold for Cilic. Federer looking to attack with his backhand but the Cilic serve is too good for it, Federer clearly trying to go for an early break..
Jul 16, 2017 6:51 pm (IST)