“I don’t think you want another guy like me, because you want another personality, another game,” he said. “I think the diverse characters and playing styles is what really drives this game. I wouldn’t want to see another guy like me, another guy like Nadal, another guy like somebody else. We’re all very different, and that’s good that way.”
“I think it’s a bad idea to base your game after someone,” he said. “I had a little bit [of] that situation with Sampras. Everybody compared me to him. If you look and analyse the game, the character, we’re actually incredibly different.
“I didn’t want to be known as a second Sampras, like others don’t want to be the second Federer. They all need to create their own identity…There’s always a first of everything for everybody.”
If Federer defends his title he will become the most decorated men’s singles player in Wimbledon history. Does that any extra pressure?
“I haven’t thought about it a whole lot,” he said. “I can talk about that if I’ve won the tournament, but not right before. I know the road is hard, but it is possible. I’m looking forward to the challenge really.”
“You really feel very unique, clearly, because you are the one opening the court,” he said. “It’s something you look back on…That I was able to do it that many times is fantastic. I feel very proud.”
And so he should. After all there is only one Roger Federer.
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