What did Roger Federer do next? The 20-time Grand Slam champion reflects on his retirement

(CNN) — The opportunity to be coached by Roger Federer would undoubtedly be a dream come true for any young tennis player, not counting the sons of the Swiss tennis great.

Federer’s twin daughters and twin sons play tennis up to four times a week, and while the 20-time Grand Slam champion is often on the court with them, he assures CNN’s Christina Macfarlane that in most cases he tries not to mess around .

“I’m not the coach, I’m the father, and father’s advice, as we know, only goes so far,” 41-year-old Federer says with a laugh. “It doesn’t matter if you won Wimbledon or not, you’re still the father and sometimes they don’t want to hear what you have to say.”

“I try to be funny, but at the same time I also try to be direct at times and teach them. I guess I’m more of a technical coach, so I try to teach them all about tennis rackets.”

Federer admits he was relieved when his daughters Myla and Charlene didn’t show much interest in playing tennis when they were younger.

When they were born in 2009, Federer was at the peak of his powers on the court and the demands of touring, constantly traveling the world and spending little time at home, would have made it very difficult to devote time to his development and enjoyment. of tennis.

“I don’t think we were the crazy tennis parents who said, ‘Girls, you have to go play every day for two hours,'” says Federer.

“But now that they’re about to turn 14, I’m starting to feel it, they want to play more and more and more.”

While Federer is thrilled that his sons are now following in his footsteps on the court, he says the boys, Lenny and Leo in particular, are showing promise, it’s their involvement in their charity work that he finds “very special”.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Roger Federer Foundation, which has helped more than 2.5 million children in six countries in Southern Africa and Switzerland.

Federer’s foundation focuses on providing parents, teachers and communities with the tools they need to give children a solid education. His most recent trip was to Lesotho, which in 2020 became the sixth southern African nation to join the foundation.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Roger Federer Foundation. Credits: Roger Federer Foundation/Getty Images

“Any trip to the countryside is always very special to me, but this one was really special because it was the first time that the four children could come with my wife and also my mum,” says Federer. “So we had a great time.”

“We spent three or four days traveling in Lesotho, a country I’d never been to. When we got there, it wasn’t so much a trip for me as it was for the kids. It was more for them so they could play with the kids in the schools, running, playing football and reading to each other.

“It’s been a lot of fun, honestly, to see him as a father and hopefully I can spark charity and my kids, I think it’s been very special. So it’s been an amazing journey.”

During his visit, Federer played with the children in the sand, read to them from books and sat down with school teachers to discuss the importance of empowering children. He believes it’s “very important to be practical” during these trips.

“Seeing their self-confidence increase and verify that what we’re trying to put into practice is working and ultimately we need to empower them,” she says.

Before defending women’s titleholder Elena Rybakina’s first-round match on Tuesday, Federer was honored with a special ceremony on Wimbledon’s iconic center court.

The eight-time Wimbledon winner was greeted with a standing ovation as he was introduced to the audience and made his way to the royal box at the All England Club.

It was a celebration worthy of a player who has provided this crowd with countless memorable moments throughout his 24-year career.

the sad farewell

On September 23, 2022, Federer took to the court for the last time as a professional tennis player. And he did it alongside Rafa Nadal, as the duo, who gave tennis fans the greatest rivalry in the history of the sport, played doubles together at the Laver Cup in London.

The photo of Federer and his longtime rival and friend Nadal shaking hands in tears has become one of the most enduring images of 2022. Over the years, it will undoubtedly become one of the sport’s most iconic images.

Federer, now in his 40s, says he has every intention of getting back on track after multiple knee surgeries, but finally had to admit his injury took its toll.

There was no fairytale ending, as Federer and Nadal were beaten by Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the O2 Arena, but after ‘genuinely dreading’ the moment of his retirement, the Swiss superstar says he couldn’t have asked a perfect ending to his remarkable career.

“The truth is, I haven’t told anyone about it,” she says. “It was more about running away, but in the end [tuve que] decide: where do I retire? How painful will it be? Or how much will it be a party?”

federer nadal tennis

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played together in the last match of the Swiss star’s career. Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

“But in the end it was everything and more for me. I found it beautiful to be surrounded by Rafa, Novak [Djokovic], [Andy] Murray, [Björn] Village, [John] mcenroe, [Rod] wash, [Stefan] Edberg, everyone was there, my team, my family.”

“So it was a very, very nice ending, because I really dreaded that moment of how to leave the game.”

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