Federer teases Australians with migration tale

After breaking the heart of third-round opponent Albert Montanes, Roger Federer broke the hearts of millions of Australians when he said his family had nearly migrated to the country when he was in his early teens.

In a courtside interview after demolishing the Spaniard 6-3 6-4 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday, Federer said his parents had discussed moving Down Under when his father worked a three-month stint there, but ultimately decided against it.

The idea of a missed chance to adopt the eventual 15-time grand slam champion prompted groans from thousands of local fans at centre court.

“I was maybe 12, 14 years old. I remember actually my parents having a debate, are we moving away from Switzerland to come live over here,” Federer told reporters.

“At the end, they just said, ‘look, we have all our friends over here’. And even though it’s lucrative and nice to go to Australia, they love the country, they also asked us kids.

“And we were like, whatever the parents decide. What are we gonna decide here?”

While unlikely to consider switching citizenship, Federer’s temporary residence in Australia has been prolonged for another few days with his impressive display against 31st seed Montanes.

The Swiss maestro clubbed 36 winners and 10 aces in the 108-minute victory, which preserved his record of reaching the last 16 of every grand slam since losing in the third round of the 2004 French Open.

“So far it’s been great. I’m happy the way I’m feeling. Obviously you’ll elevate your game gradually as the opponents get harder,” said Federer, bidding for his fourth title at Melbourne Park.

The Swiss, who next plays either Lleyton Hewitt or Cyprus’s Marcos Baghdatis, also fired a warning to players that have forecast the end of the Federer-Nadal grand slam hegemony, saying he and his Spanish arch-rival were still the players to beat.

“I definitely think we have (more) guys now—as they get older as well, they’re gonna win bigger tournaments and have more experience.”

“A few guys have already won slams. That’s not an easy thing to do, because, I mean, Rafa and myself are still around and making it extremely hard for guys to take home any slams.

“Because over five sets in two weeks, I think we know best how it works.”

Date: 23.01.2010, Source: Reuters


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