Wimbledon 2017: Roger Federer becomes first player since Bjorn Borg to win title without dropping a set
With a win in the Australian Open in 2007, Roger Federer became the first player since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win a tournament without dropping a set. Not only so, he is also the first ever to do it so on a hard court.
New Delhi: An hour and 41 minutes of tennis action ended with yet another cutting-edge ace from the Swiss maestro as Roger Federer lifted his arms in complete overwhelment at clinching record eighth Wimbledon title at SW19, on Sunday.
In front of a star-studded Royal Box and with millions glued to their television sets, the 35-year-old displayed absolute calmness and composure as he dominated through each set to demolish Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 and lift his 19th Grand Slam trophy. At 35, the Swiss international also became the oldest player in Open Era to lift the Wimbledon trophy.
What has although been quite interesting and worth applauding is that Federer, throughout the entire tournament, didn't drop a single set. This is a record that was last achieved by legendary tennis ace Bjorn Borg, back in 1976, on the very same lush green court of the All England Club.
Here is a bit of history, a walk down tennis lane, remembering some other greats who had emulated the same in Grand Slams...
1. Ken Rosewall 1971 Australian Open:
It was the first time when history was created, not because of the simple reason that Rosewall lifted the trophy, but because he did so without dropping a single set in the entire tournament. He defeated defending champion Arthur Ashe 6–1, 7–5, 6–3 to ink his name for the third time on the Australian Open trophy.
2. Ilie Năstase in 1973 French Open:
With defending champion Andres Gimeno being ousted in the very second round of the tournament, eyes were fixed on Năstase and Arthur Ashe. However, the latter was ceased to go any further in the fourth round, while Năstase sailed into his maiden French Open final. 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 against Nikola Pilić and the Romanian international lifted his first and only French Open title at Roland Garros.
3. Bjorn Borg in 1976 Wimbledon:
The Swedish tennis legend sailed into the quarter-final round of the coveted tournament with much ease, without dropping a single set to face sixth-seed Guillermo Vilas. Another comfortable victory, and then in the semis too as the then 20-year-old Borg stormed into his maiden Wimbledon final. He was up against ever popular Ilie Nastase. Interesting, his opponent too hadn't dropped a set in the tournament. Thus both were on the cusp of creating history. An hour and 50 minutes of intense action and Borg crumbled down Romanian hope to lift his first ever Wimbledon title. He became the third player in Open Era not to lose a single set and clinch the golden trophy. The Swede then went on to win five more at SW19.
4. Bjorn Borg in 1978 and 1980 French Open:
The Wimbledon glory was not the only one as Borg went on to emulate the same on the clay courts of Paris, two years later. Then top-seeded tennis ace, Bjorn Borg was up against the defending champion from Argentina, Guillermo Vilas. A complete one-sided domination as the Swedish international lifted his third French Open title.
He successfully defended his title for two consecutive years with the one in 1980 going a similar way. That was the time when Borg was at the peak of his career. Through the 1978-80 phase, the Swede had completed a French Open-Wimbledon double thrice.
5. Roger Federer in 2007 Australian Open:
The Swiss maestro did end up sharing his name on this list of history too. Defending champion himself, Federer struck down Chilean force Fernando Gonzalez 7–6(7–2), 6–4, 6–4 to win his third title in Sydney. With that, he became the first player since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win a tournament without dropping a set. Not only so, he is also the first ever to do it so on a hard court.
6. Rafael Nadal in 2008, 2010, 2017 French Open:
Third consecutive final, third consecutive win over Federer in the final and thus, third consecutive French Open title for Rafael Nadal in 2008. A 6–1, 6–3, 6–0 win over the Swiss international was marked as the worst defeat Roger ever faced in his career. Lifting the trophy without losing a set, Nadal became the third player in Open Era to do so on French soil. He went on to emulate his feat in 2010 and then again in 2017, where he completed La Decima in Paris.