I’ve rarely seen a dad who gives his four children a hug and then steps onto the tennis court to beat a top-ranked opponent in three straight sets and in under two hours. After winning a match – and he’s won many – he usually looks up to his wife who follows every match in his box. When the maestro is on the court, an entire nation is following the match – no matter what time of day. Youngsters look up to him, opponents learn from him and the all-time greatest applaud and respect him. He’s the king of tennis.
Quiet, please – a genius at work.
You know that the Swiss idol is scheduled to play when the world’s largest tennis stadiums are packed with an audience in no time. His cheering fan base and seemingly endless list of victories turn a match into a spectacular event from warm-up to ending. Even though his matches don’t last as long as most others – his nickname «Federer Express» is no coincidence – his fans arrive in crowds and from every corner of the world. When the «GOAT» (no, not the animal: GOAT = Greatest Of All Times) is playing, his supporters are never far. It’s impossible to put the fascination and admiration surrounding the Swiss athlete into numbers or even words. He’s referred to as a «peRFect» athlete, «FedEx», «Roger», «Rodgi» or «Bebeli» (by his wife). Without doubt, he’s an exceptional athlete – and a great character.
(Not ) a registered trademark: There are no limits to the creativeness of his fans.
The name Peter Carter will only ring a bell to the most dedicated of tennis fans. It was the late Peter Carter who turned 9-year Roger Federer from a rough diamond into a living legend. To express his gratitude, Federer has invited Carter’s parents as his guests of honour to every Australian Open since their son and Federer’s coach died 15 years ago. They support the Swiss as if he were their own son. But what really counts for Roger is to begin each and every season by remembering his former coach and mentor. Roger Federer – one of the most gifted tennis players in the world and a humble, kind and caring family man. He’s a double-edged sword, but with two good sides.
He's a real person. He's not an enigma. Off the court, he's not trying to be somebody. If you met him at McDonald's and you didn't know who he was, you would have no idea that he's one of the best athletes in the world.Andy Roddick
What will happen to Switzerland as a tennis nation when (or if) Roger Federer retires? Only thinking about it hurts my soul, but here’s my prediction: The then 43-year-old dad of six will leave every sports fan’s heart bleeding. Marathon man, Stan «the Man» Wawrinka, won’t be a youngster by then either and «Bella» Belinda Bencic isn’t (yet) as constant as necessary. But Roger Federer wouldn’t be Roger Federer if he didn’t have a solution to this problem: a solution on eight (or better: twelve) legs. My forecast is that in 2039, his twin girls and boys will number 1 and 2 in ladies’ and men’s tennis. That’s doubles and mixed doubles sorted, too. Roger that.
When Dad’s on the court, the whole family is there to watch.
Let’s not meet trouble halfway. A while ago, a video that was compiled by a fan of Rogers rose to fame. It shows the top 1,000 best shots of Federer’s career. This doesn’t seem exceptional at first, but it took the creator no less than 250 hours to produce this video. This sentence taken from the description stood out to me: «I have always felt that a top 10, top 50 or even a top 100 (I’ve done that before) wasn’t enough to showcase the otherworldly variety, quality and quantity in Roger Federer’s book of great shots.» PS: Here’s another video that shows some of his most unbelievable shots. And here’s another one. And another one. I could go on for a while.
Even his opponents are full of praise for «King Roger». In my opinion, what Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – exhausted and puzzled after a hard-fought match – said after losing to Federer, was one of the most impressive statements: «Your tennis is from another planet. Losing against you isn’t a shame; playing against you is an honour. Once you’ve retired, I might have the chance to win one of the major tournaments myself.» Novak Djokovic once said: «Roger is tennis and tennis is Roger. Many only see the athlete on court, but the man behind it all is even greater.» John McEnroe also expressed his admiration by saying: « [Federer] ... is the most beautiful man to watch play tennis. The most beautiful I've ever seen play. His movement, combined with the artistry, his racquet, the look, he's got everything going.» A disappointed Andy Murray said after losing the Australian Open final to Federer: «I can cry like Roger, it's a shame I can't play like him.» Rafael Nadal put it this way: «Being compared to Roger is the biggest compliment there is.»
Give it up for the maestro: good, better, Federer.
He tops almost every ranking and silences critics – the king of tennis.
Roger Federer was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Medicine of University of Basel. His sister Diana also has twins; a boy and a girl. He was a vegetarian until his 14th year of age, but eats meat since then. He met his wife Mirka at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sidney. She used to be a tennis player, too. He buys all ball boys and ball girls of the Swiss Indoors in Basel a pizza after the final match on Sunday. When he was twelve years old, he was a ball boy on the exact court himself.
He’s generous – to say the least. One example is his foundation: The «Roger Federer Foundation», which describes its strategic priority as «the assistance of already existing but essentially insufficient support services, in early childhood care centres, preschools and primary schools for children between 3 and 12 years of age as well as the improvement of their efficiency and effectiveness.» On top of that, he regularly hosts show matches, such as the «Match for Africa», to give and collect money to support his foundation. This project has attracted attention from all over the world and opened doors to other projects, such as Rafael Nadal’s«Fundación Rafa Nadal».
Despite his age – he belongs to the older generation of players – Federer has avoided serious injuries so far. He had his share of problems, but handled them like a champion. When he suffered mononucleosis in 2008, he took the necessary time off and only stepped back onto the court when he had fully recovered. In 2016, a knee injury forced him to end the season early and in 2017, he struggled with a back injury. But he always came back – even stronger than before. He proved critics and media wrong who’d written him off and were expecting him to retire. And since his last comeback, he’s been playing his best tennis ever – all critics and experts have come to agree on and acknowledge this.
It’s not about hitting the ball as hard as you can, it’s about falling and getting up again.
Focussed, efficient and ambitious – these characteristics are usually associated with Roger Federer. But there’s another side to the Swiss athlete, as the video below proves. It shows him as a friendly and funny person and makes clear that he absolutely loves tennis. He can’t wait to play an exhibition match against one of his toughest opponents on the tour. His love for the game shows in the way he moves, his facial expressions and his aura on the court. He combines outstanding technique, elegance and speed and makes the game look easier than any other player does. He’s strong, but he’s also intelligent. He reads the game, he anticipates, he plans shots and he knows everything about his opponents. That’s what makes him so dangerous to other players – and what makes him the best tennis player in the world.
We don’t know what his future has in store. All we can do is hope that he’ll be around for a very long time. I’m sure his opponents secretly feel the same. When you’re playing such a character and experiencing his joy of the game, winning or losing is secondary. The most hard-working, talented players and future talents respect Federer and relish the chance to play against him. In a way, they’ve also played their part in making him the champion he is today. Therefore: Thank you, Rafa. Thank you, Nole. Thank you, Andy. You’ve made him who he is today. Roger Federer…the greatest of all times! #goat
To infinity and back: Federer has taken tennis to a new level.
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