Roger Federer has left the tennis world in tears after a heartbreaking interview about his former coach, who died in a car crash 16 years ago.
Speaking to CNN at a training camp in Dubai last month, Federer broke down in tears discussing his former mentor Peter Carter, whose death in 2002 rocked his world.
Carter, who helped shaped the young Federer into arguably the greatest player in tennis history, was on his honeymoon when the fatal tragedy occurred.
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The Swiss legend thanked his former coach for discovering him as a youngster and credits him with moulding his incomparable technique.
“He came to play club tennis for my club in Basel, Old Boys Tennis Club. When I was little he was one of the star players on the team. I was able to have coaching lessons with him.
“Peter was a really important person in my life. If I can say thank you for my technique today it’s to Peter.”
Federer’s mentor died the year before he won the first of a record eight Wimbledon titles.
Asked how he thought Carter would have reacted now in seeing Federer’s 20 grand slam titles, the Swiss ace was overcome with emotion.
“I hope he would be proud. I guess he didn’t want me to be a wasted talent,” Federer said while choking back tears.
“So, it was somewhat of a wake-up call for me when he passed away, and I really started to train hard.”
Carter was a close friend of world No. 1 Simona Halep’s former coach Darren Cahill, who was coaching Lleyton Hewitt at the same time.
They used to call each other and say “I have this really special kid I’m training,” he said.
“Darren would say the same from Adelaide and then we played each other when we were 14, 16, 18, 20 and then the whole career.”
“Who knew we would both become Wimbledon champions,” Federer added.
The 37-year-old is favourite to add a 21st grand slam title to his record trophy haul when the Australian Open gets underway next week.
Federer is in near career-best form after winning a record third Hopman Cup title with Switzerland in Perth last week.