LONDON - Roger Federer saluted Wimbledon "hero" Marin Cilic after the injury-hit Croatian was reduced to tears during Sunday's emotional final.
Hobbled by a foot problem suffered in the first set of Federer's 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 victory, Cilic wept inconsolably on Centre Court midway through the second set after calling for medical attention.
The former US Open champion gamely played through the pain for the rest of a one-sided final before wiping away more tears during the trophy presentation.
Cheered by the capacity crowd, including Hollywood actors Bradley Cooper and Hugh Grant, Cilic was given a glowing tribute by eight-time champion Federer.
"It's cruel sometimes. He fought well. He's a hero, congrats on a wonderful tournament Marin," Federer said.
"You should be really proud, it's such a special occasion to play in a final. I hope we can play some better ones down the road. Well done."