from the hot-headed Federer to the gentleman Roger, the building of a legend

Dear parents, if your child or teenager has a keen taste for questionable hair choices and a strong character, do not despair. He can be like Roger Federer. The image may make those who see the Swiss a model of kindness and class smile. The soon-to-be retired was not always this champion who wore to the nines and was admired by all for his irreproachable behavior. Roger was not born Federer, the immaculate tennis legend. He became.

Young, Roger Federer has everything in the rascal. Not a brat, though his first trainers would politely tell him. But a hyperactive boy, crazy about the yellow ball and very ambitious. “I remember a wild and free childtold to The group Mathieu Aeschmann, one of his Swiss tennis-study partners in Ecublens. He is very nice and funny. She is natural, with a rebellious nature, annoying and charming at the same time.

This impulsive behavior can easily turn into a big disappointment if things don’t go his way on earth. Roger Federer was emotional – a trait he would maintain throughout his career, as evidenced by the tears he shed after his major titles – and struggled to control his nerves. “At one point, I was constantly changing my racket, and at the age of 16, I was even kicked out of the court for it.“, he admitted Daily Express November 21, 2017. At the point where it is necessary to call a specialist, Christian Marcolli, a former football player converted to a specialist in mental performance. “When I was 17, my family decided that I should go to a psychologist, I was very nervous when I played.

Defeats are a real disaster for himawakens his father in the book Roger Federer, the quest for perfection. And when he doesn’t like something, he becomes very aggressive. The dice and all the board games are flying across the room.“The Swiss has to work on his character because the talent is there, and started to get people to talk about the young Roger.

Roger Federer throws his racket on the ground during his quarter-final at the Marseille tournament, February 5, 1999 (BORIS HORVAT / AFP)

He came to Geneva to be a sparring partnerrecalled former player Marc Rosset to the newspaper time. Usually, the younger guys are a bit nervous at the idea of ​​playing with the Swiss number one, but he is very relaxed.“A relaxation that will not prevent him from revealing himself by winning Wimbledon among the juniors.

When he arrived among the greats of the ATP circuit, Roger Federer stood out with his style. Peroxidized hair, messy cut and surfer necklace, then ponytail paired with a three-day beard… Federer was once a young man of his age, with his stylistic eccentricities. His game is polished, his first exploits are not long ago, like his victory against one of his idols, Pete Sampras, on the London lawn in 2001. But his bloodshed has not completely disappeared. The trigger comes a little over a year later. In the middle of the Masters 1000 in Toronto, his trainer Peter Carter, who trained him from juniors, died in an accident. Faced for the first time with the loss of a loved one, Federer is “angrier than he had ever been in his life” says the Swiss journalist Rene Stauffer in the book Roger Federer, the quest for perfection. “Unfortunately, I believe this death marked a break in his career.explained Marc Rosset at time. After this drama, he stopped being indifferent, as if he had to succeed.

Federer storm began his mission to the top, but above all to his fulfillment. “I’m caught in a mix of fire and ice, he explained in a promotional video for one of his partners, in November 2018. The fire of the desire for victory, the joy after a good point, and the cold to calm myself and accept the losses, bad shots, crowds, bad conditions. .. I found my balance after three years on the circuit. I thought about the long term, I wanted to play 15 or 20 years, and I decided that I would behave like that on the pitch. And that way, I won’t lose a game because of my mentality.

The consequences are immediate. First Grand Slam title in 2003, five consecutive titles at Wimbledon (2003 to 2007) and the US Open (2004 to 2008), an astronomical number of coronations, 237 weeks ranking as world number one (from February 2004 to August. 2008)… Enough to solidify his place in the history books of his sport, or even the sport itself. But also in the hearts of tennis fans. Because the handsome Federer has become a kind of ideal son-in-law, his hair cut without even a single strand sticking out, a model family man also thanks to the balance brought to him by his wife that Mirka, who has been with him everywhere since they met. in 2000 and masterfully managed his career.

The rascal who shares his room between trophies and expensive posters of Pamela Anderson now has the song of fashion and “good taste” Anna Wintour in his entourage. The purity of his technique is complemented by his stride off the court, which is always impeccable. His good nature makes him one of the most agreeable and sympathetic people in an interview. On the circuit, everyone emphasized his presence, his kindness or even his playfulness. Good on all sides without a neat summation. Even his number one rival, Rafael Nadal, referred to their rivalry as “an honor and a privilege“. Long gone are the days of blonde locks. Federer the gentle rebel made his transformation one of the most beautiful stories of his generation.

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