BERNE, Switzerland, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The world’s number one tennis player Roger Federer has been named Switzerland’s top sports personality for a record-equalling fourth time.
Federer, who also won the Sportsman of the Year award in 2003, 2004 and 2006, was up against world time trial cycling champion Fabian Cancellara and marathon runner Viktor Roethlin.
“It’s always an incredible feeling to win these awards from my home country, even if people always say I’m the big favourite,” the 12-time Grand Slam champion said in a live video link from his training camp in Dubai on Saturday.
Federer, who follows former cyclist Tony Rominger as a four-time winner of the award, said he was close to tears after being congratulated in video messages from former champions Bjorn Borg, Roy Emerson and Pete Sampras.
Sampras, who still holds the record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles, told Federer to “have fun” breaking that record.
“It’s amazing to hear messages like that,” Federer said, “and of course breaking Pete’s record would be a dream for me.
“Everyone says I’m just two wins away and it will happen this year. Well, that would be nice, but I’m just concentrating on staying fully fit and fully motivated.”
Borg, whose record of five straight Wimbledon victories was equalled by Federer this year, said he was sure the Swiss would go on to become the sport’s greatest ever player. (Editing by Ken Ferris)
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