Roger Federer is a secret footie fan

London, June 30 : Five-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer has admitted that he used to get his kicks from football.

Celebrating a goal with friends gave Federer more of a thrill than victory on the tennis court.

"I'm not completely the individual athlete. I grew up doing all sorts of sports. Celebrating with my teammates was a great feeling - even more exhilarating than winning on court. But now tennis is my favourite sport by far," he said.

"Having no body contact is something I don't mind. It's better not to get injuries through somebody who's lost his mind!" The Sun quoted Federer, as saying.

Now No1 seed Federer, 26, is an expert at mind games and Lleyton Hewitt is next in the firing line today.

Hewitt, 27, has lost his last 11 meetings with the Swiss and is carrying a hip injury.

But Federer, who is unbeaten in 62 matches on grass, said: "It's always a challenge playing Lleyton. He's a great player and a great competitor.

"We go back a long way. We played when we were 15 for the first time. It's an intriguing match as he is a former No1 and a former champ," Federer said.

Hewitt won the SW19 title in 2002 and won eight of his first 10 duels with Federer.

Story first published: Monday, June 30, 2008, 13:02 [IST]
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