Did that gap make this one a little more special?
"Absolutely," Federer said. "I mean, look, this one has a very unique place in my heart because of many reasons. ... But maybe also the bit-longer wait has created this as a more fairytale tournament for me."
Approaching his 31st birthday on Aug. 8, he's the oldest man to win Wimbledon since Arthur Ashe in 1975. He's also a father of twin girls who turn 3 this month and were at Centre Court on Sunday.
Nothing quite like being a parent to change the way one thinks about things.
"I don't know (about) other 3-year-olds, what they understand, but mine ALMOST understand the difference between a match and a practice. So there you go. Winning and losing? They don't quite get that yet, either. Which is a good thing, I think," Federer said with a chuckle.
"I saw them this morning, and they're playing games. And I was like, 'Do you remember yesterday?' And one's like, 'No. I don't.' I was like, 'OK, OK.' And then the other one's like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember clapping.' So honestly, I'm not sure what they do remember. ... When I won in 2003, never in my wildest dream did I ever think that I was going to win Wimbledon and have my kids seeing me lift the trophy. So this is pretty surreal."
Yet it all could happen again at the very same spot in only a few weeks' time — except with a medal hanging from his neck instead of a trophy cradled in his hands.
Howard Fendrich covers tennis for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich or write to him at hfendrich(at)ap.org
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