Standing by their men, Mirka and Brooklyn

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Federer credits his wife Mirka for helping him end his youthful, on-court tantrums while Brooklyn Decker talked Roddick out of walking away from tennis.

Updated: July 04, 2009 16:39 IST
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Roger Federer credits his wife Mirka for helping him end his youthful, on-court tantrums while Brooklyn Decker talked Andy Roddick out of walking away from tennis.

When Federer and Roddick meet in Sunday's Wimbledon final, both will acknowledge the debt they owe to their wives looking nervously on from the players' box on Centre Court.

Federer, bidding for a sixth Wimbledon title and a record 15th major, believes his staggering success may have eluded him if it were not for Mirka.

The couple, who met at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, married in April and are expecting their first child later this summer.

As Mirka Vavrinec, Federer's wife was a regular player on the women's tour until serious injury pushed her out of the game.

In the long term, that's been to the Swiss star's benefit.

"She helped me considerably, as a person. I developed faster, grew faster with her. Thanks to her I was very calm in the important moments in my career. She is always supportive. I owe her a lot," said Federer.

Roddick, who ended home hope Andy Murray's dream of a final appearance, was at his lowest ebb here 12 months ago when he suffered his earliest Wimbledon exit, a second round loss to Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic.

Many saw that as overwhelming evidence that the big-serving American, whose one and only Grand Slam title came back at the 2003 US Open, was a spent force, his game a relic in the new age of Federer-Rafael Nadal.

But marriage to swimsuit model Decker has helped transform the American's life and his game.

"Last year after I played here, that was a hard, hard couple of weeks," admitted Roddick.

"Brook and I had a lot of talks on if I still thought I could play and at least be towards the top of the game. I definitely openly questioned it at that point.

"So this off-season, we said if you're not going to be up there, let's at least not wonder. Let's prepare yourself and give yourself every opportunity.

"I did work real hard and have been committed from everything to diet to sleep to everything. I certainly gave myself every opportunity to succeed."

Like Federer, against whom he has lost 18 times in 20 meetings, Roddick believes marriage in April to the 21-year-old model, has helped give him a new perspective.

"I know that being happy and not having any worries away from the court, in my mind it can only help things," said Roddick.

"Brook has been a very calming influence, and is someone that I can confide in and not have to put up a super brave front in front of. So it's been real good and certainly makes the (players) box better looking."

There's also another reason why the 26-year-old American keeps playing.

"She thought I looked cute in the shorts."

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