Known as one of the greatest tennis players in history, Roger Federer holds the record for most Grand Slam men’s singles championships at 20. The racket and recognition story began in 1998 when Roger Federer won the Wimbledon boys’ singles and doubles titles. Then in 2001, he beat reigning champion, Pete Sampras at Wimbledon, and in 2003 he became the first Swiss national to win a Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. Thus, was born the unrivaled tennis star who has 103 ATP singles titles including a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles. Currently Roger Federer ranks No. 4 in world tennis, after Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Dominic Thiem.
An Early Start
Roger Federer was born on August 8, 1981, in Basel, Switzerland. His parents, Robert and Lynette, both worked in the pharmaceutical industry. Watching tennis was a family passion in Federer home, but neither did Roger’s parents nor his sister Diana learned to play. At the age of 4 years, it was Roger who began to show interest in tennis as he watched his idol Boris Becker win his first Wimbledon in 1985. He also played football in school but soon found that he was getting far better in tennis than football thus concentrating more on the game. By the age of 8, a promising young Roger earned entry into Basel’s crack junior program.
Teens and tennis
But like many kids his age, ‘hothead’ Roger was often got out of control on the court hurling his racket against the fence. When his parents Robert and Lynette saw their son’s self-anger behavior during tournaments they couldn’t understand. But it was Pete Carter his Australian coach from the age of 10 to 14, who saw his anger and slowly began to mould Roger into a tennis star. He taught him his groundstrokes and serves, and discussed the importance of being gracious and polite on the court. By the time he was 13 years, Roger had learned to channel his wasteful energy spent on anger to become Switzerland’s national junior tennis champion.
In 1994, at the age of 13, Roger left home to join Switzerland’s national training center in Ecublens, near Lausanne. He would be back on weekends to spend time with his family, but every Sunday night, when it was time to board the train Roger, would be depressed. More so, because everyone at the center spoke in French while Roger, spoke German. Roger Federer is now fluent in Swiss, German, French, and English.
In 1996, Roger joined the International Tennis Federation junior tennis circuit.
In 1997 when he left Ecublens and re-enrolled in a new training facility in Biel, he was reunited with coach Carter. In the same facility, he was also often guided by another coach Peter Lundgren, a former ranked ATP player from Sweden who had once coached Marcelo Rios. Roger began to rise in the world’s top junior ranking. In 1998, Federer won the junior Wimbledon title and the Orange Bowl and became the ITF World Junior Tennis champion of the year.
Many times the junior champion would imitate his idols, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg. But it was only in 1998 after the being recognised as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion, that Roger Federer realized that he was good in his own game and turned pro.
A new dawn, a new century
The 2000 season brought Roger his first two ATP finals appearances and since then he never looked back.
In 2003, Roger ended his long relationship with IMG and instead had his parents look after his business dealings, appointing an attorney and media consultant for Team Federer.
Today Team Federer has come a long way. Roger Federer the champion himself has started a boutique agency in Ohio, with his American manager and agent Tony Godsick. The firm called Team8 has already secured its first client to manage, Juan Martín del Potro Lucas, the Argentine professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 128 in men’s singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
Roger Federer Career Statistics
The historic achievements of Roger Federer ranked world No. 4 in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) include:
- 103 ATP singles titles including a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles,
- 28 ATP Masters 1000 titles,
- 6 ATP Finals,
- 3 Hopman Cup titles (2001, 2018 and 2019),
- 3 consecutive Laver Cup titles (2017, 2018 and 2019),
- 2004-8, 2010, 2018: Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
- 2004, 2006, 2007, 2017: BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
- 2008: Gold Medal in men’s doubles with Stan Wawrinka at the Beijing Olympics
- 2012: Silver Medal in men’s singles at the London Olympics.
- 2014: Davis Cup winner
(Information credits: Roger Federer Career Statistics)
Endorsements and Earnings
Roger Federer’s list of endorsements include Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo and Swiss brands Nationale Suisse, Credit Suisse, Rolex, Lindt, Sunrise, and Jura Elektroapparate. He also has a global partnership and endorsement deal with Mercedes-Benz. His other sponsors are Gillette, Wilson, Barilla, and Moët & Chandon. In May 2020, Federer became the first tennis player to reach the top of the Forbes “World’s Highest Paid Athletes” list with annual earnings, inclusive of prize money and sponsorships, reaching USD 93.4 million. Federer is soon to join the billionaire athletes club alongside Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Floyd Mayweather.
Federer is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for HIV awareness. In 2003, he established The Roger Federer Foundation. The foundation provides education and sports-related grants to poor countries that have a child mortality rate of more than 15%.
Roger Federer also supports the following charities:
- Elton John AIDS Foundation
- Humpty Dumpty Foundation
- Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Mines Advisory Group
- Roger Federer Foundation
- Small Steps Project
Famous family of Twins
In 2009, Federer married Mirka Vavrinec, also a professional tennis player. The couple has two sets of identical twins – twin daughters Myla Rose Federer, Charlene Riva Federer and twin sons Lenny Federer, Leo Federer. The family lives in Bottmingen, Switzerland.
Yet to conquer
Roger Federer’s power game on the court and courteousness off the court has turned him into a sports icon. The 38 years old Federer was planning to retire in 2020, but as of now, he has postponed his decision.
Get ready as Federer is out to conquer the hearts of millions of fans again in 2021.