Federer breaks down in lovely tribute to late coach

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Federer has spoken throughout his career about his influential former coach, who died in a vehicle accident aged 37 in 2002 while honeymooning in South Africa.

Roger Federer has shown his softer side in an emotional interview after he struggled to hold back tears while talking about his late, former coach.

Federer will be out to win Grand Slam No 20 but will face a battle to do so with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray all set to compete.

Speaking at the Hopman Cup in Perth this week, Federer - who said he had been asked for his opinion on the change by tournament officials - admitted marathon final sets would be missed by some. "It was somewhat of a wake-up call for me when he passed away and I really started to train hard", he continued. "If I can say thank you for my technique today it's to Peter", he said.

He later added: "Geez, never broken down like this".

"I've been incredibly fortunate to have the people at the right time, the right coaches at the right time".

Federer "left his hotel and ran through the streets, bawling and hysterical", the Australian newspaper reported.

"I guess he didn't want me to be a wasted talent".

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Even though Federer has spent only two weeks at home since August, the 37-year-old said being on tour now in the "back end", of his career was his most enjoyable period.

As Australian Open champion Roger Federer prepares to defend his title again at Melbourne Park, he is full of emotion.

Federer will be aiming for a third successive Australian Open and looked in impressive touch in claiming a second Hopman Cup, winning all four of his singles matches as he prepared for the year's first Grand Slam in Melbourne later this month.

"I mean, sure you could argue I made those decisions, but er, I also got lucky along the way".

Recounting how they first met at the Old Boys' Tennis Club, Federer said: "He was one of the star players on the team. I was able to have coaching lessons with him, and he was from Adelaide in Australia".

"Am I confident, I don't know", he said.

In 2013, Federer spoke of Carter: "Work ethic was very important for Australians, so I think I profited a lot from that and early on for me, Peter Carter was a very important man just overall for my character". Worryingly, he pulled out of the Brisbane International last week with a thigh strain but then played an exhibition in Sydney and insists he will be ready for Melbourne.

He has remained high atop the men's singles rankings throughout the past two years and he is one of OUR FAVORITES at the upcoming Australian Open.

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