Roger Federer trounced a tearful Marin Cilic to become the first man ever to win eight singles titles at Wimbledon.
It took the 35-year-old just an hour and 41 minutes to clinch by far his most one-sided Wimbledon final triumph and extend his overall record with a 19th grand slam singles title.
The 6-3 6-1 6-4 victory continues Federer’s magnificent season in what should be his tennis dotage, but even the most ardent of the Swiss’ fans – and there were many packed into Centre Court – did not want the final to play out as it did.
Cilic started well but it became clear early in the second set that something was badly wrong with the Croatian.
At 3-0, he sobbed uncontrollably into his towel as he discussed the situation with the doctor and it looked like he might not be able to continue.
There has only ever been one retirement in a Wimbledon men’s singles final, back in 1911, and Cilic at least had the support of the crowd as he opted to play through the pain.
He had what looked like blisters on his left foot taped at the start of the third set and willed himself to make it something of a contest.
Federer continued to do what he had to do and, after clinching victory with an ace, raised his fists in the air.
Federer had words of comfort for his opponent.
He said: “It is cruel sometimes. But Marin fought well and is a hero, so congratulations on a wonderful tournament. You should be really proud.
“To be back here feeling great and holding the trophy now, not dropping a set is magical. I can’t believe it yet. It’s just too much, really.”
On Saturday, Garbine Muguruza won a battle of the generations by thrashing Venus Williams to secure her first Wimbledon ladies’ singles title.
Williams, 37, was bidding to become the oldest female grand slam singles winner in the open era but Muguruza, 14 years her junior, delivered an emphatic 7-5 6-0 victory.
It is Muguruza’s second major title, adding to the French Open crown she won last year, and makes her the first Spanish woman to win the singles at SW19 since her coach Conchita Martinez in 1994.
“I had I think the hardest match today against Venus,” Muguruza said.
“She is such an incredible player, I grew up watching her play. It is incredible to play her in the final. She was definitely an inspiration and it’s incredible to play her here.”