Roger Federer says he had always hoped that something “magical” would happen for him at Wimbledon.
Federer’s straight-sets victory over Marin Cilic was a record eighth Wimbledon title and moved him ahead of Pete Sampras and Britain’s William Renshaw.
At 35, he also became the tournament’s oldest men’s champion of the Open era.
Federer, who was winning as a junior at Wimbledon nearly 20 years ago, told “I was hoping that something magical would happen at some stage, one year maybe at Wimbledon but not eight times, not eleven finals, not this magnitude.
“If you told the people that I am coming to play Wimbledon for the next 20 years and I am going to win eight of them, they are going to go ‘Yeah right, whatever, the little Swiss kid has lost his mind’.
“That’s why you stay grounded, you work hard, you try to put yourself in contention.”
Federer is now promising to play more tennis than he has in recent months.
He added: “No, I will not step away [for] six months again and then come back at the Australian Open. We are contemplating what I should play on the hard courts and how we go from there. There’s much more tennis coming up this year than last year.”
Federer was speaking after celebrating his success.
He said: “I went to bed at five. I spent time with about 40 friends that came from around the world and mostly Switzerland to support me. We went out to a bar and had a great time. I woke up with a headache but it was worth it.”
But perhaps Federer’s greatest memory of this particular triumph was sharing the moment with his four children.
He went on: “It’s a big deal for me and that’s what made me so emotional at the end, just seeing them overlooking Centre Court, looking down on this set almost like a movie set. Honestly, it means so much to me.”