Former world number one Roger Federer, before becoming the great champion we all know today, had to face a series of obstacles that tried to prevent him from going. These also include the tragic death of coach Peter Carter, a true mentor and point of reference for the Swiss, who died in a car accident in 2002.
Roger told all this to BecomingX, an organization founded by Bear Grylls with the aim of telling stories that inspire people around the world.
Roger Federer's story
First, the Basel native recalled his first match as a junior: "In my very first game I lost 6-0 6-0.
I had heard some rumors that the Federation was saying something like this: 'Well, maybe he's not as good as we thought' " Roger continued: “I didn't stop training hard, I started playing more tournaments.
I also started to be more successful, always as a junior, at least in my area. I became National Champion for the first time at the age of twelve." Federer then spoke of the many difficulties he encountered in the following years, when he left home at fourteen to move to the Zurich National Center: "So, at fourteen, here I am in Zurich.
I was in a big family from Monday to Friday, then at the weekend I went back to my parents, I felt a lot of homesickness for the first nine months. My results dropped, I lost confidence, I couldn't speak the language. I was really in trouble."
In any case, Federer admitted that the period between his 14 and 16 years-old was really crucial: "It was a rather complicated time. I think those were the most influential years of my life. It was about staying away from home, continuing to fight and having the responsibility to understand how things work, sometimes alone."
Finally, the 39-year-old Swiss briefly recalled the importance of former coach Carter: "When I was sixteen, Peter Carter joined the National Center in Zurich and became my mentor. If my level of play is that of today, it probably goes to him.
The news of his death shocked me and shattered my world. In a way, it was a kind of alarm bell for me. Maybe that was the moment when I changed gear and decided to get serious about tennis." Roger Federer skipped the most of the season after a double knee surgery.
The Swiss Maestro should come back on the court for the upcomung and most awaited edition of the Australian Open, at the end of January 2021 in Melbourne.