Roger's having a ball! Murray's conqueror Federer joins Serena at champions' dinner
08:39 GMT, 9 July 2012
Roger Federer paraded his Wimbledon trophy at the traditional champions' ball on Sunday night, hours after breaking Andy Murray's heart in the final… but there was at least one Brit in attendance in the form of men's doubles winner Jonny Marray.
This year's stars of SW19 descended on the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel in central London dressed to the nines, including ladies' singles champion Serena Williams, who wore a bright golden gown.
While Murray headed for a quiet night back at his Surrey home with girlfriend Kim Sears, his conqueror Federer found himself back in the familiar position of celebrating being both champion of Wimbledon and top of the world rankings.
Champions: Serena Williams and Roger Federer at the Wimbledon winners' ball in London on Sunday night
Latest world rankings
1. Roger Federer, Switzerland, 11,075 points.
2. Novak Djokovic, Serbia, 11,000.
3. Rafael Nadal, Spain, 8,905.
4. Andy Murray, Britain, 7,460.
5. David Ferrer, Spain, 5,430.
6. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, 5,230.
7. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic, 4,515.
8. Janko Tipsarevic, Serbia, 3,215.
9. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina, 3,180.
10. Nicolas Almagro, Spain, 2,605.
In achieving both feats the 30-year-old from Switzerland has earned separate entries in the tennis record books, tying William Renshaw and Pete Sampras on seven Wimbledon titles and matching Sampras' unsurpassed tally of 286 weeks at No 1. He is guaranteed to stretch that to 287 weeks in seven days' time.
Yet Federer knows there was a widely-held belief that his career was in irreversible decline, his grand slam title prospects slim and chance of getting to No 1 again gone.
The developing rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was perceived to be pushing Federer out to the fringes, but he has been terrifically consistent on tour since last year's US Open and the latest Wimbledon title justified his unflappable self-belief.
Until his four-set triumph over
Murray on Sunday, it had been two and a half years since his last major
title, when Murray was also the victim at the Australian Open.
at his barren grand slam run, Federer said: 'I see it more as a
stepping stone, a period I had to go through as well. To win 90 per cent
of my matches throughout the year is impossible every single year. So
you're always going to go through ups and downs.
Brit of alright: Men's doubles champions Jonny Marray (right) and Freddie Nielsen
'But I knew how close I was for the last few years, and some people didn't quite see that maybe for different reasons. But I knew and I think the belief got me to victory.'
Nadal, Djokovic and Murray will again be
likely challengers to Federer at the US Open in New York later this
summer, where the rejuvenated man from Basle will be seeking an 18th
slam, and also at the Olympics in SW19 later this month.
King of SW19: Swiss maestro Federer shows off his men's singles prize after beating Andy Murray
Federer showed great desire as he came from a set behind to destroy British hopes of a first home champion in the men's singles since 1936.
He said: 'I really almost didn't try to picture myself with the trophy or try to think too far ahead.
Golden girl: Serena parades the ladies' singles trophy won after beating Agnieszka Radwanska
'There was so much on the line, so I didn't try to think of the world No 1 ranking or the seventh Wimbledon or the 17th title.
'I think, for a change, it's going to take much longer to understand what I was able to achieve. It was crazy how it all happened under the circumstances. I played terrific.'
Meanwhile, Venus Williams led the praise for her 'amazing' sister Serena after the most celebrated family in world tennis cleaned up at Wimbledon again.
Table talk: Seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer and his wife Mirka at the dinner
Just like Federer, Serena is a 30-year-old whose best days, many felt, belonged in the past.
With Serena, there has also been a near-death experience to contend with.
Just days after winning the 2010 Wimbledon title she stepped on some glass and injured her foot, with the subsequent complications – including a blood clot on her lungs – forcing her, in her own words, to her 'deathbed'.
Yet she is a grand slam winner again, for the 14th time in singles, after defeating Polish third seed Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets on Saturday, 6-1 5-7 6-2.
Maybe next year, Andy: Federer and runner-up Murray with their winnings on Sunday evening
She is vowing to play on for years to come, and Venus, herself battling Sjogren's syndrome – an autoimmune disease that effects her energy levels – is full of admiration for her younger sister.
'She hasn't had an easy road,' said 32-year-old Venus, whose five Wimbledon singles titles Serena has now matched.
'Things have happened in her life that you can't predict or control, so it's hard to be in that situation.
On top of the world: Federer beat Murray in four tense sets on Centre Court on Sunday
'For her to fight through that and come back and be a champion, and not only that, but to have made the final of the US Open, reached the top five, all these achievements that she's done that I don't think anyone else can do, is just amazing.
'She's such a fighter. You never say die. I think positivity really brought her a long way in that. I don't think either of us believe that we can be defeated by anything. Nothing has defeated us yet, so we're going to keep that track record.'