Roger Federer may be one of the best to ever wield a tennis racquet, but that doesn’t mean the 19-time grand slam champion is necessarily steering his four children towards the game.
The world No.2 is perfectly happy to let eight-year-old twins Myla Rose and Charlene Riva make their own choices once they get into their teenage years, he said on the sidelines of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Australia.
In the meantime, the 36-year-old and his ex-pro wife Mirka are making sure that the girls – as well as younger twin brothers Lenny and Leo, aged four – at least get exposure to the sport of their parents as they grow up playing it for fun with their friends.
“I think it’s great for them to do sports early on in their life,” second seed Federer said after reaching the second week of the first major of the season, which he has won five times.
“It’s good for them. Winning, losing, that comes a little bit later, but you learn a lot from that – I did, anyway.”
He added: “I think also you make a lot of friends through sports, you get to know yourself a bit better. It’s healthy, you move around, you go outside. I’m a big believer in these things.
“I’m happy they all do play tennis a little bit because literally all our friends who have kids as well, they all play tennis.”
Federer said that while he won’t be the pushy parent who forces his offspring onto the court, he will support any of his children who might want to follow in his footsteps.
“I’m just a supportive parent. I can’t tell which direction they’re going to go. If there’s going to be anything in sports or somewhere in finance or business … I have no idea.”
Meanwhile, it’s recreational tennis in between school and travel around the world to daddy’s tournaments.
“I wouldn’t want my kids to be the only ones who don’t play tennis, so with my wife we have sort of a little requirement on things they have to do in their life, and tennis is, ‘unfortunately’, one of them.
“It’s not because we want them to. It’s because I think it would be a pity if they played no tennis at all.” – dpa