With each passing day, tennis legend Roger Federer gets closer to the end of his career. But it has been a stellar career nevertheless, and one that wouldn't have been possible without the help of his beloved family.
In a recent interview with The Times, Federer credited his wife Mirka for the tremendous success he has achieved in his 20+ years on the tour. The Swiss also later elaborated upon the importance of reaching finals - irrespective of whether he wins them or not.
Roger Federer has been away from the court ever since he underwent knee surgery in February. But the Swiss has kept himself busy, recently launching a new shoe called 'The Roger' in partnership with Swiss company 'On'. He also filmed a car commercial last week and gave a tentative date for his return to fitness.
While the tennis fraternity will miss Federer when the tour resumes, the Swiss could potentially benefit from a prolonged break. His knees, lower back and wrists have caused him a considerable amount of pain in recent years, and were in dire need of rest and healing.
With so much time on the sidelines, the World No. 4 aims to be fully fit for next year's Australian Open.
Roger Federer doesn't feel too bad about the Wimbledon 2019 final
Roger Federer has often said he plays tennis purely for the love of the game - which is not surprising given he has achieved everything there is to be achieved on the tour. But while the love for tennis is the primary driving force, the love for competing at the highest level is very important to Federer too.
“I’m still very eager, very happy, very motivated," Federer said. "But I feel like I need to be able to compete with the best, that I can still win big tournaments. Like last year at Wimbledon, I was so close.”
In that memorable Wimbledon final, the Swiss legend was on the brink of victory against his rival Novak Djokovic. He served for the match at 8-7 in the fifth and even had two match points on his serve, but then capitulated in astonishing fashion.
Djokovic took advantage down the home stretch, and clinched the title in the ensuing tiebreak. Yet another Grand Slam title had slipped away from the grasp of Roger Federer.
As heartbreaking as that was though, the Swiss still prefers it to losing in the early stages of a tournament.
“I need those moments," Federer said. "If I start losing the second round every week, obviously I know my time has come up.”
Roger Federer also spoke about how for him, playing limited tournaments and doing well in them takes precedence over playing every week and earning a lot of money. That has become especially crucial for him now that he has a large family and he has to juggle his time between home and work.
“I think it has been key for me that I don’t chase the money and just play any tournament possible," Federer said. "And then, of course, once you have family, everything changes. You start making compromises, you know what the priority is: the kids, the family and the wife and everything.”
Mirka has been wonderful in terms of support: Roger Federer
Roger Federer’s greatest pillar of support is his wife Mirka Vavrinec. She has been on tour with him for close to two decades now and is still the most passionate Federer fan when he husband takes court.
Federer asserted that he is eternally grateful for the role she has played in his life, including all the sacrifices she has had to make.
“She has been wonderful in terms of support," Federer said. "It was amazing how easily she walked away from tennis and retired, never really tried to come back.”
Roger Federer also went on to disclose what his wife Mirka said when she had to make the choice.
“You know what, I’d rather have helped you have an amazing career (than) me having some kind of a career and we won’t see each other and we’ll grow unhappy and maybe we’ll break up because we won’t see each other enough.”
The five-time US Open champion went on to add that even after all these years, the two make it a point to spend quality time together.
“We just love our time together and that’s still the case,” Federer said.
The fans always see the tennis player in Roger Federer, and applaud his on-court excellence with the fervor of devotees. But the family man in him is an equally wonderful and inspiring being, as his comments about Mirka show.Published 10 Jul 2020, 02:43 IST