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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Federer relieved to see off Nadal
By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Roger Federer lifts the Wimbledon trophy
Federer is the third man in the Open era to win four in a row
Roger Federer said he had felt under pressure to prove himself against Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon final.

The world number one had lost his last five matches against the Spaniard before Sunday's four-set triumph.

"I'm very well aware of how important this match was for me. If I had lost, it would have been a big blow," said the four-times champion.

"It was important for me to win a final against him and beat him for a change, and the easiest way was at Wimbledon."

Federer came into the tournament as an overwhelming favourite to collect the trophy for the fourth year in a row, but the 24-year-old maintained he was not confident.

"Coming from losing to Nadal in Paris, then struggling in Halle, I looked at the draw and I didn't think I would win the trophy again," said the top seed, who beat Bjorn Borg's record for consecutive grass-court wins during the tournament.

"Everyone was talking about Borg but I looked at the draw and thought the streak might come to an end pretty soon.

I want to continue to improve on this surface because I want to win here

Rafael Nadal

"These things go through your head and I only started to think about winning the trophy when I beat Mario Ancic in the quarter-finals."

Nadal, the first Spaniard to reach the final in the Open era, praised Federer but said his performance had cemented his belief that he can win the title one day.

"I enjoyed the match after the first set," he said.

"It was important to play good in the final after the first set because it was important for my belief that I can win here, that I can beat Roger one day.

"I think when I play good tennis I have a chance. He didn't beat me easily so that's good."

The world number two was looking to become the first player since Bjorn Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back and he believes that is a realistic goal for the future.

"It was a special for me to get to the final," he said.

"When I was young this was my dream and I never thought I could get there.

"But what I saw in the match is when I was playing good, the match was very close.

"I have improved a lot on the surface and I want to continue to improve because I want to win here."

SEE ALSO
Federer battles to fourth crown
09 Jul 06 |  Tennis
Connors on the men's final
09 Jul 06 |  Tennis
Gamewatch: Federer v Nadal
09 Jul 06 |  Tennis
Wimbledon final photos
09 Jul 06 |  Tennis


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