Sixteen years after the death of Peter Carter, Roger Federer admits he still misses his former coach “so much” and “hopes he would be proud”.
Carter was the Swiss player’s mentor from a very young age, but he died during an accident in South Africa in August 2002.
The following year Federer went on to win the first of his 20 Grand Slams as he claimed his maiden Wimbledon trophy, but he has spoken throughout his career about Carter’s influence.
And he again paid an emotional tribute during interview with CNN Sport from his training base in Dubai in December.
“Sorry,” the 37-year-old said after breaking down. “Oh, man, I still miss him so much. I hope he would be proud.
He later adds: “Geez, never broke down like this.”
Federer continued: “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.
“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.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have the people at the right time, the right coaches at the right time. Sure you could argue I made those decisions, but I had luck along the way.”
He was also asked about the upcoming defence of his Australian Open title.
“Am I confident? I don’t know,” he said. “I feel good, I’ve been training really well, I’ve had another great season, still happy playing and I won the last two Australian Open editions.
“So yeah, I definitely should be going in there with confidence. I love playing in Australia, I love playing in Melbourne, there’s so much that connects me to the place.”
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