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Last Updated: Monday, 7 July, 2003, 01:01 GMT 02:01 UK
Federer plays crying game
Roger Federer
Wipe away those crying eyes
There was more to Roger Federer's Wimbledon win than met his tearful eye.

Not only did the Swiss add his name to a long list of All England Club champions, he also joined a far more exclusive group of stars who have blubbed on the sporting stage.

Federer set his stall out early, putting his head in his hands after sealing an emphatic straight-sets victory over Australian Mark Philippoussis.

But he looked to have regained his composure when BBC presenter Sue Barker set to work on him in a live, on-court interview after the presentation.

The first few questions were fended off with only a trace of a wobble in the champion's voice.

You've had so much support from home - what's your message to them?
Barker's tear-jerking question

But Barker cracked her man with a seemingly inocuous remark about fan support from Switzerland.

It was enough to send the 21-year-old into a high-pitched sob as he forced out the words: "Thanks to everybody, it's so great..."

But Federer is by no means the first professional sportsman to crack up in the joy of victory or the pain of defeat...


Paul Gascoigne
Gazza: Clown Prince of Tears
Wimbledon has been a "theatre of screams" since 1993, when beaten finalist Jana Novotna balled her eyes out on the Duchess of Kent's shoulder.

But even more memorable than her histrionics have been some classic football pitch breakdowns of yesteryear.

Who can forget Paul Gascoigne turning on the waterworks at Italia 1990 after England's semi-final defeat by Germany?

The Clown Prince of Tears falls into a category of blubbers who first lose their dreams of glory, and then say goodbye to their dignity.

The South American temperament was also frail that year.

Argentine legend Diego Maradona went from the "Hand of God" to the "land of sob" when his nation lost the subsequent World Cup final.

You'd expect better of a burly rugby player, so when Gavin Hastings sniffled his way through a post-match interview with Dougie Donnelly it was hard to suppress a laugh.

Gary Herbert
Herbert: Where's my lunch money?
Admittedly Scotland had just lost the Calcutta Cup to England with the last kick of the game, but Donnelly described it as the most embarrassing moment of his career.

Then there are those who get a little too excited by the emotion of winning.

Golf's Nick Faldo, cyclist Richard Virenque and athlete Michael Johnson have all wept after emotional victories.

But the prizemust go to Gary Herbert, cox to Britain's Searle brothers at the Barcelona Olympics.

As the national anthem played, the tiny Herbert stood with the giant brothers towering over him, crying his eyes out like a first-former who has just had his dinner money taken by the school bullies.

Alex Higgins could fall into this category, but he also appears in an elite group whose tears may be put down to temporary loss of sanity.

Chief among his contenders in this arena is Oliver McCall who not only cried at the end of his bout with Lennox Lewis in 1997, but also sobbed his way through most of the boxing that preceded it.

The referee had to stop the fight because the American could barely see through his floods of tears to protect himself.


VOTE RESULTS
Which is the most 'memorable' Centre Court moment?
Federer's tears of joy
 23.76% 
Ivanisevic's celebrations
 45.57% 
Novotna breaking down
 12.88% 
Cash clambering over fans
 17.80% 
4466 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

SEE ALSO
Relieved Federer fulfils dream
06 Jul 03  |  Wimbledon 2003
Inspired Federer wins Wimbledon
06 Jul 03  |  Wimbledon 2003

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