Tennis: Celebrating the King. ‘The Belief Got Me to Victory’
Rome21st May. Nadal won Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Roland Garros 11th June. Nadal is the 2012 champion.
But since Sunday, the King is back. Roger Federer did a great job on the green grass. He does not feel like the greatest player ever despite winning his seventh Wimbledon title.
“I don’t feel better than anyone, because we need past champions to pave the way for our generation and we have become very professional,” he said. “They have led the way and inspired myself and other players to chase the big records out there.”
When Pete Sampras won Wimbledon in 2000, he became arguably the greatest player the game seen. His final defeat of Patrick Rafter gave him a record-breaking seventhWimbledontitle, as well as a record 13th Grand Slam singles title. Still at the top of his game and even returning to No.1 a few months later, further major triumphs seemed inevitable.
But the more time passed, this looked unlikely. Sampras’ Grand Slam results began to slump, as did his motivation to continue grinding his way through tour events. A demoralising second-round defeat in 2001 as the defending Wimbledon champion was a career low-point, and when he turned30 amonth later, tennis pundits had written his obituary.
A decade later, a remarkably similar scenario has played out for Roger Federer. Since winning the 2010 Australian Open, he endured a Grand Slam drought of his own. Overshadowed in the biggest matches and in the rankings by younger rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and having turned 30 almost a year ago, many observers had expressed their doubts about whether there was another major triumph left in the Swiss.
At Wimbledon, he proved there was. “I drew a lot of inspirations from other great athletes in other sports. I think like Pete [Sampras] and Edberg, Becker, [Michael] Jordan, Tiger Woods, Valentino Rossi. They inspire me to keep on pushing further. You know, not just being happy with world No.1 or being happy with a Grand Slam title, but maybe to reach for more,” he said. “I’m so happy I’m at the age I am right now, because I had such a great run and I know there’s still more possible. You know, to enjoy it right now, it’s very different than when I was 20 or 25. I’m at a much more stable place in my life. I wouldn’t want anything to change. So this is very, very special right now.”
And Federer had words of comfort for his beaten opponent Murray, who is still striving for an elusive first Grand Slam title despite reaching four finals. ”I really do believe he will win Grand Slams, not just one. I do wish him all the best. This is genuine. He works extremely hard. He’s as professional as you can be.”
When he was asked a comment aboutMurray’s tears he replies: ‘We are human beings’
This is the champion we love, he is so humble and so great.
We do believe his daughters will be so proud of him, as we are.
By Irene Montanari - RTR Sports source: bbb.co.uk - wimbledon.com Picture by Steve Wake/AELTC - Courtesy of Wimbledon Facebook page