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Federer praises Murray, says seven Wimbledon titles do not make him the greatest player ever -- and the Olympics are inspiring

posted 9 Jul 2012, 07:16 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 9 Jul 2012, 07:17 ]

Wimbledon champion and world number one Roger Federer reflects on his opponent, his own abilities and the Olympics.

LONDON, UK (JULY 8, 2012) (REUTERS PICTURES) - With his 31st birthday looming, Roger Federer began a record-equalling 286th week at the top of the world rankings on Monday (July 9) after claiming a seventh Wimbledon title.

He also took time out to praise his opponent on Sunday, Andy Murray; to reject suggestions that he is the greatest player ever; and to say he's inspired by the Olympics.

Murray was the first British player to reach the Wimbledon final since 1938 and Federer predicted that his opponent will get better.

"I think he is a true professional out there. I see him working day in, day out, out on tour and he is as professional as you can be. He's got a great team around him and I think they're, they're all going to take the right decisions for him to move up from here, because that's where he's going. He's not going down from here. So he's only going to get stronger and he's at the perfect age right now to have success and I'm sure it's going to come his way," said the Swiss, who on Monday became world number one.

Federer has elevated the men's game to previously unimaginable heights and in spite of his age -- 31 on August 8 -- and the responsibilities of marriage and twin daughters, he is striving to be even better. However, he rejects the idea that he is the greatest player ever.

"No. I think the comparing the generations and the eras and amateurs before the professionals now, it is impossible to compare anyway in the first place and our life have started being dominated by the media who, you know, say: 'OK you have to achieve this; you have to break that record; you have to move on' -- and then, you know: 'you haven't won this yet, so please do that'. That's not how it works. I didn't come into this game to achieve everything. All I wanted was to have fun doing it; live a dream since a little boy. So that, that has to be the overriding theme when I play tennis and enjoy myself and to being able play in front of 50,000 people," he said.

Federer will return to Wimbledon to contest the Olympic singles gold that would complete his collection.

"I mean look, it's already inspiring here to see the banners and the Olympic circles coming up and London 2012. So it's quite cool to be able to see it coming up and I couldn't be more excited coming back for the Olympics in 20 days time," he said.