The day Roger Federer couldn’t stop laughing at CNN correspondent’s Spanish phrases in his post-match interviews, he had something for us to smile about – his incredible tennis history. And just to make things even better, while we’re here we had a chance to watch his new documentary about one of his biggest matches, his US Open win over Guillermo Vilas in 1994.
The story, told by Federer’s father, Michael, is one that most fans will probably never hear. The highlight of the film is Federer winning a tournament in which he had lost all sets before, saving his victory in the championship match after a brutal four set thriller.
But even after the movie, while Federer was giving interviews to his new documentary, he was still clearly trying to convince people that he didn’t deserve to be the greatest ever. “No, I don’t. There is no question in my mind that because of my style and my character, I could be. But, unfortunately, I need to take things one step at a time, and I think I’m in a good position to be able to do that,” Federer said in his second post-match interview. “I’m sure I’ll never win another major in this life time. And if I am, I’ll do it again. We’ll see how that goes.”
And although Federer is certainly aware that he has a chance to accomplish this – after he beat Rafael Nadal in a fifth-set tiebreak on Wednesday – he is still determined to change people’s perception of him, no matter how many more years it takes to get to the grand slam finals again. He said: “I think it’s important for players to really realize that it’s never going to happen until one of us is ready to go down and win. Like I said, I’ll keep working and I’ll keep being strong and I’m going to get there in time.”
He’s also the only person I know who can say that in this day and age, that is a very bold statement.
In fact, you can make a case that Federer has never been as bold as he is now, despite the fact that he is the most complete player in the history of the sport, he has never had such a dominant tour and he has never had a coach