Winning an Olympic Gold is like winning Wimbledon: Federer

Beijing, Aug 7 (UNI) World number one Roger Federer today spelt out his wish list, after heading the leader board for four years and five months, he now wants to add Olympic Gold to his kitty.

A day before his 27th birthday, Federer told a jam-packed media conference here this afternoon, ''Playing in the Olympics is every sports persons dream and winning the gold is ultimate.'' Despite losing the top ranking in the World and string of poor performances in recent months, Federer is still treated like a royalty by the media and this afternoon's press conference was testimony to this.

More then 350 journalists clogged the hall and waited for over 45 minutes before Federer arrived and then he quickly said, ''My focus is on the game and not on the ranking.'' ''Are you distracted by Rafael Nadal taking over as number one,'' he was asked and Federer replied, ''Rafa has done well but he is not my focus at the moment.'' He candidly admitted that winning a Olympic gold was his cherished dream. ''95 per cent of the world's top players are here and this proves how proud they feel of being part of the Olympic movement.'' ''I have received a great birthday present, I will be the flag bearer of my country's contingent in the Olympics tomorrow, for the second time in a row. This is a fantastic honour to lead your country in these games.

''Winning here means winning for the country and that is very important for me, I want to live up to the expectations of my countrymen,'' he said.

''I love Olympics, the feeling is simply great, in the last two Olympics at Sydney and Athens, I stayed in the Games village and it was a great feeling to mingle with sportspersons from all over the World.

''But this time I am not staying in the village. I have opted out of it because I want to focus on my game,'' he added.

Federer admitted that the current season has not been good for him.

''I lost several matches which I should not have lost. Season has not been great for me but those defeats are behind me. I am now looking forwards to Olympics and the US Open,'' he conceded.

He said he was expecting a warm weather here but not so hot.

''It is also very humid but I am not making any excuses.'' UNI HSB RAR PM1333

Story first published: Thursday, August 7, 2008, 14:04 [IST]
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