ROGER FEDERER never stopped believing that he would be a Grand Slam winner again and today will be back on top of the tennis world.
The Swiss great ended the hopes of Britain's Andy Murray in an enthralling Wimbledon final under the Centre Court roof, winning 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 to join his idol Pete Sampras with seven titles at the All England Club.
It was his 17th grand slam title overall, moving him three clear of Sampras, and today he will officially take over from Novak Djokovic as world No.1.
It will be Federer's 286th week on top of the rankings, matching Sampras' record, and he is guaranteed to surpass that mark next week.
Federer will turn 31 next month and, in the two and a half years since his last slam title, when Murray was also the victim at the Australian Open, many critics have questioned whether he would ever hit such heights again.
Not the man himself, though. Looking at his barren Grand Slam run, he said: "I see it more as a stepping stone, a period I had to go through as well.
"To win 90% of my matches throughout the year is impossible every single year. So you're always going to go through ups and downs.
"But I knew how close I was for the last few years, and some people didn't quite see that maybe for different reasons.
"But I knew and I think the belief got me to victory today."
"Things just didn't quite turn out for Andy Murray in the finals the way he hoped for.
"But I'm sure he got another step closer to a Grand Slam title. I really do believe and hope for him that he's going to win one soon."