Federer back at Wimbledon looking for title No. 8

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory after the final match against Germany's Alexander Zverev at the Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament in Halle, Germany, Sunday, June 25, 2017. Roger Federer defeated Germany's Alexander Zverev in two sets to win the Gerry Weber Open for the ninth time on Sunday. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

By HOWARD

FENDRICH

AP Tennis Writer

LONDON — Write off Roger Federer at your own peril.

The guy’s been considered done by some folks at various times over the years, whether because of age or a bad back or a bum knee or a — gasp! — 4 1/2-season drought without a Grand Slam title.

And yet here he is, about to turn 36 next month, about to tie a record by playing in his 70th major tournament and, lo and behold, back to his old status as a popular pick to take home the title when Wimbledon begins on Monday.

He is seeking an unprecedented eighth men’s championship at the All England Club.

The lasting image of Federer at Wimbledon a year ago was of him face-down on the Centre Court turf during the fifth set of a semifinal loss, betrayed by a surgically repaired left knee.

Also tough to forget: The consecutive double-faults in the last game of the fourth set.

He seemed more vulnerable than the tennis world had seen him in more than a decade.

“The fall just really scared me,” Federer said Saturday, fingers clasped as he leaned forward.

All he’s done since coming back this year is go 24-2 with four titles, including a record-extending 18th at a Grand Slam tournament.

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