Biographies - Roger Federer
Image Source: Roger Federer at Wikimedia Commons
|Roger Federer |
|Born: August 8, 1981|
Swiss professional tennis player who was ranked #1 in the world in the mid-2000's.
Federer grew up 10 minutes from Basel proper, in suburban Münchenstein. His father, Robert, met Rogers South-African-born mother, Lynette, while on a business trip for Ciba-Geigy, South Africa (they both still work for the pharmaceutical giant). Roger has an elder sister, Diana, who is a nursing student. He speaks three languages (German, French and English) fluently and conducts press conferences in all of them.
He currently resides in Oberwil, Switzerland. He is dating former WTA player and fellow Swiss Miroslava Vavrinec (Mirka), who retired from the game in 2002 after a foot injury. The two met at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Federer spends his off-court time playing cards, cricket, ping pong, other sports and sitting on the beach.
He co-established the Roger Federer Foundation in December 2003, whose goals include funding projects that benefit disadvantaged children, primarily in South Africa. In January 2005, he encouraged efforts from tennis players for the Tsunami-affected people, saying he would play as many matches as possible in tournaments organized to raise funds for the Tsunami victims and auctioned off his autographed rackets to raise funds for UNICEFs relief operations.
Federer also launched a fragrance and cosmetics line called RF Cosmetics in October of 2003.
Roger Federer started playing tennis at the age of eight. He spent hours playing softball tennis on the street or hitting tennis balls against the wall in the local club. He also practised football and was undecided about which sport he liked better until he turned twelve, when he chose tennis as the sport to focus on. At the age of fourteen, he became the Swiss Junior champion for all age groups and subsequently relocated to the Swiss National Tennis Center at the French-speaking part of Switzerland for more focused training. The training continued until he finished school at the age of sixteen and began playing more international junior tournaments.
1998 was Federers last year in the Junior circuits; he won the Wimbledon Juniors title and the prestigious year-ending Orange Bowl. He finished the year as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion. Earlier in July, 1998, he had joined the ATP tour.
In 1999, he debuted for the Swiss Davis Cup team. He finished the year inside ATPs top 100 ranked players, the youngest ever to do so.
In 2000, he reached the semi-finals in the Sydney Olympics, but lost the bronze-medal match. He also reached the finals in Basel and Marseille but did not win either of them.
In February, 2001, Federer won his first ATP tournament in Milan. He also won 3 matches for his country in the Davis Cup in a 3-2 victory over the United States. He advanced to the quarterfinals at both the French Open and Wimbledon. En route to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, he defeated defending champion Pete Sampras in the fourth round. This match marked the emergence of Federer as a prominent player on the tour. He finished the year ranked 13th.
In 2002, Federer started with a tournament victory at Sydney. In February, he won both his Davis Cup singles against former world number ones, Russians Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. He reached his first Masters Series final in Miami, only to be beaten by Andre Agassi. In May, he got a second opportunity to win his first Masters Series tournament in Hamburg, which he did, defeating Marat Safin in the final. However, he subsequently lost in the 1st round at both the French Open and Wimbledon. He also lost his long-time Australian coach Peter Carter in a car crash in August and subsequently performed poorly at the U.S. Open. Later in the year he earned 6th place in the ATP Race and qualified for the first time in the prestigious year-ending Tennis Masters Cup, where he lost in the semi-finals against the then-top tennis player Lleyton Hewitt in three sets.
Federer started 2003 by winning 2 tournaments in a row in Dubai and Marseille. He won in Munich without losing a set but fell out of the French Open again in the first round, this time against Luis Horna. On July 6, 2003, he became the first Swiss man to win the Wimbledon championship, defeating Australias Mark Philippoussis in the final while dropping only one set during the entire tournament. He also won four Davis Cup matches during the year to lead Switzerland to the semi-finals. He finished 2003 by winning the Tennis Masters Cup at Houston and ranking second in the ATP tour race. In December he parted ways with Peter Lundgren, his coach for four years.
In 2004, Federer had what has been arguably one of the best years in modern mens tennis, winning three of the four Grand Slam titles. He began by winning the Australian Open for the first time, defeating Marat Safin. In May, he won the Hamburg Masters on clay by beating Guillermo Coria. He then defended his Wimbledon crown, overcoming Andy Roddick in a rain-affected final. Federer also won the Gstaad tournament on clay and the Toronto Masters Series. In September, he defeated Lleyton Hewitt 6-0,7-6(3), 6-0 in a one-sided final at the US Open for the years third Grand Slam. He finished the year by taking the Tennis Masters Cup at Houston for the second time in a row. His overall record for the year was a win-loss record of 74-6 and 11 tournament wins.
Throughout 2004 Federer did not have a coach, relying instead on his fitness trainer, Pierre Paganini, physiotherapist Pavel Kovac, and a management team composed of his parents, his girlfriend, Mirka, and a few friends. For 2005, Federer arranged for former Australian tennis player Tony Roche to coach him on a limited basis.
2005 began with his defeat in the Australian Open semi-final by Marat Safin in a five-set match that lasted more than four hours. Federer went on to win his next four tournaments, including the years first two ATP Masters Series titles at Indian Wells and Miami. He won his third Hamburg Masters clay court title in May, and entered the French Open as one of the favourites. He lost at the semi-final stage in four sets to Rafael Nadal. Federer went on to defend his grass court title at Halle. Federer won the Wimbledon Championship for the third successive year by defeating Andy Roddick of the United States. At that Wimbledon final, Federer struck 49 winners and only 12 unforced errors.
Federer again won the Wimbledon singles final in 2007.