Tennis great Roger Federer broke down in tears in an emotional interview this week as he discussed his former coach Peter Carter, who sadly died in a horror car crash 16 years ago.
The world number three was overcome with emotion in the CNN interview while speaking about his career and the impact his former Aussie coach had on not only his game but his whole life.
In a sit-down chat at his training base in Dubai last month, the 37-year-old admitted he still mourns the loss of Carter, who tragically died while honeymooning in South Africa in 2002, the year before Federer took home his first grand slam. He learned of Carter’s death while competing at the Canadian Masters in Toronto.
When asked what he thought the Adelaide-based coach would think of his achievements to date, Federer struggled to hold himself together.
“Sorry,” the father-of-four said as he fought back tears. “Oh man, I still miss him so much. I hope he would be proud.”
Federer and Carter first met when Federer was just beginning to get the hang of the racquet and the Aussie coach was playing at a tennis club in Basel, Switzerland.
According to Federer, Carter was one of the “star players” on the team and he was lucky enough to score some lessons.
“Peter was a really important person in my life because I think if I can say thank you for my technique today, it’s to Peter,” the Swiss tennis player told CNN.
“I guess he didn’t want me to be a wasted talent. I guess it was somewhat of a wake-up call for me when he passed away and I really started to train hard.”
The tear-jerking interview, which has been shared across social media has gained a lot of attention from Federer’s fans, who praised to talented player for his respect for his former coach.
“What a heart you have Roger … you are the epitome of graciousness and respect. As well as being the greatest sportsman,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“So genuine, honest. The mental strength it must take to remain so cool on court is evident by how close his heart is to the surface,” another added.
While a third said: “One of many reasons why I love this guy, those emotions make him so very special to show them so openly you can’t help but cry with him. Beautiful soul.”
Over the course of his career Federer has racked up an impressive 20 grand slams, including a record eight Wimbledon titles, a joint-record six Australian Open titles, a record five consecutive US Open titles and one French Open title.
While many would say the tennis star is a natural talent, Federer himself claimed he’s had a lot of luck along the way, especially with his coaches, such as Carter.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to having had the right people at the right time,” he said in the interview with CNN. “The right coaches at the right time.
“Sure you could argue I made those decisions, but I also got lucky along the way.”