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Federer out to break Djokovic and Nadal stranglehold

Roger Federer pre-Wimbledon press conference.
by Dan Imhoff
Saturday 23 June 2012

Ten in a row does not sit comfortably with Roger Federer when talk turns to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal dominating the Grand Slams.

The world's top two have squared off in the past four Grand Slam finals and are on the cusp of snaring a 10th straight major between them at Wimbledon this year.

Federer made it clear it was time somebody broke their stranglehold.

And if that means the 30-year-old six-time Wimbledon Champion is tasked with the job – should the younger brigade not be quite up to task – then so be it.

"I am dreaming of the title, there's no denying that," Federer said.

"I think it's up to somebody else to break that mould. I hope I can do that. They've done amazing the last years, not just the last year or so.

"Hopefully it's my time of the year now or someone else's… If it is someone else, I hope it's me, of course."

A surprise loss in the Halle final to German veteran Tommy Haas has failed to take the sting out of Federer's pre-Wimbledon build-up, where a record seventh crown would tie him with Pete Sampras's haul.

"It's up to me to make that difference now and take it to the next step.  Then once hopefully I am there, I can reach for the title," he said.

"A seventh would be amazing. I think that would be tying Pete, which I think would be absolutely fantastic obviously, you know, admiring Pete when I was younger."

When the focus shifts from Wimbledon to the Olympics in a fortnight's time, Federer will return home to Switzerland to best absorb the team spirit before returning to London.

Despite a singles gold medal eluding the Swiss great, the Olympics holds a special place in Federer's heart. It was at the Sydney 2000 Games, where he met his wife, Mirka.

Happily retired, as the mother of their twin daughters, Mirka was not offended at her husband suggesting Martina Hingis come out of retirement as his mixed doubles partner for London 2012.

"I've played mixed with I think three ladies: Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis and my wife. I've been very fortunate when it comes to that, (so) she (Mirka) is never going to say 'You never played mixed with me'," Federer said.

"She was very excited when the idea came about that Hingis was a possibility because she used to practise a lot with Martina. They like each other a lot. Obviously she knew the talent of Martina. My wife was more excited than anything else really."

For now winning The Championships is his priority and that begins with his opening match against Spaniard Albert Ramos. With a favourable draw early on, Federer was confident all aspects of his game were on song.

"For myself, obviously I got maybe a lot of lefties in my section of the draw, so that's what I'm going to start preparing on. I've never played Ramos before so I have to study or hear as well about what to expect from him," Federer said.

"This year things have been very good. I haven't felt tired at all. I've taken a couple of days off after Halle when we got here.

"Physically I have no lingering injuries. I'm in a good spot right now."

At the end of The Championships, he will be in an even better spot should the No.7 be bandied about at the expense of a Djokovic-Nadal No.10.

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