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Federer drew inspiration from Olympic gold

Published on 17/09/2008

17 September 2008

LAUSANNE — Winning an Olympic gold medal helped Roger Federer turn around his difficult year.

"I think it has definitely inspired me," Federer said Tuesday as he prepared to lead Switzerland in a Davis Cup playoff against Belgium this weekend.

The 27-year-old Swiss won the men’s doubles title in Beijing with Stanislas Wawrinka on 16 August. Even though he lost in the Olympic singles quarter-finals to James Blake, the doubles gold was a turning point in a season that had passed without a major title.

"It helped me to stay positive and be motivated for the US Open and not maybe be too disappointed," said Federer, who won his fifth straight title at Flushing Meadows last week.

"I’m happy that I’ve got an Olympic gold now in my pocket and that I’ve also got a US Open trophy, so it couldn’t be better right now."

Visibly lifted by the doubles victory in Beijing, Federer carried that momentum into New York and claimed a 13th Grand Slam singles crown. He dominated Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and Andy Murray in the final to reassert his dominance.

On Friday, Federer and Wawrinka will play in the opening singles matches against Belgium. The playoff will decide which country will join the elite 16-nation Davis Cup World Group in 2009.

"It was a dream come true for both of us to win Olympic gold for Switzerland," Federer said. "And here we go again."

Swiss fans have snapped up every ticket for the three-day series at the 6,400-capacity Malley indoor arena, a converted ice rink near the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne.

"It is a really nice scenario to be able to share my victory with the Swiss people," said Federer who will play in front of a home crowd for the first time in 2008.

[AP / Expatica]