Arise Roger the great - flawless Federer claims record eighth Wimbledon crown

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It's official. Roger Federer is the greatest of all time on the hallowed turf of Wimbledon after claiming a record eighth men's singles crown with victory over Marin Cilic.

Prior to Sunday's final Federer was tied on seven titles with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw but his 6-3 6-1 6-4 victory sees him move clear on his own at the top of the list.

It has been a sensational return to form for the 35-year-old, who has thrilled the crowds at SW19 over the past two weeks, the Swiss marching on as the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal fell by the wayside.

While his rivals slog it out on the ATP Tour, Federer has begun to pick and choose his tournaments and opted to miss the entire clay-court season to focus on Wimbledon.

And what a good decision it has been. He is now an eight-time champion. Mission accomplished. Greatest of all time.

Many on Henman Hill and inside Centre Court would have hoped to be watching home-favourite Murray go for another title, but witnessing the great Federer make history was ample consolation.

And delight them he did, his elegant backhands, whipped forehands and general grace around the court were a joy to behold. If his place in history was ever questioned, there can be no doubt he is now the best of the best.

Federer's Wimbledon journey began way back in 1998 when, as a 16-year-old, he lifted the boy's title with victory over Irakli Labadze and also won the doubles in the same year.

His first years in the main draw ended with early exits but in 2001 he made his mark with a fourth-round victory over seven-time and defending champion Pete Sampras - the love affair had begun.

Tim Henman stopped him progressing beyond the last eight but two years later nothing could halt the young pony-tailed Swiss going all the way, the first of his titles arriving with victory over Mark Philippoussis.

That began a five-year spell of dominance that cemented his status as a Centre Court favourite - but probably made Andy Roddick sick of the sight of him, as the American lost two successive finals.

Federer's epic 2008 defeat to Rafael Nadal brought the streak to an end but when faced with Roddick again in 2009, he moved onto six titles.

Before this year, his previous final win was in 2012 when he left Murray in tears, although the Briton gained revenge in the Olympic Games final a month later.

The record eighth title proved elusive in 2014 and 2015, as Djokovic beat him in successive finals, and some questioned whether he would ever edge past Sampras given his advancing years.

Those who doubted him were made to eat their words in 2017, though, as a refreshed Federer ploughed through the men's draw and took apart an out-of-sorts Cilic in the final with another glorious display.

So step forward Federer the great. Men's tennis has never seen a talent like him, maintaining such a high level of performance for such a prolonged period amid an era of intense competition.

Sunday was the crowning glory in his 29th grand slam final as he raced to a straight-sets win that takes him onto 19 major titles and sees him become the oldest man to win Wimbledon in the Open era at 35 years and 342 days.

There is still one more hurdle standing in Federer's way, though, with Martina Navratilova having won nine women's singles titles at SW19. Do not back against the Swiss coming back in 12 months' time to try and equal her record!