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Rediff.com  » Sports » Father Federer savours 'exceptional' victory

Father Federer savours 'exceptional' victory

Last updated on: February 1, 2010 11:49 IST

'I'm sure I have much more left in me'

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Roger Federer supped champagne and partied until dawn in Melbourne on Monday, savouring his first Grand Slam victory as a father but already looking forward to the defence of his French Open crown.

The 28-year-old Swiss defeated Andy Murray in the Australian Open final to extend his record to 16 major titles and dash British hopes of a first men's Grand Slam champion in 74 years.

Looking fresh after only a few hours' sleep, the father of six-month old twin girls said he had no plans to slow down and that he still had plenty to prove on the tour.

"I think I played some of my best tennis these last two weeks, especially the final yesterday against Murray," Federer told a small group of reporters, with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup perched on a table next to him.

"The win was exceptional and the performance from my side, so it makes me very happy and eager to await what's to come this year."

"As you grow older you enjoy the victories even more, you try to savour them as long as possible.

"Because you never know when it could be your last, even though I'm sure I have much more left in me."


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Reuters
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'Taking a break not realistic or feasible for me'

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After celebrating with a few dozen friends at his hotel until sunrise, Federer was delighted to return to his room to find one of his daughters awake.

"I quickly was able to see (Myla). Even though she has got obviously no clue what has happened and couldn't care less, but I still felt it was a special moment to hold her in my hands, and in my arms after what happened."

Federer's brilliant win at Melbourne Park quashed doubts about the world number one's hunger for success and the Swiss scotched any notion he might take a break from the game, like Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

"That's not realistic or feasible for me," he said.

"Maybe (I could) take a few months off, but that doesn't mean half a season off. I just think it's too tough to come back after that. I don't know, the men's game's different, I think. It's brutal, the margins are so small."


Image: Roger Federer

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'I'm not allowed to show any fatigue'

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Federer has enjoyed a blissfully injury-free career and brushed aside any concerns about his fitness as a player entering his twilight years, saying that he understood his body "more and more" as time goes by.

"I remember in the beginning here in 2004 when I won the first time, I couldn't move the next day, (I was) so tired, the whole pressure."

"Now I'm like 'it's over, perfect, what's next?'"

"Obviously now with the family now and everything there is no time to be tired... I'm not allowed to show any fatigue (to wife Mirka)!" he joked.


Image: Roger Federer's wife Mirka

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'It's not enough to be a tennis player'

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Although his triumph at Melbourne Park has set up the tempting possibility of a calendar Grand Slam, the world number one has no new goals.

He just wants to prove that he can "still beat the guys at the top".

"I hope I can defend my French Open crown obviously, but first things first, vacation, practice and Dubai again," said Federer, referring to the Dubai Championships later this month.

He has enjoyed having his family follow him around the world on tour and said he had not spent a day apart from his children since they were born.

"I know eventually times will be tougher because if (the kids) are good now, at one stage they will scream or not be as easy you know."

"Whatever comes, comes really... It's not enough to be a tennis player, you need to also be a person.

"You don't want to feel like you have to play tennis. Now that I have it, I want to savour it as long as I can and for the fire to burn you need to be smart about how you do it."


Image: Roger Federer

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