WIMBLEDON, England -- Hope turned to disappointment one more time for Andy Murray and British tennis.
Murray stood closer to the Wimbledon title Sunday than any British man had in three-quarters of a century, two sets away from ending one of the longest waits in British sports.
But he also stood across the net from Roger Federer, who knows better than anyone how to win on Centre Court, and who wasn't about to let "Murray Mania" get in the way of a record-equaling seventh title at the All England Club.
Federer took advantage of a rain delay and a closed roof to outplay Murray the last two sets, assuring that the wait for a homegrown men's Wimbledon champion still has a way to go.
"I'm getting closer," a teary-eyed Murray told the Centre Court crowd after losing to Federer 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
It was the closest any British man had been since Fred Perry won his last Wimbledon title in 1936. Murray had already taken Wimbledon hysteria to a new level at home by becoming the first British man to even reach the final since 1938, when Bunny Austin lost in straight sets.
In a final that began in bright sunshine, Murray gave the country and his multitude of fans reason to believe he could go one better by winning the first set. But when the rain came, and the roof closed, Murray simply couldn't deal with Federer's perfect timing indoors.
The Swiss star went on to secure his seventh Wimbledon title. And for the
"Everybody always talks about the pressure of playing at Wimbledon, how tough it is," said Murray, who lost in the semifinals the last three years. "It's not the people watching. They make it so much easier to play. The support has been incredible, so thank you."