"Being a good father is the challenge of my life," he said.
It’s a thunderclap in the world of tennis. Roger Federer, formerly ranked No. 1 worldwide and the winner of 20 Grand Slams, announced on Thursday, September 15, that he was ending his career.
At the age of 41, the Swiss player played his last matches during the Laver Cup, held from September 23 to 25, before retiring. His last game was a doubles match he played side-by-side with Rafael Nadal. Now, Federer has decided to focus on a completely different challenge – a challenge that will require qualities similar to those of tennis, such as endurance and perseverance.
“Being a good father is the challenge of my life,” he told the Swiss magazine Caminada. With his wife Miroslava “Mirka” Vavrinec, the Swiss player is the parent of four children: twins Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, aged 12, and twins Leo and Lenny, who are 8.
“There are so many things that go through the minds of teenagers. It gets more complicated, more emotional, deeper. I think that’s great, but it affects me more. As parents, we now have to make a greater effort to solve problems. […] Day in and day out, we try to do our best,” he said.
It is only appropriate that he shift his focus to his family, especially his children, now that he is leaving aside his competitive profession, motivated in part by persistent injuries. In his announcement on Twitter, he mentions how important his family’s presence – his “amazing wife Mirka” and his “four wonderful children” – has been for him during his tours and competitions. “Seeing my family cheering me on from the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever,” he says.
Openly Catholic, the champion is known for his involvement in humanitarian works, including his foundation to help needy children. He also met with Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.