Federer: The Adventures of a Caddy
No matter how reluctant the fans are, it is still the last battle of Roger Federer’s career. On the evening of September 23, 2022, at the O2 Arena in London, the 41-year-old Federer partnered with his long-time opponent Nadal to complete a doubles match in the Laver Cup. Although the “Feiner Combination” was reversed by their opponents when they won a set first, “Yi Shi Yu Liang”, who has already entered the twilight of his career, fighting side by side at this moment is as beautiful as a fairy tale.
From being young and frivolous to calm and low-key, to the tenacity shown in the face of professional troughs such as injuries, Federer has shown the world the growth path of a sports icon who constantly surpasses himself. Since his debut in men’s professional tennis in 1998, Federer has won 20 Grand Slam titles and 103 tour singles titles. He has been ranked No. 1 in the world for 237 consecutive weeks. Well known tennis symbol. In his retirement letter, he wrote: “The past 24 years have been an incredible adventure. Sometimes it feels like this journey only lasted 24 hours, but it feels like a full and magical life has been spent.” ”
I Is it really fit for tennis?”
Like all adventure stories, the original hero is always ordinary until awakened by a dream. Federer was just an ordinary caddy in his hometown of Basel when he developed a love for tennis. “I watched the players play with curiosity. They were like ‘giants’ to me at that time, and my dream began.” On August 8, 1981,
Federer was born in a middle-class family in Basel, Switzerland. Federer first swung a tennis racket when his parents played at a local tennis club when he was 3 years old, but tennis was only one of the family’s recreational interests.
In 1994, Federer was a ball boy at the Basel Indoor Championships. At that time, tennis star Ferrer was the champion of the Basel Indoor Championships. After the game, he shook hands and took photos with every caddie. Later, Federer became a doubles partner with him, and he showed Ferrer the photos of the year, “He couldn’t believe his eyes.”
When he was a teenager, Federer showed great talent in both tennis and football, and he hesitated for a while which one to choose. To this day, he still remembers the score of his first tennis match – 0:6, 0:6. “Am I really suitable for playing tennis?” Such confusion once lingered in his mind. Fortunately, the experience of close contact with tennis players made him choose the former.
The growth of a teenager is not achieved overnight. Today Federer is loved by fans for his classical and elegant style of play, calm and elegant manner, but in his youth he was a “problem boy” on the court. At that time, he would throw a tantrum because he didn’t hit the ball he wanted, slapping, yelling, and complaining.
Pete Carter was the man who pushed Federer to restrain his temperament and unearth his talent. The Australian former pro became Federer’s first tennis coach when he was 9 years old. Carter not only taught Federer tennis skills, but also paid great attention to the cultivation of his character and etiquette. Later, even though Carter no longer served as his own coach, Federer would often seek help from his mentor.
In August 2002, Carter died unexpectedly. For Federer, it was both a heavy blow and a wake-up call. “He wouldn’t want me to waste my talents. His death sounded a wake-up call for me, and I started to train harder.” In Wimbledon the next year, Federer won his
first Grand Slam title, officially opening own era. On February 2, 2004, Federer became the world’s No. 1 men’s singles player for the first time, and stayed in that position for 237 consecutive weeks, setting the longest consecutive record in the Open era. In the next 4 years, Federer was almost invincible, winning 11 Grand Slam trophies and 3 year-end finals.
Ballerina on the Tennis Court
People love Federer not only because of his skill, but also because of the way he plays. On the court, his gestures seem to have been aesthetically designed, elegant and calm, just like performing ballet.
In the early 2000s, some tennis figures co-authored an open letter lamenting the growing dullness of tennis. A few days after this letter was released, Federer won the Wimbledon crown for the first time. Tennis player Boris Becker, who participated in the signing of the open letter, declared: “The future begins today.” His powerful swing, light pace, and comprehensive and stable style of play bring the classical style of play back to the modern arena.
Watching Federer’s game, people have a feeling of admiring the beauty of sports, rather than pure fierce confrontation, which takes tennis to another dimension. Andrea Godenz, president of the Professional Tennis Federation, said: “Roger brought millions of fans into the sport and raised the profile of tennis.” Before Federer, tennis belonged to professional players; After Federer, tennis belongs to the whole world.
But tennis is not ballet after all. As a competitive sport, it has its own cruel side. The 2008 Wimbledon men’s singles final is regarded as one of the greatest matches in men’s tennis. The “Fena match” between Federer and Nadal brought the god-like story of Federer’s early career back to the cruelty of competitive sports to some extent. One side: Losing is the norm in competitive sports. By the end of the match, it was twilight at Wimbledon. Federer sat on the sidelines desolately. This was his first loss in a Wimbledon final, which also showed that his absolute dominance over tennis no longer exists.
In 2013, Federer suffered a rare disastrous defeat, failing to reach any Grand Slam finals for the first time since 2002. The most tragic scene occurred in 2016, when Federer slipped and his racket fell out of his hands in the Wimbledon semi-finals – the great Swiss king lying on the court with nothing in his hands. This picture is known as the portrayal of the end of Federer’s career.
During the trough period of his career, Federer did not stop at the same place, but kept trying to change and innovate. At the 2015 US Open, he showed off his new technique “Roger Sneak”. An “senior” player still dares to take risks and innovate after he has gone through his peak period, which is enough to prove Federer’s love for tennis.
During this period, he also had to battle injuries. Due to intense training and competition, Federer has been enduring frequent injuries. Knee surgery in 2016 once made the outside world think that his career was nearing the end. But Federer didn’t want to give up. He did everything that was conducive to returning to the top: reducing competitions, spreading out training time… After
returning from injury in 2017 and 2018, he was over 35 years old and won the Australian Open twice. Wang won the championship and was once again crowned No. 1 in the world, showing his tenacity and tenacity to the world. Paganini, Federer’s physical trainer, said: “Roger is an artist who knows how to fight. Just like ballet, it looks effortless to show elegance and balance, but it is actually very strenuous.
In 2019, Federer continued to struggle with injuries, underwent repeated operations, and did not let go of any possibility of returning to the court. However, it was a swan song to play again: “I tried to recover to the best condition, but I also knew my physical capabilities and limits. , the signal it conveyed to me reminds me that I am 41 years old.” Despite all his persistence, Federer had to usher in the day of letting go. In fact, the content he has shown on social platforms since 2022 has gradually been transferred to family and other careers.
Federer values his family and is a responsible husband and loving father. He and his wife have twin daughters and twin sons. When playing on tour, Federer always takes his family with him. In order to alleviate the discomfort caused by frequent hotel changes to the children, he will keep the same way of placing toys. He also invites team members to play when he is not with family or friends. He once said: “Whether in a hotel or at home, I like to open the door.” Federer is also enthusiastic about public welfare. He established his own foundation, which is mainly dedicated to improving the living conditions of African children. In his spare time, Federer sometimes goes to these areas to be with the children in person. The children don’t know who Federer is. In their eyes, he is just a funny uncle who can hold a banana under his nose as a beard. In recognition of Federer’s efforts to improve children’s lives, in 2006, UNICEF awarded him the title of “Goodwill Ambassador”.
Federer also spent a lot of energy building his own tennis kingdom and established an operating company. The “Laver Cup” is a young tournament he initiated.
Therefore, no matter what kind of life Federer starts in the future, it will still be inextricably linked with tennis after all. Perhaps as he himself said, deep down in his heart, he will always be that little caddy, always looking forward to the moment when he goes on the court. He said: “This is a perfect journey, and I am willing to start all over again.”