Roger Federer breaks down in emotional interview about late coach - 'I hope he would be proud'

Roger Federer has shown his softer side in an emotional interview after he struggled to hold back tears while talking about his late, former coach.

Federer was interviewed by CNN at his training base in Dubai last month about the upcoming season when the topic of Peter Carter, who trained the Swiss legend in his earlier years, came up.

Carter was the one to discover him, Federer said.

"It's a really nice story," Federer said. "He came to play club tennis for my club in Basel, Old Boys Tennis Club. When I was little he was one of the star players on the team. I was able to have coaching lessons with him.

"Peter was a really important person in my life. If I can say thank you for my technique today it's to Peter."

But a year before Federer won his first grand slam at Wimbeldon in 2003, Carter died in a car accident while on his honeymoon in South Africa.

When asked what he thought Carter would think about him now owning 20 grand slam titles, Federer couldn't contain his emotions.

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"Sorry. Oh, man, I still miss him so much. I hope he would be proud," Federer said.

"He didn't want me to be a wasted talent. It was somewhat of a wake-up call for me when he passed away. I really started to train hard." 

Federer will look to defend his Australian Open title when he begins his campaign later this week.