Roger Federer has hailed wife Mirka’s remarkable sacrifices for his career, revealing they may have broken up if she pursued her tennis career rather than retiring.
Roger and Mirka met at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney when they were playing tennis together for Switzerland.
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Mirka was a top-100 player but retired in 2002 due to persistent injuries.
Mirka would go on to become Federer’s manager before stepping down from that role to look after their four children.
“She has been wonderful in terms of support,” Federer told The Times recently.
“It was amazing how easily she walked away from tennis and retired, never really tried to come back.”
The Swiss Maestro couldn’t praise Mirka enough for her selfless act, forgoing her own tennis career to help him become one of the greatest players of all time.
Imitating Mirka, Federer said: “You know what, I’d rather have helped you have an amazing career (than) me having some kind of a career and we won’t see each other and we’ll grow unhappy and maybe we’ll break up because we won’t see each other enough.”
“We just love our time together and that’s still the case.”
Roger and Mirka married in 2009 and have since had two sets of twins – Myla and Charlene, 10, and Leo and Lenny, 6.
Mirka and the kids follow Federer all over the world to watch him play, constantly spotted courtside during his matches.
Roger and Mirka Federer, pictured here at the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews in 2017.
Roger and Mirka Federer attend the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews in 2017. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Federer targets 2021 return in front of crowds
Meanwhile, Federer says he hopes to play again in front of crowds as he targets his comeback from a knee injury in 2021.
Having beaten long-time rival Rafael Nadal in an exhibition match in Cape Town in February, in front of a record crowd of 52,000, Federer has not played since knee surgery at the end of that month.
He had another procedure on his right knee in June but hopes to return in 2021 even though he will turn 40 in August next year.
I want to come back healthy. We’ll see how long that lasts,” he told German weekly newspaper Die Zeit.
The Swiss ace says he has missed tennis more than ever since the coronavirus pandemic first hit and forced a shutdown of the sport in March.
“In the beginning it wasn’t like that,” he said.
“There was nothing we could do anyway, we were just especially glad that we weren’t ill and that all our friends and family were doing well.
“But now I miss it, I’d love to be in a full stadium again.”
After a career which has yielded eight Wimbledon titles in a total of 20 grand slams, the last of which was the 2018 Australian Open, Federer knows his career is drawing to a close.
“I’m going miss it when I retire,” he added, but hoped fans will eventually be allowed to watch live tennis in stadiums again despite COVID-19.
“It’ll come back. We just have to be patient now.”