Hunger still burns for Federer

Roger Federer insisted on Saturday that his hunger for the sport and its silverware remains undiminished.

updated: July 04, 2009 16:40 IST
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Roger Federer can win a record 15th Grand Slam title on Sunday, and reclaim the world number one spot, but he insisted on Saturday that his hunger for the sport and its silverware remains undiminished.

The world number two will pass Pete Sampras's mark of 14 majors, and capture a sixth Wimbledon title, with victory over America's Andy Roddick in the final.

But there's no sign of him tiring of life at the top.

"I don't have any worries about motivation. I love this game and I want to stick around for a long time," said Federer, whose wife Mirka is expecting their first child later in the summer.

"I want our child to see me play. I want to play in the 2012 Olympics because the tennis tournament is at Wimbledon. That's something I want to be part of.

"My motivation won't change a lot."

Federer's five-year reign here came to an end in 2008 when he was defeated in a five-set thriller by Rafael Nadal.

But he insists his great Spanish rival, sidelined from Wimbledon and the Davis Cup quarter-finals next week because of a knee injury, should not be written off as a spent force.

"You can lose so many points. Especially with Rafa being the back-to-back champion in Paris and Wimbledon last year, you can't play, you lose four thousand points. It goes in a hurry," said Federer.

"From being invincible, you're all of a sudden No. 2, No. 3 in the world, having to prove yourself.

"Does that mean that he's only the second best or third best just because he couldn't play? Probably not. He deserves to be all the way up there in the rankings.

"It shouldn't be forgotten what a great player, what a great champion he is."

Of all his achievements, Federer said he was aware of the significance of various milestones in his career, starting with his first Wimbledon title in 2003.

"That really opened up all possibilities to me that I knew I can be a wonderful player and have success on the men's tour," said the world number two.

"I had proved my point by beating some of the greatest players already in the game, like Sampras. That just gave me belief. But then winning the big one really gave me the edge I think.

"Then becoming No. 1 in the world when I beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in Australia I think was a milestone victory as well, because it was always a dream for me to become No. 1 in the world. When I achieved that in 2004 it was a wonderful feeling, like feeling on top of the world."