• World rankings

Encouragement from Tiger helped Federer win again

ESPN staff
July 9, 2012

Roger Federer has revealed that encouragement from Tiger Woods helped spur him on to his seventh Wimbledon title.

Federer broke British hearts with his four-set defeat of Andy Murray at the All England Club on Sunday, claiming a 17th grand slam title that also confirmed his return to world No. 1.

As a result Federer has now equalled Pete Sampras' record of 286 weeks as the top-ranked player in the world - and is also guaranteed to surpass that total when next week's rankings are released.

Returning to the game's summit after many people had written him off, Federer revealed that Woods - himself trying to return to a dominant position in golf - had helped to motivate him.

Woods, an infrequent user of Twitter, took to the social networking site twice on Sunday to comment on Federer's final.

"He [Woods] was very pumped up these last couple days for me," Federer said. "He was very supportive. It's nice, when other greats like this do believe in me.

"They push me further, even in the rain delay, when they cheer you on. I wish him the best as well. It feels great, you know, to receive so much support from such great athletes."

The Swiss admits that, having last won a major tournament at the start of 2010, he had been forced to adjust to a new reality in the sport.

"I see it more as a stepping stone, a period I have to go through as well," he said. "To win 90 per cent of my matches throughout the year, it's impossible every single year. So you're always going to go through ups and downs.

"People forget sometimes I do have twin girls. That has had a massive impact on my life. I think it's helped my game more than anything because I think I'm playing some of the best tennis of my life right now, and [for] a long time now. But to be able to juggle everything has been a challenge. I think you learn from mistakes."

As for Murray, who was supported to the end by the home fans as he lost his fourth grand slam final, Federer insists the Scot's time will come.

"I think he's done so, so well," said Federer. "I see what he goes through on a daily basis on tour. At Wimbledon I think he handles it perfectly.

"Grand slams I think are what you guys are focusing on the most. I really do believe deep down in me he will win grand slams, not just one.

"Things just didn't quite turn out for him in the final. But today I'm sure he got another step closer to a grand slam title. I believe he's going to win one soon."

Men's rankings: 1. Roger Federer (SWI), 2. Novak Djokovic (SBR), 3. Rafael Nadal (ESP), 4. Andy Murray (GBR), 5. David Ferrer (ESP), 6. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA), 7. Tomas Berdych (CZE), 8. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB), 9. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG), 10. Nicolas Almagro (ESP).

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