Following an intensive 48 hours getting ready for today’s final against Novak Djokovic, he joked that the last thing he wanted was a reminder of just how old he is getting.
After all, the Swiss is looking for his 21st grand slam title today just a month ahead of his 38th birthday. Nobody else has yet won the tournament in the open era past the age of 31.
Nevertheless, he was more than delighted that his two sets of twins, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, nine, and Leo and Lennart, five, chose their unique method of celebrating a victory against Nadal which turned the clock back to their previous meeting in the 2008 final.
“The kids, they sang ‘Happy Birthday,’” Roger Federer said. “They probably thought it was my birthday after I beat Rafa as everyone was congratulating me.
“They wrongly thought it was my birthday. They understood that I had won today and perhaps that is the only happy song they know.”
Something about having them around clearly keeps him young. Previously he had tended to leave them at the house he always rents for the Championships for his family and his team.
But with a crèche onsite at SW19, there has been to excuse this fortnight not to bring them in to work with him before leaving them in wife Mirka’s care when he needs to get down to business.
“The girls are out now more as are the boys and all the children are playing together so I don’t know how much tennis they watched but I assume they had a good afternoon,” Federer said.
“But it is good that Mirka comes to the matches and enjoys it. But of course the kids are on her plate all the time. I have to recover and need time to do that. Especially on the day after the match.
“But she is continuously working and nothing would function without her so I am really happy to have her around.”
Mirka, however, will also use the duration of the match against Djokovic on Centre Court to focus her attention 100 per cent on her husband – something he claims he always appreciates.
“Of course I feel that she feels that it is important for me to win, so I can feel during the match how tense it is because I hear her occasionally because I know her voice,” he said. “She would only cry out or scream when she is excited.”
A ninth Wimbledon title would certainly be something to shout about but against a player who has beaten Federer in their last two meetings, Federer has to get everything just so.
“I will use my experience and my team to prepare for the final,” he said.
“I know how to prepare for finals in terms of seeing the physiotherapist and training and perhaps booking a practice court and playing there.
“Whether it is Novak Djokovic or somebody else, a final is a final. Your opponent in a final deserves to be taken seriously and especially Novak because he is playing brilliantly. Even last year, Novak played brilliantly when you take into consideration his injuries.
“I need my confidence and I need my self-confidence and the knowledge to recall the level of performance I will need to give a good match.”
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