Roger Federer calls Marin Cilic 'a hero' after overcoming tearful Centre Court breakdown
Roger Federer hailed Marin Cilic's courage after the Croatian broke down in tears in a straight sets defeat in the Wimbledon final.
Cilic struggled to settle into the match from the outset, going one set down within half an hour on Centre Court.
Federer then broke the world number five early in the second set, sparking an on-court meltdown as the 28-year-old took his seat during a mid-set break.
Cilic was forced to wipe away tears with his towel before being comforted by the on-court supervisor and match referee.
The 28-year-old fought on, despite a troublesome blister, but could not stop Federer from claiming his first Wimbledon title since 2012.
"It is cruel sometimes. But Marin fought well and is a hero, so congratulations on a wonderful tournament," said Federer when asked to comment on Cilic's ordeal.
"You should be really proud, this is such a special occasion, you had a wonderful tournament and sometimes you don't feel great in the final.
"I hope we can play down the road some better ones."
The Swiss, who became the first men's player ever to win eight Wimbledon titles, joked he should take more time off after taking a six-month hiatus from tennis to prepare for SW19.
"I have got to take more time off!
"I'm not sure it'll work out this fantastic each time I come back - better than winning the trophy is feeling healthy.
"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."