Roger Federer breaks down!
Roger Federer is emotional, the tennis world knows. But as he prepares to defend his Australian Open title, an emotional interview revealed just how much the Swiss continue to mourn the loss of Australian Peter Carter. Federer has spoken throughout his career about his influential former coach, who died in a car accident aged 37 in 2002 while honeymooning in South Africa. But as Federer himself put it, he has rarely, if ever, "broke down" while talking. When asked what Carter would think about his record men's haul of 20 grand slams, Federer broke down. "Sorry," said Federer. "Oh, I still miss him so much. I hope he would be proud. "Geez, never broke down like this," he said later. Federer learned of Carter's death while competing at the Canadian Masters in Toronto and according to 'The Roger Federer Story: Quest for Perfection,' the book penned by Swiss tennis journalist Rene Stauffer, "he was never so upset in his life." Federer "left his hotel and ran through the streets, bawling and hysterical." "I guess he didn't want me to be a wasted talent so I guess it was somewhat of a wake-up call for me when he passed away and I really started to train hard," said Federer. "Peter was really a really important person in my life because I think if I can say thank you for my technique today, it's to Peter," he said. Federer says thank you in other ways, too. Every year since 2005, he has invited Carter's Adelaide-based parents to watch him at the Australian Open in Melbourne, paying all their expenses. On the court, the tennis world has seen tears from Federer before, both in victory and defeat. He was overcome with emotion for example when opening his grand slam account at Wimbledon in 2003, a triumph he dedicated to Carter. The Federer household, which includes wife Mirka and their two set of twins, has coined the term "happy cry." "When it first happened, I won Wimbledon, the emotions were so, so strong. I never thought I was going to win Wimbledon, I never thought I could stand here, standing ovation, trophy ceremony is completely surreal." He further added, "And when you start thinking of your family or your friends, you go back in the gym, you go back into the practice courts where there was nobody watching and all of a sudden you realise we've put in so much work and it all paid off. It is a big deal for me because I really don't take it for granted, this career." That is what makes Roger Federer so special even at an age when others will have called it quits. Indeed, he is worth emulating.