I was really happy when I became the oldest No. 1 player in the world. I have had a lot of up and downs which I’ve learned from and I’m enjoying the game much more than five or 10 years ago. That is why I was really pleased to get to the top when I did. When I was 15 years old, I used to dream about being where I am. But it’s not as easy as I thought it would be.
At my first Grand Slam® final I was really nervous because I had no idea what to expect. But I thought to myself: “Okay, you have to take this chance, because you don’t know if you will play maybe one, two, or three Grand Slam® finals in your life.” And I went out there to show the world that I’m one of the best.
New York is very special to me because of 2011. It was the breakthrough in my career. I started the year losing every single match in the first rounds. That was really tough. And when I got to New York, the last Grand Slam® of the year, I was playing tennis again like a kid: with a lot of patience, with fun and joy. From that moment, I believed in myself and in my game. To win in New York was my biggest achievement.
I got this watch two years ago when I was in New York. I was only 10 minutes in the shop because I knew exactly which watch I wanted. And at this point in my career, I thought, “Okay, now I achieved so much, now is the time to really get something for myself.” I chose New York because it was the turning point in my career.
I think the watch is also a part of me. It gives me confidence to wear it because I know the story of the watch and I feel good when I can wear it, when I can show it to the people that maybe don’t know my story.
It also means a lot to be part of the Rolex family because everybody has achieved something really big and they are all fighting for it. Everybody has up and downs – they learn from the toughest moments and they never give up.