Wimbledon 2012: Champion felt destiny calling
Roger Federer admitted to having felt a sense of destiny as he won the most famous trophy in tennis yesterday. After taking his 17th career Grand Slam, his seventh Wimbledon title and guaranteeing he will break Pete Sampras' 12-year-old record for the most weeks spent at world No 1 -- all in a single day -- he could be excused the sentimentality.
"From the get go I really felt sort of I'm supposed to play well here," he said. "You know, of course, I feel better here for some reason. I don't know why. It's very unique and special in many ways, this tournament. Over the years I've been able to keep up a great run."
But Federer's name had not been inscribed on the Wimbledon honours board for three years. Indeed, since winning the 2010 Australian Open, six months after the birth of his twin daughters, Federer had not triumphed at a Major. That prompted many to write him off in favour of a new world order headed by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. That Wimbledon should have been where he proved the doubters wrong was as fitting for him as his famous white cardigan.
"I see it more as a stepping stone, a period I have to go through as well," he said. "That I'm going to win 90pc of my matches throughout the year, it's impossible every single year. So, you're always going to go through ups and downs. But I think I'm playing some of the best tennis of my life right now."
The Swiss revealed how he had received the support of another perennial champion, golf's Tiger Woods. "I got one from himself," he said. "He was very pumped up these last couple days, for me. He was very supportive. It's nice, when other greats like this do believe in me."
Federer did save some words for his vanquished opponent, Andy Murray, who yesterday became the first British man to appear in a Wimbledon final since Bunny Austin in 1938.
"I think he's done so well," said Federer. "Because I see him every day. I see what he goes through on a daily basis on tour. At Wimbledon he handles it so perfectly.
"I think he's giving himself so many looks at big titles. Grand Slams I think is what you guys are focusing on the most. I really do believe deep down in me 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. Things just didn't quite turn out for him in the finals that he hoped for. But today I'm sure he got another step closer to a Grand Slam." (© Daily Telegraph, London)