Tue Sep 26 00:30:36 SAST 2017
Homeless and in a wheelchair at 63

Zolile Ncapayi is 63 and unable to walk. He progressively lost the use of his legs over 30 years ago.

Fab Federer could play till he's 40

By AFP | 2017-07-18 10:00:12.0

Buoyed by his record-setting eighth Wimbledon title, Roger Federer warned rivals yesterday he could play until he's 40, spearheading a late-life era of supremacy alongside Rafael Nadal.

Federer eased past injury-hit Marin Cilic to become the oldest Wimbledon men's champion of the modern era on Sunday, breaking the tie for seven All England Club titles he had shared with Pete Sampras since his last triumph in 2012.

It also gave him a 19th grand slam title in his 29th final at the majors.

With his 36th birthday just three weeks away, Federer believes he could still be playing the tournament when he's 40.

"You would think so, if health permitting and everything is OK," said Federer, who won his first Wimbledon title in 2003. His confidence in his longevity is based on the radical transformation he's made to his playing schedule since his semifinal defeat to Milos Raonic at Wimbledon in 2016.

He immediately shut down his season, missing the Olympics and US Open, to rest a knee injury. As a consequence, his world ranking slumped to 17 in January, his lowest since 2000.

But the gamble paid off as a rejuvenated Federer won a fifth Australian Open on his return before adding back-to-back Masters at Indian Wells and Miami.

He skipped the clay court season in the knowledge that a fully fit Nadal was likely to dominate the French Open.

Back on grass, Federer won a ninth Halle title before easing to his stunning Wimbledon landmark. His record for the year now stands at 31-2.

His appearances on the tour will remain limited. He hinted he may sit out the Montreal Masters and play only in Cincinnati before an assault on a sixth US Open where he hasn't won since 2008.

As always, it's a decision he'll make with those closest to him, just as he did when he took his six-month break last year.

"I did ask them the question sincerely, to everybody on my team, if they thought I could win majors again," Federer explained.

"Basically the answer was always the same from them: that they thought if you're 100% healthy and you're well-prepared, you're eager to play, then anything's possible."