Roger Federer is unanimously recognized as an example of class and style, having held an impeccable behavior both on and off the pitch. The former world number 1 has managed to maintain himself at the highest levels for an incredible number of years, so much so that he has also aroused the admiration of colleagues from other disciplines.
The champion from Basel has just turned 40 and the rest of his career hangs by a thread. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has played just five tournaments since his comeback last March, with the quarterfinals at Wimbledon as his best result of the season.
A relapse in his right knee prevented him from participating in the Tokyo Olympics, before he gave up on the Masters 1000 in Toronto and Cincinnati. His presence at the last Grand Slam of 2021, the US Open, is anything but obvious and the silence of King Roger does not allay the fears of his fans.
Madeleine Barlocher, who coached Federer when he was very young, gave a long interview to 'We Love Tennis France' in which she recalled the first steps taken by the Maestro.
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"No, not at my place, Roger Federer didn't dare act like that," Madeleine Barlocher said.
"In Basel, he progressed very quickly. Suddenly, he was satisfied. Then, when he started the big tournaments, he didn't progress as fast. Suddenly, he got frustrated on the ground and often threw his racket. Otherwise, he always swore, but, well, that's the lot of all young people."
Bärlocher added that it was Mirka who helped the young Roger Federer turn a new leaf as far as his on-court behavior was concerned. "How do you explain that he was so agitated, younger, when he seems so calm on the court today...
It's thanks to Mirka..." Barlocher said. "It's a bit of a mystery for all of us... She came to the club to participate in tournaments, she also came to play with friends. In fact, they had seen each other before the Sydney Olympics.
At this time, only Peter Carter could really calm him down [besides Mirka]," Barlocher said. "Roger and Peter got along very well. Carter helped him a lot and was well trained at the tactical level, especially during competitions.
His experience of the circuit and his level of play have given him a lot," she added. "Roger Federer learned a lot by his side, in the management of his matches, because it was Peter who accompanied him on the tournaments. They continued to evolve together in the Challengers and the big junior tournaments."