Federer: 'Peter Carter was the coach and friend who helped me the most'

Tennis - The Swiss player speaks about the Australian's coach influence on him until when he died in 2002

by Luigi Gatto
Federer: 'Peter Carter was the coach and friend who helped me the most'

For Roger Federer, Peter Carter's death was one of the worst disappointments in his life. On 1st August 2002 his former Australian coach died in a car accident in 2002 in the Barossa Valley, South Africa, where he had gone on holiday.

When he found out the news, Roger was in Toronto to play the tennis event, and was burst into tears in the Canadian city. The Swiss player was so connected to Carter, who he met for the first time at age nine in Basel, that he has kept a very good relationship with his parents Bob and Diana, who every year come at the Australian Open to cheer for Roger.

They sit in the player's box and they get accomodation, flight tickets and private cars, all paid by Federer. 'It’s always nice to invite them down (to Melbourne),' Roger said on Saturday at Wimbledon. 'We tell them ‘Are you guys ready to come?’ and they say ‘Yes, the bags are packed anyway.

You tell us when we should come.' We spend time together. We go for dinner, we even partied together at the end. At 4 am, they were like ‘Is it OK if we got to sleep?’ Yes, absolutely. It’s been so good to see those guys and it’s been so good to have an ongoing relationship.

It means a lot to me because Peter taught me so much.' 'Of all friends and coaches, Carter helped me the most,' Federer recognized. 'His death has terribly struck me and my family. It was the first time that I had to say goodbye to a friend and a such valuable person.

I was afraid to be going for the funeral, but in the end it did me good. It was tough for everyone that knew him. I owe him a lot. He will accompany me on the tennis court my whole life.' What Bob admires the most about Federer, is his humility and character that never changed since when he met him for the first time.

'All the success he’s had, he’s still the same Roger we knew way back then. What the public see, that’s just him. It’s not put-on, that’s for sure. He’s got a wonderful nature. Mirka, his wife, is the same.

In fact the whole team is wonderful. They all say ‘you are part of the team’. We feel we are, too. It’s like he’s our own son, almost. That’s how much interest we take in him,' Bob said. Story by Adelaide Now ALSO READ: Roger Federer: 'I gave myself the best shot for grass'