And just for fun, an article that isn't rubbish...
Federer: A champion and his own man
By STEVE WILSTEIN, AP Sports Columnist
July 5, 2004
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Without a coach, agent, business manager, publicist, personal assistant, bodyguard, cook or chauffeur, Roger Federer still manages to win championships.
He carries his own rackets, packs his own suitcases, makes his own travel plans.
Nobody plans his strategy or fiddles with his strokes.
Some players need help tying their own shoes and tucking in their shirts. Federer, a 22-year-old from Switzerland, is his own man. He has a dozen ways to hit backhands, nearly as much variety on forehands, and several disguises on serves, but Team Federer is basically a mom-and-pop affair with help from his longtime girlfriend.
That self-reliance toughened Federer and got him out of trouble Sunday when he came from a set back against Andy Roddick to win a second straight Wimbledon and third Grand Slam title, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
While Roddick kept glancing up toward his coach, Brad Gilbert, for nods of encouragement, Federer searched within himself to find a way to win. Racket artistry wasn't enough. Federer needed a change of tactics and he came up with one: abandon the baseline and attack at the net.
Federer hasn't had a coach since splitting with Peter Lundgren last December. All Federer has done since then is win the Australian Open, four tour titles, and now Wimbledon again to reaffirm his status as No. 1. His 2004 record is 46-4.
``Roger has learned self-discipline,'' his mother, Lynette, said on the lawn of the players' lounge, where she shared victory champagne with her son, family and friends. ``This is a very important phase in his career, that he could step back, not rely on somebody, get to know himself, get to know his own tennis and technique.
``I've got a feeling that a period without a coach -- I don't say it's ideal -- has made him take a lot of initiative. He's become a little more creative, he's worked on himself. I think he's never worked as hard since he hasn't had a coach.''
She and her husband, Robert, who stayed home in Switzerland because he was too nervous to watch in person, help keep their son's business affairs humming. His longtime girlfriend, former player Mirka Vavrinec, doubles as his publicist.
``I'm very in-house,'' Federer says.
He may work with a coach again, but is in no rush to find one. His parents consider a coach to be important but are content to watch their son continue to make the big decisions in his career, no matter how they turn out.
Federer figured out for himself what he had to do to beat Roddick, whose imposing serves of up to 145 mph, aggressive net attacks, and strong forehands carried him to a first-set win.
``I threw the kitchen sink at him, but he went to the bathroom and got a tub,'' Roddick said.
After Federer evened the match in the second set, he fell behind a break at 4-2 in the third when a light rain brought the covers out for a second time. Roddick conferred with Gilbert and stayed with the strategy they had laid out before the match. Federer did his own analysis and figured it was time to switch to a serve-and-volley style.
``I thought about what was going on,'' Federer said. ``I thought maybe that will allow me to get some more free points and not to have to go every time in a rally, because that was actually the thing that was killing me. Because from the baseline, on my serve he was taking a lot of risk. That was very dangerous for me. This makes me extremely happy and proud that I actually did take the right choice in such a moment.''
Federer and his family also took pride in how coolly he handled that small crisis, the six break points he brushed away in the fourth set, and the other challenges he's faced on court the past couple of years. For a player who had a reputation as a tennis brat growing up, throwing tantrums and rackets like John McEnroe, Federer has turned into Bjorn Borg-like master of impassive play.
``When he was younger, he was very ambitious,'' Lynette Federer said. ``When he didn't achieve what he wanted he could get a little erratic on the court. He realized he was just wasting energy. Today he proved it in the fourth set (when he was) down on his serve. Years ago, he would have thrown the racket or shouted and wasted energy. Today he's learned to get his emotions under control.''
Federer's parents are happy about that, since they always cringed when they watched him act up on court as a youngster. But they're most proud of the way he's grown into a confident and independent man.
``We really respect the way he left home very young and he's taken his career into his own hands,'' his mother said. ``He's gotten used to fighting and keeping up his level. He needed to mature.''
Asked if she thought a few years ago, when he was still struggling, that the maturity might never come, she nodded.
``Yeah, I did,'' she said. ``He just needed his time. Roger always needed to go over certain hurdles to give him a little push in his career. It happened as a child at school, it happened in sports. Every time he bumped his head he improved, he always made a big jump. Everything happened step by step. Now he's there where he wants to be.''