Federer on a high, and aiming even higher

  • Reuters, PTI, London
  • |
  • Updated: Jul 06, 2003 00:20 IST

Although one British newspaper likened Roger Federer's magical semi-final display to that of fictional wizard Harry Potter, the Swiss was keeping his feet firmly on the ground before Sunday's Wimbledon final.

Tennis fans are still salivating over the 21-year-old's extraordinary 7-6 6-3 6-3 demolition of bewildered American Andy Roddick on Friday, but Federer thinks he can get even better.

"I don't think I played a perfect game," said the Swiss on the eve of his first ever grand slam final against big-serving Australian Mark Philippoussis.

"But it was definitely a very good match. But all that doesn't matter now. Everything's forgotten.

"You always dream of being in a grand slam final, then you're in the final and you're almost a little bit disappointed.

"It's a surprise in one way, but then in another it's not. I am already five in the world and I have high expectations."

His language may seem rather arrogant for somebody about to play the biggest match of their career, but it shows just how far he has developed his mental approach to tennis. He will walk on court on Sunday believing he can be a champion.

"I feel so much better now," said Federer, lambasted last year after a humiliating first-round defeat at Wimbledon by teenager Mario Ancic.

"The feeling is relief in a way, that I can perform in grand slams, because that was really the only part of my career missing, the grand slam results."

"So, it's already been a great two weeks, but I could finish it off in style tomorrow. If I could finish off the grass court season without losing a match that would be fantastic," added Federer who won the Halle title a week before Wimbledon.

If he wins, it would represent an historic sporting year for Switzerland after the landlocked nation celebrated an unlikely maiden victory in America's Cup sailing and his hometown club Basel joined European soccer's elite in the second group stage of the Champions League.

"All the other sports in Switzerland have been doing good, I'm just happy to carry the Swiss flag on the men's tennis side," added Federer.

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