London - Roger Federer was a match away from fulfilling his mission of winning a record eighth Wimbledon title.
Once again, he ran into a seemingly invincible Novak Djokovic.
Federer had been in excellent form throughout this year's tournament, and he continued to show it in Sunday's final. He took an early lead in the first set, he came back to win an epic 22-point tiebreaker in the second set, and he matched Djokovic all afternoon with sizzling forehands and slick backhands on the grass of Centre Court.
Still, No. 8 remains elusive.
"For me, a finalist trophy is not the same. Everybody knows that," Federer said after his 7-6 (1), 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-3 loss.
"Thankfully I've won here in the past, so it does not feel like I'm chasing anything."
Federer has already made history on the tennis courts, several times. His 17 major titles are the most any man has ever won, and his seven championships at Wimbledon put him even with Pete Sampras and 1880s player William Renshaw at the top of the list.
It'll take another 52 weeks to get another shot at that record.
"That's why this defeat hurts more," the 33-year-old Federer said.
"You know you have to wait another year and win six matches. It's a long way off."