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Tuesday July 10, 2012
LONDON: Roger Federer praised golf superstar Tiger Woods on Sunday for the American’s support as he stormed to a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title.
Woods tweeted Federer after the Swiss star had claimed a 17th Grand Slam crown by beating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in the final, although Federer didn’t need to resort to social media to find that out.
Woods had already sent him a personal message of congratulation.
“Hats off to Murray for a great fight. But we saw why Fed is the #GOAT,” tweeted Woods, using the short form for ‘greatest of all time’.
“I didn’t need to get it through Twitter, I got one from himself,” Federer told reporters.
“He was very pumped up these last couple days for me. He was very supportive.”
Woods currently has 14 Majors as he attempts to chase down Jack Nicklaus’ all-time best of 18.
Federer’s win on Sunday took him level with Pete Sampras’s record of seven Wimbledon titles and guaranteed a return to the world number one spot where he will start a 285th week from Monday.
Sampras was number one for a total of 286 weeks.
“It’s nice when other greats like this do believe in me. They push me further,” said Federer.
“I wish him (Tiger) the best as well. He knows that. Obviously with Facebook and Twitter and all this it’s much more public now. But it feels great to receive so much support from such great athletes.”
Federer wouldn’t reveal what Woods’ personal message had been.
“Just happy, you know. Whatever. You can make it up,” he joked
Federer, only the third man over 30 to win Wimbledon and the second oldest behind Andre Agassi to take the world top ranking, was happy to name-check a host of sporting inspirations.
Murray even praised the Swiss star’s movement on court, likening it to the silky ease and grace of Brazilian football legend Pele.
“If I can help the game of tennis with the image or making it more popular, that’s enough for me really,” Federer said.
“I want to leave the game better off than when I came into this great game, which was already unbelievable with the great rivalries we had — Becker and Edberg, Courier and Agassi and Sampras.
“I drew a lot of inspiration from other great athletes in other sports — like Sampras and Edberg and Becker, maybe Michael Jordan, Tiger, Valentino Rossi. They inspire me to keep on pushing further.
“You know, not just being happy with world number one or being happy with a Grand Slam title, but maybe to reach for more.
“Then obviously I have to drive myself. But you sometimes do need to see someone else do it for a long time so that you feel it is actually possible.” — AFP
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