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Roger Federer: Wimbledon win puts him back at No. 1 in tennis

Roger Federer beat Britain's Andy Murray in four sets. Roger Federer, with seven Wimbledon wins, is now tied with Pete Sampras.

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Andy Murray of Britain, right, congratulates Roger Federer of Switzerland, as he poses with his trophy following the men's singles final match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Sunday, July 8, 2012.

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

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Roger Federer left the door tantalizingly ajar for local hero Andy Murray in the Wimbledon men's singles final on Sunday, then slammed it shut to win a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title and in so doing return to the top of the world rankings.

The Swiss great, contesting his eighth final at the All England Club, flirted with danger in the second set after losing the first but just when Murray looked like ending 76 years of plucky British failure Federer gave a stunning reminder of his genius to win 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 on Centre Court.

When a Murray forehand looped narrowly wide after three hours 24 minutes of enthralling action, Federer dropped to the turf in joy, just as he did in 2003 when he beat Australia's Mark Philippoussis to begin a grand slam collection that now stands at 17.

For the second time in three grand slam finals against Murray he reduced the Scot to tears, although this match, unlike the others, was a contest to savour.

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It was only after Centre Court's translucent lid was slid across after heavy rain began to fall in the heart of the final that Federer took charge, striding to the win that puts him level with Pete Sampras's record of seven Wimbledon crowns.

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