In Roger Federer's words: 'I was getting kicked out of practice sessions at 16'



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In Roger Federer's words: 'I was getting kicked out of practice sessions at 16'

"I was quite the opposite of Pete when I was younger, throwing my racquets around like you can't imagine. I was getting kicked out of the practice sessions non-stop when I was 16. Now since maybe I think this year, I started just to relax a little bit more on the court.

I'm not smashing as many racquets as before. I grew up a little bit, realizing that the racquet throwing didn't help my game because I was always getting very negative. I used to talk much more on the court; that's not the case now and I'm more positive.

Also, of course, to play on the Centre Court in front of a packed crowd against Pete Sampras, it doesn't make you scream and throw racquets. I think that's pretty normal. I started playing at the age of three, training football as well in the same period.

At like ten or 12 years, I had to make a decision about switching to one sport alone. I had more success in tennis and went to the National Tennis Center at the age of 14. It was in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and I'm coming from the German part.

For me, it was very tough in the first six months. I wanted to go home as I wasn't happy. I was crying when I was about to leave home on Sunday. Then I went to the U14 Orange Bowl, came back, started to feel better and win matches.

At 16, the Tennis Center changed to the part of Switzerland where they speak both languages. I also decided to quit school at that time because I felt like it was bothering me from delivering my best tennis. I quit school and just went upwards very quickly, winning a junior tournament and finishing No. 1. Also, the change from Juniors to pros was not as tough."