Roger Federer has been very busy lately, although the tennis season has stopped since March and the Swiss player will not return to the field before the start of 2021 following the double knee surgery. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has just launched his line of personalized shoes called 'The Roger', as well as giving numerous interviews during this long period of inactivity.
The former World number 1 has already targeted Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics next year, in what could be the last season of his glorious career. During a freewheeling interview with the German press, the 38-year-old from Basel recalled the beginnings of his career, thanking his parents for all the efforts that allowed him to become a professional.
Federer on his early tennis training
“My parents spent around 30,000 Swiss francs a year to pay for my tennis training (around 28,000 euros). But they were skeptical about my ability to become a professional player" - Roger Federer said.
"When I was 16, I asked them if I should leave school to get 100% involved in tennis. My father gave me two years to succeed. If I failed or were unable to become a professional player, I had to go back to school. I told him to trust me and luckily I became World No.
1 in junior. Tennis is a very special sport. It is very difficult to spend hours and hours on the field, with a lot of tension and stress, and not even being able to ask for anything your family or your trainer," Federer added.
"This is why we speak to ourselves. Some may think that we are crazy, but sometimes we have to talk to ourselves to release the tension and regain the necessary concentration. During a match, I constantly repeat myself to play point by point, to advance step by step.
When I was a junior, I only criticized myself and with each exchange, I threw my racquet. My parents were ashamed of me and told me that they would no longer accompany me to any tournament. I remember a match against Franco Squillari in Hamburg 2001 (lost 6-3, 6-4), where I had given a very bad image of myself.
I was playing badly and ended up breaking my racquet. I saw how my family, my staff and my trainers looked at me and I felt that I could never again have this behavior on a court. I realized that I definitely had to change. It was a long process and I got help from a psychologist. It took me two years to find the perfect balance between passion and calm" - the Swiss Maestro concluded.