Roger Federer: The 5 things we learned from his Zeit interview
In a wide-ranging interview with German magazine Zeit, Roger Federer discusses retirement, his bad attitude as a junior and why the 2021 Olympics are his new goal.
In the interview with Zeit Magazine, Federer talks about many aspects of his career, from his biggest win to his respect for Rafael Nadal. Here are five things we learned about the 20-times Grand Slam champion.
1- Federer’s retirement is coming
After suffering a knee injury at the Australian Open in January, Federer required surgery, followed by a second operation in May, which will keep him off the Tour for the rest of 2020. In the middle of rehab and amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Swiss considered retirement.
“I know the time for my retirement is approaching and I think I will miss the circuit a lot. I have to be patient and keep working. It would have been easy for me to retire now but I want to continue giving myself the opportunity to still enjoy tennis. The rehabilitation of my knee is going well, I will take my time to get back in shape.”
2- The Swiss had to prove his worth to his parents
Despite his obvious talent, Federer’s parents were not sure if he would make it as a professional, when he was young.
“My parents spent around 30,000 Swiss francs a year to pay for my tennis training. But they were skeptical about my ability to become a professional player. When I was 16, I asked them if I should leave school to get 100 percent involved in tennis. My father gave me two years to succeed. If I failed or were unable to become a professional player, I had to go back to school.”
3- Teenage Federer received help from a psychologist
It’s well-known that Federer was a fiery junior but he reveals he needed specialist help for him to become so calm and controlled on court as a professional.
“When I was a junior, I only criticised myself and…I threw my racquet. My parents were ashamed of me and told me that they would no longer accompany me to any tournament. I saw how my family, my staff and my trainers looked at me and I felt that I could never again have this behaviour on a court. ” I realized that I definitely had to change. It was a long process and I got help from a psychologist. It took me two years to find the perfect balance between passion and calm.”
4- His first Wimbledon title is his favourite
Of all his 20 Grand Slam titles and 103 titles overall, one stands out for Federer above all; winning Wimbledon in 2003.
“My first win at Wimbledon is what comes to my mind spontaneously when asked. Winning this tournament was what I had always dreamed of when I was a child and suddenly seeing it come true, it was magic. It was the most beautiful and intense moment of my whole sporting life.”
5- Olympic gold medal is his last dream
The only thing missing from Federer’s resume is the Olympic gold medal in singles. Even though he will be almost 40 when the Olympics begin in Tokyo in 2021, he is looking forward to the challenge.
“The Olympics remains my goal. I have already experienced a lot. In 2000 I met my wife, I was allowed to fly the flag in 2004 and 2008 – and I won gold in Beijing in doubles with Stan Wawrinka, my friend. In 2012 in London I won silver in singles, I missed it because of injury in 2016. Now Tokyo is my big goal.”