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Roger Federer reveals why he was discharged from the Swiss military when he was 18

Roger Federer
Roger Federer
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 04 Aug 2020, 13:50 IST
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There has been plenty of speculation about Roger Federer's future ever since the 20-time Major winner announced he would be missing the rest of 2020 due to injury.

But this is not the first major injury that Federer has faced in his career. The Swiss had undergone a left knee surgery in 2016, after which he returned better than before to win three Slams over a span of 13 months.

In 2020 Roger Federer has had another run-in with his knee, going through two surgeries on the right one this time. And considering his age right now, many are questioning whether he can ever challenge for big titles again.

But Roger Federer has so much experience of recovering from physical setbacks that writing him off at any point would be unwise. Federer was recently interviewed by the Miami Living Magazine at a Zurich studio, where he revealed that his back problems were considered serious as far back as 1999 - which led to his discharge from the military despite being just 18 years old.

The Swiss also indulged in a bit of fun trivia with the magazine once the interview was done, where he talked about his good luck charm and his preferred holiday destinations.

Roger Federer and back problems - a long-running saga

In the 2008 fall season, Federer was forced to withdraw from a professional tournament for the first time in 763 matches due to a back injury. But not many would know that Roger Federer's back problems date back to before he won his first Slam.

An 18-year-old Roger Federer serves at the French Open
An 18-year-old Roger Federer serves at the French Open

Possibly the winningest player in men's professional tennis history, Roger Federer was a prolific player in his juniors days as well. As the Miami Living Magazine pointed out, as an 11-year-old Federer was already among Switzerland's top junior players.

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Three years later, at the age of 14, Roger Federer was unequivocally the best junior in the country. Federer would extend his dominance even more in the coming years, as he won the 1998 Wimbledon boys' title.

At around that time, Roger Federer was also a part of the Swiss military. The country's rules mandate military service for all able-bodied male citizens when they reach the age of majority, and Federer was drafted in too.

However, the then 18-year-old was discharged soon due to his chronic back problem.

Roger Federer receives back treatment at the 2019 US Open
Roger Federer receives back treatment at the 2019 US Open

The Swiss has been troubled by a dodgy back for a large part of his pro career too. He had a disappointing 2013 season after tweaking his back in the early part of the year. The troublesome back again threatened Federer in 2017 and 2019, when he injured it in the middle of a match.

Besides the trivia about his back, Roger Federer also made some other revelations during the post-interview segment. He said Tweety Bird is his good luck charm, and named his favorite places to vacation at - Maldives, Dubai and the Swiss mountains.

Published 04 Aug 2020, 13:50 IST
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