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Roger Federer is pursuing his ninth title at The Championships.

Federer On The Perfect Serve, Why He Picked Tennis & Dreaming Big

37-year-old Swiss speaks to Vogue

Just before the start of The Championships, Vogue did a special walking interview with second seed Roger Federer to get to know the 37-year-old Swiss before he started his run at Wimbledon.

When Federer walked by the trophy cabinet at The All England Club, the interviewer wondered where the eight-time champion keeps all his trophies. He has 102 of them at tour-level, after all.

“I have a big trophy cabinet at home,” Federer said. “I always have space for one more, I can tell you that!”

Federer is chasing his 21st Grand Slam championship this fortnight. And after moving through the first three rounds without facing much trouble, Federer is into the second week at Wimbledon for the 17th time.

“Eight’s great, it’s actually my favourite number,” Federer said. “But nine has a better sound to it.”

Even as a legend of the sport who has won more titles at this historic event than anyone else, Federer has an aura that off the court, he’s just like the fans throughout the world whose jaws drop watching him play.

Federer told the reporter that he is a chocoholic, and his favourite outfit is a bathing suit and a t-shirt on a beach somewhere. He also loved to watch the television show Prison Break. “That was so cool,” he said.

It’s easy to forget that Federer was a young boy with dreams before he was the Federer who has won eight Wimbledon titles. At 12 years old, he was a ballboy in Basel, an ATP 500 tournament he has since emerged victorious at nine times.

So as Federer walked by a group of ballkids on the grounds of the All England Club, it was natural for him to engage them in conversation. One ballgirl even offered him some of her strawberries and cream, and after a moment’s pause, he accepted.

“Dream big. Sometimes we don’t dream big enough that it’s possible because we think there are barriers and stuff,” Federer told them. “You’ve got to go for it and do it full-on.”

In a way, SW19 has been like home for Federer since his junior days. The Swiss won the boys’ singles title here in 1998, and made even a bigger name for himself by defeating seven-time Wimbledon titlist Pete Sampras in 2001.

“In the juniors I thought I was good, and then when I beat Pete Sampras here in 2001, I felt like I knew I was good. It’s so wrong to say that. Oh my God,” Federer said.

In 2003, he claimed his first Grand Slam championship at the All England Club. That victory helped him ascend to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for the first time in 2004, which Federer said was his most surprising moment.

“I truly believe becoming World No. 1 and winning all the titles that I did is crazier than any dream I ever had about my career,” Federer said. “I never thought I was going to be this successful.”

It was revealed during this fortnight that Federer has given Prince George a tennis lesson. But he also gave fans watching this interview one as well, specifically providing advice on the serve.

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“I think it’s all in the toss, really,” Federer said. “It’s the only shot we actually do control. Everything else we have to react to the opponent.”

Federer added that his signature shot is his slice, or potentially even his forehand. He also explained that he chose to hit a one-handed backhand rather than a double-hander because all of his heroes — Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras — all struck their backhand with one hand.

Federer mentioned that he enjoyed football growing up, but there was a reason why he decided to focus his attention on tennis. The rest is history.

“I didn’t want to blame the goalie. I wanted to blame myself,” Federer said. “Maybe that is what made me pick tennis and thankfully I did.”

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