Articles, Blog

Roger Federer at age 19 | Before They Were Superstars

August 22, 2019

I started playing
when I was six years old. Then, when I was 14, I moved
to the National Tennis Centre. I had to speak French there,
so it was quite tough at times, but I think it was good for me. And then when I was 16,
everything happened so fast. I did well at New York
and Wimbledon, and before I knew it, I was
ranked inside the top 100. In 2001, Roger Federer
was in the early stages of his professional career. The 19-year-old
was travelling the world playing tournaments
for 11 months of the year, which left little time to spend at home in Switzerland
with his family. I’ve been very lucky with my
family. They’ve helped me so much. They supported me in every way
they could, emotionally and financially. I wanted to follow a certain
path and do things my own way, and they completely accepted
that and let me just get on
with it. For me, it’s always fun
when he’s at home. He livens things up
around the house. He’s always joking around
with his sister, and there just seems to be a whole lot more going on
when he’s at home. At this stage of his career,
Roger was yet to win a major, but he had broken into the top
20, and many in the tennis world were predicting that he’d be
a future world number one. It’s great to receive
these kinds of compliments. But I have to say
that throughout my career, when I won Junior Wimbledon, for example, people said
similar things. But at the end of the day, you have to show that you’re
worthy of the praise and actually produce the
results. Federer’s sporting talent
wasn’t just confined to tennis. He was also
an accomplished footballer. But aged 12, he gave up
playing the game seriously to concentrate on tennis. However, as a lifelong
supporter of his local club, FC Basel, the “beautiful game”
remained close to his heart. Yeah, you always dream
about how amazing it would be to score a goal here. But when I was 12, I had to choose between tennis
and football, and I chose tennis. So, what did a young Roger hope
to achieve in the next couple of years? Well, I’m 20 in August,
so in two years, I’ll be 22. Maybe winning a Grand Slam?
That would be nice! I’d like to be ranked inside
the top ten, or even the top five. There are lots of things
I’d like to achieve. But the most important thing
is to keep working hard, and then if I can achieve those
goals, that would be fantastic.

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