What we learned at Wimbledon: Never count out Roger Federer

LONDON (AP) — Never count out Roger Federer. Seems obvious, right? Especially after he won his record-breaking eighth Wimbledon championship and second Grand Slam title of this resurgent season.

There have been times, though, when folks wondered whether he was done winning major tournaments. He was getting older. He went 4½ years without such a title. He was surpassed in the rankings by the other members of tennis’ Big 4 as they began accumulating Grand Slam trophies — first Rafael Nadal, then Novak Djokovic, then Andy Murray.

Even Federer himself began to wonder. He took the last half of 2016 off to let his surgically repaired left knee heal properly and has returned to the top of the game. First, he ended his Slam drought by winning the Australian Open in January. Then, after skipping the French Open, he raised his major total to 19 by winning Wimbledon without a dropping a set, finishing the fortnight with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 victory over 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic in Sunday’s final.

“Honestly, I’m incredibly surprised how well this year is going. How well I’m feeling, as well. How things are turning out to be on the courts. How I’m managing tougher situations. Where my level of play is on a daily basis. I am surprised that it’s this good,” Federer said. “I knew I could do great again, maybe one day, but not at this level. So I guess you would have laughed, too, if I told you I was going to win two Slams this year. People wouldn’t believe me if I said that. I also didn’t believe that I was going to win two this year.”

Here’s what else we learned during the 131st edition of Wimbledon:

DJOKOVIC AND MURRAY

Both Djokovic and Murray will consider taking some time off, the way Federer did, after their bodies caused them problems at the All England Club. Murray, the defending champion and No. 1 seed, lost in the quarterfinals while clearly hampered by a sore left hip. Djokovic, a three-time champion and No. 2 seed, stopped playing in the same round because his right elbow was too painful. “We both had a very long, very tough year, a lot of matches, a lot of emotions, a lot of things in play,” Djokovic said. “Our bodies have taken a lot physically.”

THE WILLIAMS SISTERS