For Roger Federer, the smell of success on the grounds of Wimbledon Sunday was a process in the making, after going two and a half years without winning a major title.
In defeating Andy Murray in four sets to capture a record-tying seventh trophy at The Championships, Federer will rise to No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on Monday, 9 July, 2012. His ascension will bring him level with Pete Sampras for the most weeks as World No. 1 with 286. The Swiss believes it wasn’t just Sunday’s victory that enabled him to return to the top, but rather a progression of highs and lows, most notably a heartbreaking loss to Novak Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals last September.
“I think it was a time where I just had to believe that things were going to turn around for me, and not just
naturally, but work at something,” said Federer. “This is where I did take a long break off… Because I played a lot of tennis, good tennis, but I wanted to win titles, not just lose in the [quarter-finals] and [semi-finals].
“I think when I came back to Basel, which was a home tournament, things obviously changed for me to winning ways again, I would believe. Then the confidence rose as I went to Paris and also to London. I think this is when I realised a lot is possible in 2012.”
Federer’s triumph at the All England Club increases his Grand Slam championship trophy count to 17, but the win over Murray has extra meaning to Federer, as his twin daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva were in his box to see him crowned champion. The Swiss acknowledged the balancing act between his career and duties as a father has presented its difficulties, making his final victory over Murray even sweeter.
“The victory today is a dream come true today for me and my family, seeing them there. Yeah, it’s big,” Federer said.
“People forget sometimes I do
girls. That has had a massive impact on my life. I think it’s helped my game more than anything because I think I’m playing some of the best tennis of my life right now, and since a long time now.
“But just to be able to juggle everything together has been a challenge. And I think you learn from mistakes. You try to make it work for everyone involved. It hasn’t always been easy. I admit that.”
While he will turn 31 in August, Federer is showing no signs of slowing down, and is content with where he is at, on and off the court, supplying him the energy and motivation he will need to keep his place atop the South African Airways ATP Rankings.
“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,” said Federer. “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.”
Federer will return to Wimbledon in three weeks, where he will aim to win his first singles gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.