Roger Fed­erer aces fam­ily life

The ten­nis star cred­its suc­cess to his Fed-t as tic clan

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - News -

He’s the world’s favourite ten­nis star, with a sav­age vol­ley and a killer smile, as well as one of the most suc­cess­ful play­ers of all time.

And Roger Fed­erer – who, at 37, is the world’s num­ber three and the sport’s most gra­cious vet­eran – cred­its his suc­cess story to a stable fam­ily life, in par­tic­u­lar his nine-year mar­riage to his beloved wife Mirka.

As the 20-time Grand Slam-win­ning pow­er­house, nick­named “Fed Ex­press”, touches down in Mel­bourne in the hunt for his sev­enth Aus­tralian Open ti­tle, Mirka – her­self also a Swiss ten­nis star – and their two sets of iden­ti­cal twins will be per­ma­nent fix­tures in his player’s box.

De­spite a gru­elling travel sched­ule that sees him away from their home in Switzer­land al­most 10 months of the year, Roger is never with­out his fam­ily, in­clud­ing kids Myla and Char­lene, nine, and Lenny and Leo, four.

While many par­ents would shud­der at the thought of traips­ing from ho­tel room to ho­tel room, Roger wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’d rather sleep with kids scream­ing than away from my wife,” he says. “I refuse to leave the bed with my wife. We al­ways wanted to have kids, but my dream was to be with her and not in an­other bed­room on an­other floor.”

De­spite be­ing worth an eye-wa­ter­ing $680 mil­lion, Roger prefers to be a hand­son dad and ad­mits he’s changed “tons of nap­pies” be­tween matches.

And their life on the world ten­nis cir­cuit ap­pears to be pay­ing off. While Roger has hinted at re­tire­ment, the next two decades could see a new gen­er­a­tion of Fed­er­ers run­ning around the court.

“The boys are only four, yes, but they’ve played for a few years now,” he tells. “We roll the ball and hit it along the ground. The ball can bounce a bit more and they can whack it over the net some­times. The girls also play a lit­tle bit.”

But of the po­ten­tial for them to be­come pro­fes­sional ten­nis play­ers, he jokes, “I hope they don’t be­cause it will mean an­other 25 years on the cir­cuit!”

Aus­tralia will al­ways have a spe­cial place in Roger’s heart as it’s where he and the mother of his chil­dren be­gan their love story. The pair met

at the 2000 Olympic Games in Syd­ney, where Mirka was a force of her own on the court.

After that, a per­sis­tent foot in­jury forced her to the side­lines and she in­stead be­came Roger’s PR man­ager. The cou­ple mar­ried in 2009 in an in­ti­mate cer­e­mony in his home­town of Basel.

While she serves a less of­fi­cial role these days, Roger still hon­ours Mirka, 40, as the rea­son they’re able to live their glo­be­trot­ting life­style, say­ing, “My wife does a lot of work, as much as she can. And I try to help as much as I can.”

De­spite their de­mand­ing sched­ules, the cou­ple still man­age to make time for ro­mance. The pair were spot­ted in Perth at the Hop­man Cup New Year’s Eve Gala, where on­look­ers tell

Woman’s Day they looked more in love than ever.

“There were a lot of glam­orous young things at that party, but Roger only has eyes for his wife,” re­ports a fel­low guest. “You could tell they were en­joy­ing the chance to get out to­gether at a fancy event.

“They’re such hands-on par­ents on the tour, so it must have been a treat to be able to leave the kids at home.”

I’d rather sleep with kids scream­ing than away from my wife’

Go Dad! Mirka, their twin­sets and Roger’s mum Lynette are court­side in sup­port. “It’s the best thing that ever hap­pened to me,” de­clares the dad-of-four about hav­ing a fam­ily. Right: Like fa­ther, like son! Roger says his kids “seem very in­ter­ested” in fol­low­ing in his foot­steps.

Love all! The cou­ple first met at the 2000 Syd­ney Olympics.

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