WIMBLEDON – History was going to be made today, whoever won.Â If Andy Murray had won, he would have become the first British man to lift the title, since the legendary Fred Perry, in 1936.
The slice of history went to Federer, who defeated Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
No-one could accuse Murray of starting slowly, breaking Federer in the first game, and starting decisively.
Although Federer did break back, a further break saw Murray claim his first Slam set, in four finals.
A nation dared to hope.
Murray said, of his match: â€œI’d say that’s the best I’ve played in a slam final.
â€œI created chances.Â Obviously went up a set.
â€œIt wasn’t like I gave away bad games or stupid games and stuff.Â I played a good match.Â I made pretty good decisions for the most part, so I’m happy with that.
â€œI felt more comfortable this morning and before the match than I had done maybe in the previous slams.â€
When Federer took the second set, having settled his obvious nerves, Murray started to look fatigued.
When the rains came down hard the players were still gathering their things as the groundsmen covered the court, and British fans hoped the break would rejuvenate Murray.
Both players have had to play under the roof a lot this year, so it was hoped they would adapt the conditions quickly at the restart.
When the play started again, Federerâ€™s ball-striking, placement and timing was nothing short of dominating.
Murray said: â€œWhen we came out after the break he was more aggressive on my serve.
â€œI maybe didn’t serve as well under the roof as I did the first couple of sets.â€
The pivotal point of the match was a 20 minute service game on Murrayâ€™s serve in the third set, and once broken, Federer dictated the play as the momentum stayed with him.
Murray said: â€œIt was tough, a tough game to lose.
â€œBut, you know, I wasn’t disappointed necessarily with the way I played in that game.Â Yeah, it was a frustrating game to lose, but I still had chances after that.â€
A single break in the fourth set was all that he needed, to equal Samprasâ€™ record â€“ letâ€™s not forget his first Wimbledon victory came at Samprasâ€™ expense.
The runnerâ€™s up speech was always going to be tough, and many still remember Murrayâ€™s emotional speech after losing to Federer in the 2010 Australian Open final.
Yet he still managed to display some of that trademark dry humour, saying: â€œIâ€™m getting closer.â€
He took the microphone and delivered congratulations to Federer before emotionally thanking his support team and the fans.
Many in the crowd were reduced to tears, including his mother Judy, and his girlfriend Kim Sears.
Federer equally looked moved as his daughters came in the players box after he won the match, acknowledging that a win after two and a half years, and tying another record was a special moment for him.
Federer said: â€œI didn’t try to think of the world No.Â 1 ranking or the seventh or the seventeenth.
â€œSo I think that’s going to actually, for a change, take much longer to sort of, you know, understand what I was able to achieve today.â€
With his victory, he reclaims the world number one slot.Â Not bad for a 30-year-old (to paraphrase Murrayâ€™s congratulatory speech).
â€œI’m so happy I’m at the age I am right now, because I had such a great run and I know there’s still more possible,â€ said Federer, â€œit’s very different than when I was 20 or 25.â€
He continued: â€œI’m at a much more stable place in my life.
â€œSo this is very, very special right now.â€
Both players paid tribute to each other in press, Murray acknowledging that Federer and Rafael Nadal are among the greatest athletes in tennis history, and Federer believing that Murray will win Slam(s) and praising his professionalism and work ethic.
History smiled down on one, and for the other?Â Well the Olympics are around the corner followed by the US Open.Â The Slam dream is not over yet.
Ros Satar is a British Journalist- an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports (britwatchsports.com). Follow her on twitter at @rfsatar.