Federer surprised by his success
Originally published on 16/07/17 00:00
Not only did Federer became the oldest Grand Slam singles champion in the Open era with his 6-3 6-1 6-4 victory over Marin Cilic, but the 35-year-old also claimed the Challenge Cup without dropping a set for the first time – the first man to do so since Bjorn Borg in 1976.
But Federer does not consider himself a phenom – simply a tennis player who trained hard, dreamed big, and got lucky.
“Winning eight is not something you can ever aim for, in my opinion,” said Federer, who now holds the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles, his first twin-slam season since 2009. “If you do, I don't know, you must have so much talent and parents and the coaches that push you from the age of three on, who think you're like a project.
“I was not that kid. I was just really a normal guy growing up in Basel, hoping to make a career on the tennis tour. I guess I dreamed, I believed, and really hoped that I could actually maybe really do it, you know, to make it real. So I put in a lot of work, and it paid off.”
Federer did admit that if his crowning achievement among the Grand Slams was to happen anywhere, he was proud that it should happen at Wimbledon, the scene of his first Grand Slam triumph back in 2003, not to mention his 1998 boys’ singles triumph some 19 years ago.
“Yes, it is very special,” he said. “Wimbledon was always my favourite tournament, will always be my favourite tournament. My heroes walked the grounds here and walked the courts here. Because of them, I think I became a better player, too.
“To mark history here at Wimbledon really means a lot to me just because of all of that really. It's that simple.
“Funny enough, I didn't think that much of it throughout today, throughout the trophy ceremony. I was more just so happy that I was able to win Wimbledon again because it's been a long road, it's been an exciting road. It's been tough at times, but that's how it's supposed to be. So to be Wimbledon champion for an entire year now is something I can't wait, you know, to savour and just enjoy.
“Number eight obviously means a lot to me because at that level, to be part of Wimbledon history, is truly amazing.”
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