WIMBLEDON, England — No one makes Wimbledon fashion choices quite like Roger Federer, who showed up at the All England Club on Saturday sporting a collar-popped, long-sleeved cream sweater with purple trim and a green “RF” insignia on the upper right arm.
This is the guy, remember, who pulled on a specially tailored white jacket with a gold “15” stitched on the back when he broke Pete Sampras‘ career record of 14 Grand Slam titles by winning Wimbledon for the sixth time in 2009.
Federer hasn’t been able to add No. 7.
Actually, he hasn’t made it past the quarterfinals at the grass-court tournament since, losing in that round the past two years.
“I want to do better; I have to do better in this event, because I could have gone further,” the 30-year-old Federer said Saturday. “Maybe a bit unfortunate at times. Maybe the other guys were just too good. Maybe I wasn’t quite at my best. Who knows what the combination was? But it’s up to me to make that difference now and take it to the next step. … A seventh would be amazing.”
The last man 30 or older to win a Grand Slam title was Andre Agassi at the 2003 Australian Open.
“Well, I mean, any one is a special one. Doesn’t matter if it was No. 5, No. 2, No. 17 or No. 7 here at Wimbledon,” Federer said. “Over a two-, three-week period, a lot of things can go wrong or can go right for you. If you come through, it’s a beautiful feeling. I am dreaming of the title. There’s no denying that.”
The last nine major trophies were collected by Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, who have played each other in the last four Grand Slam finals.
Federer, of course, wants to be the one to end that run.
“Hopefully it’s my time of the year now,” he said. “I fancy my chances here and at the U.S. Open. It’s exciting times ahead, but we’ll see how it goes. As long as they’re No. 1 and No. 2, they face each other in the (finals). It’s maybe a good thing for them; a hard thing for us. At the same time, I’m very close (to) breaking that, and hopefully I can make a run here at Wimbledon.”
“I’m sort of picking him to win this year at Wimbledon, even though it looks like the gap has grown between the other two and him,” said three-time Wimbledon champion and ESPN analyst John McEnroe. “But to me Wimbledon is his best chance to win another major. He seems to still want it, as much as he’d already won. He’s got a great chance this year. I think that’s his best bet.”
And as much as a return to No. 1 would be gratifying, Federer left no doubt about what would mean even more to him.
“Trophies is what really gets you going. No. 1 is a nice feeling. Every day, when you wake up … you think, ‘OK, you’re the best at something.’ I’ve had that in the past and that felt great,” he said. “Obviously, it’s really titles that interest you the most at this moment.”