Roger Federer believes becoming a father and celebrating his 30th birthday inspired him to a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title.
Federer moved level with Pete Sampras on seven All England Club titles and celebrated a 17th Grand Slam crown with his battling 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win over Britain’s Andy Murray in his eighth Wimbledon final.
The win, secured beneath Centre Court’s £80 million roof, also allowed him to return to the top of the world rankings where this week he’ll stand for a 285th week, just one short of Sampras’s record mark.
All in all, not a bad day’s work for a man who had been written off as a relic in the new golden age of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and who had been without a Grand Slam title since collecting his 16th at the 2010 Australian Open.
But Federer said he has been driven on by wanting to see his twin girls Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, who are three later this month, get the chance to witness their father in action in his pomp, not his decline.
“People forget sometimes I do have twin girls. That has had a massive impact on my life. It’s helped my game more than anything because I think I’m playing some of the best tennis of my life right now,” said Federer.
“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. Hasn’t always been easy, you know. I admit that.
“The victory is a dream come true for me and my family and seeing them there. Yeah, it’s big.”
Federer is five years older than Murray and Djokovic, who was deposed as champion at Wimbledon by the Swiss star in the semi-finals, and four years the senior of Rafael Nadal, who claimed a recorded seventh French Open last month.
Beating Djokovic and Murray in successive matches at the All England Club has given Federer even greater cause for optimism that the future holds even more success.
Despite Djokovic and Nadal having played in the previous four Grand Slam finals, Federer is still part of the golden age equation — 29 of the last 30 majors have been shared amongst the three men.
“I feel I have a great game. 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.
“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, whose next target will be a quick return to the All England Club for the Olympics, said he never doubted that he would be back on top of the world again.
“It was just a temporary thing,” said Federer, after his two and half year wait for another Grand Slam title.