Andy Murray's former coach Mark Petchey believes that Roger Federer's desire to prove himself at 36 is astounding given that the man "has everything" with respect to family or wealth. Married to Mirka, Federer has four children and is extremely well-off, given his lucrative commercial deals and the prize money acquired from winning multiple tournaments over the years.
The 36-year-old became the oldest world number one by reaching the semi-finals of the Rotterdam Open, eclipsing Andre Agassi's record, who was 33 years old when he became the top-ranked player in 2003. The Swiss tennis legend will now look to win at Rotterdam, having earlier won the event on two occasions in 2005 and 2012. He is making his ninth appearance this time around.
Federer beat Rafael Nadal to the number one rank, with the players only separated by a mere 155 points before Rotterdam. The Spaniard had managed to hold on to his spot at the top after reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, which was eventually won by Federer.
The win marked the Swiss ace's 20th Grand Slam title, only the fourth player after Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf to win 20 or more major singles titles. He is expected to carry on for a few more years and Petchey is left amazed by the hunger that is still consuming Federer, despite all his success.
"I think the most impressive and inspirational thing is he is the guy who has everything. From a super supportive beautiful wife, four great kids, to more material wealth than you could ever wish to hope for and yet he almost still plays now as though he is looking to make his mark on the game or make his first paycheck," Petchey said, as quoted by the Express.
"He does play like the cliché – like he is broke – and yet he has got everything. He could stay at home tomorrow and it wouldn't matter, it wouldn't change his legacy.
"You watch him out there, he is a set down and his passion for the game is undiminished, and when you think of the miles on the clock and everything he has done, it is remarkable."