Tennis: Federer vows he has more to come
Federer warned would-be challengers he intends to stay at the top for several years to come.PARIS, January 3, 2008 - Roger Federer has warned would-be challengers
that he intends to stay at the top for several years to come.
Speaking to L'Equipe newspaper after being named as it's Champion of
Champions for the third year running, the Swiss star said that at 26, he was
injury-free and full of motivation.
"It's all to do with my preparation," he said. "The way that I train and
get myself in top condition is very important.
"I have put the priority on longevity. I've always had an eye to the future
and would like to continue playing as long as possible to play against as many
generations as possible. I am in it for the long run."
A winner of three out of four Grand Slam titles in 2007, the Swiss player
finished well ahead of American swimmer Michael Phelps and French world rally
champion Sebastien Loeb in a vote by L'Equipe's journalists.
The only other sportsman to have won three times in succession was Formula
1 champion Michael Schumacher in 2001-2003.
Looking back over 2007, Federer said his greatest satisfaction came from
matching Bjorn Borg's record of winning Wimbledon five times in a row by
defeating Rafael Nadal in a pulsating five-sets final.
"It was an incredible match against Nadal - in front of Borg who was there,
Connors also and McEnroe - everyone was there. It was a magical moment for me.
"It felt like moving into another dimension and that I was no longer just
the best player in the world, but a kind of legend,
"Of course its bizarre to think of oneself as a legend, but that was the
biggest moment of the year for me."
Turning to 2008, Federer said that winning a first French Open title was
near the top of his list of priorities, but he said equalling and possibly
passing Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles was even higher.
He is currently on 12 Grand Slam titles and a repeat of the last two years
when on each occasion he won the Australian, Wimbledon and US Open titles
would see him move ahead of the retired American.
Federer was speaking to L'Equipe in Dubai where he is preparing for the
defence of his Australian Open title later this month