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“You always want to win. That is why you play tennis, because you love the sport and try to be the best you can at it.” – Roger Federer

Roger Federer has won the Grand Slam 19 times, and is poised to go down in history as one of the best tennis players the world has ever seen. Here are 41 facts about the tennis champion:


41. Multi-National

Roger Federer was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1981 to Lynette and Robert Federer. His mother is from South Africa, and his father is from Switzerland. His parents met while Robert was on a trip to South Africa, and they now both work for pharmaceutical companies. Since his parents are from two countries, Federer was able to get citizenship to both Switzerland and South Africa.

Roger Federer facts

40. It’s In the Genes

Roger’s mother Lynette was very athletic when she was in high school in Johannesburg. She played netball, participated in track and field, and seriously competed in field hockey before consistent leg injuries kept her from progressing further in the sport.

Roger Federer facts

39. Determination

Federer started playing tennis when he was 8 years old, although at the time he also dabbled in other sports such as badminton and basketball. By the time he was 11 years old he was already the top junior tennis player. After this outstanding year, Federer decided to focus all of his athletic effort on tennis.

Roger Federer facts

38. Veggies, Please

Until he was 16, Federer was a vegetarian.

Roger Federer facts

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37. Hidden Talent

Federer can also play the piano; he took lessons as a child.

Roger Federer facts

He sings also!

36. Teen Dream

As a serious teen player, Federer participated in 2 tournaments per month, traveling with his parents to different cities in order to compete with the best players in his league. The work paid off: at fourteen, he became the national champion of all groups in Switzerland.

Roger Federer facts

35. Reach for the Stars

Roger’s parents didn’t push him very hard at tennis, but his father Robert did say one thing that possibly put his son on the professional track. Robert said that if Roger truly wanted to keep playing tennis, he should aim to be at least in the top 100 players, so that he could start getting paid, instead of paying to enter tournaments and travel. Roger took this advice seriously, and by 2004 he was already in the number 2 spot. By 2005, he was number 1.

Roger Federer facts

34. Jumping the Gun

He became pro in 1998, but he had already won Wimbledon and the Orange Bowl as a Junior before even being considered a professional tennis player.

Roger Federer facts

33. Start Strong

Federer has said that believes serving is the most difficult part of tennis, because it needs extreme coordination to be done right. As a kid, he knew that serving was his weak point, and he purposely used his forearm more in order to gain strength.

Roger Federer facts

32. Spotlight

Roger Federer was once asked how he felt about becoming famous. He said that sometimes he enjoys it a lot, like when he gets invited to red carpet events. Other times, it feels really strange for random people to recognize him and start following him around. He has also said that other celebrities tend either completely love fame, or totally reject and hate it—for him, however, it’s somewhere in-between.

Roger Federer facts

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31. Around the World

Federer has played tennis tournaments in 23 countries overall and has won tournaments in a total of 15 countries; he is truly one of the best athletes in the world.

Roger Federer facts

Australian open 

30. Surpassing His Hero

Growing up, Roger Federer looked up to Pete Sampras, who had 14 Grand Slam titles during his career. Federer broke this record—a long time goal of his—at Wimbledon in 2009, and has continued to rack up Grand Slams.

Roger Federer facts

29. Alter Ego

Federer gets interviewed in multiple languages, and he says that for some reason, he feels like he creates characters or personas during these interviews, depending on what language is being spoken. It forced him to analyze himself a lot, and get to know himself better in different languages.

Roger Federer facts

28. Pasta

He says that Italian is his favorite type of food, especially when he gets to eat it in Rome. Funnily enough, he also has a brand deal with Barilla Pasta and the company even made him personalized pasta noodles.

Roger Federer facts

27. Keeping Time

In 2003, Federer landed his first luxury watch endorsement deal with Maurice Lacroix. When he signed with the brand, however, Rolex competed with the company and persuaded Federer to switch to their products—Rolex paid him $15 million for his ad deal.

Roger Federer facts

26. Rocking Out

His favorite band is AC/DC.

Roger Federer facts

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25. Besties

Roger Federer is good friends with the professional golf player Tiger Woods.

Roger Federer facts

24. Sign of the Cross

Roger Federer’s parents raised him to be a Roman Catholic, and the tennis player met Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.

Roger Federer facts

23. Clean Shave

In another brand deal, Federer has been starring in commercials for Gillette razors since 2007.

Roger Federer facts

22. Pumped Up Kicks

In 2008, Nike signed him on possibly his biggest endorsement deal ever: When you see him play, Federer is head-to-toe in Nike gear. His contract guarantees the partnership for 10 years and is worth $120 million. Nike and Federer also released a line of clothes called the Roger Federer Collection.

Roger Federer facts

21. World Traveler

He says that he doesn’t get time off for a proper family vacation, so he has to plan his holidays around wherever he is going to play a tennis tournament. Whenever he is in a new country, he can usually take a couple days off to relax and do touristy things.

Roger Federer facts

20. One with Nature

When he isn’t playing tennis, Federer loves to go hiking. On his Instagram, he often includes photos of his hikes through the famous Swiss Alps.

Roger Federer facts

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19. Til Death Do Us Part

Roger Federer married Mirka Vavrinec in 2009. She was also a professional tennis player; they met in 2000 when they were both competing for Switzerland at the Olympics in Sydney, Australia. After getting to know each other for two weeks, they had their first kiss on the last day of the Olympics. The rest is history!

Roger Federer facts

18. Twinning

Federer and Vavrinec have not just one, but two sets of twins. They have two girls—Myla and Charlene—and two boys—Leo and Lenny. Twins run in the family: Roger’s older sister Diana is also a mother to a set of twins.

Roger Federer facts

17. His Number One

Even though he’s a tennis star, family is still the top priority in Federer’s life. When he first had his twin girls, he said that he actually enjoyed waking up in the middle of the night to change diapers because, “it’s the things you do.”

Roger Federer facts

16. Rivals

One of his top rivals in tennis is Rafael Nadal, from Spain. They have played each other 37 times to date; Nadal has beaten Federer on clay courts 13-2, but Federer edges out Nadal on hard courts 10-9 and grass 2-1. The two swap top ranks regularly.

Roger Federer facts

15. Personalized

In addition to his personalized Barillo pasta, Roger Federer gets custom-made tennis rackets from premier tennis company Priority One.

Roger Federer facts

14. Milking It

When he won the Swiss Open in 2003, Federer was given an odd prize: A milking cow named Juliet. In 2013, he was gifted a second cow named Desiree. He was also given another cow named Desiree when he won again. He gave the cows to dairy farmers because he wasn’t exactly sure what to do with them.

Roger Federer facts

13. Fragrance by Federer

He has his own cologne brand, “RF,” which are simply his initials.

Roger Federer facts

12. Serious Financial Backing

Switzerland is famous for its banking system, so it only makes sense that Credit Suisse wanted to get in on Federer’s advertisement deals. Business Insider estimates that he made $20 million on that deal.

Roger Federer facts

11. Nice Ride

Federer is an ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, so naturally he drives their cars. He has multiple Mercedes in his personal car collection, including the E-Class Cabriolet, which is worth roughly $75,000.

Roger Federer facts

10. Philanthropy

The Roger Federer Foundation has raised over $40 million in charity in order to better educate children in both South Africa and Switzerland.

Roger Federer facts

9. The Big Bucks

According to Forbes, Federer is worth $64 Million. He won millions in prize money, but at least $40 million would have gone to taxes. He also makes money from his many brand deals, so there is a possibility that his net worth could be higher. According to Business Insider’s updates from 2017, his net worth is closer to $320 million.

Roger Federer facts

8. SABR

One of his signature moves on the tennis court has been nicknamed “The Sneak Attack By Roger” (SABR for short), which is an aggressive backhand side that most of his opponents never see coming.

Roger Federer facts

7. Ad-Friendly

In 2016, Roger Federer topped the London School of Marketing’s Most Marketable Athletes list. Federer’s talent, charity work, and staying power on the courts helped to land him the number one spot.

Roger Federer facts

6. Enjoy the Success

Roger Federer owns luxury penthouses in cities across the world, including Dubai and Valbella, Switzerland. He also has a luxury mansion on Lake Zurich, which cost over $8 million.

Roger Federer facts

5. Tragedy

While Federer is known for playing with humility, professionalism, and calmness, it wasn’t always so. Most fans don’t know that teenage Federer was, like most adolescents, a bit more hot headed. David Law, a former ATP communications manager, discussed in an interview with the Herald Sun how 16-year-old Federer used to break down and throw his racket during matches.

At age 21, Federer received a heart-breaking wakeup call when his former coach, Peter Carter, died in a car accident in 2002. According to David Law, the event devastated Federer and also “made Federer grow up incredibly quickly.  because I don’t think he’d ever had to think about mortality before. It stopped him in his tracks and it caused him problems for a long time in terms of dealing with it, dealing with the grief.”

To say that from that point forward Federer was a more level-headed, focused player is an understatement: he Wimbeldon in 2003 before capturing three Grand Slams the following year.

Roger Federer facts

4. Style Icon

In 2016, GQ Magazine called him “The Most Stylish Man.” He is known for wearing bright colors when he plays rather than the traditional plain white tennis outfits. He is also close friends with Anna Wintour, Vogue‘s Editor-in-chief.

Roger Federer facts

3. Ouch

In 2016, Roger Federer sustained a knee injury that barred him from playing tennis for most of the year. Because these kinds of injuries become more and more difficult to recover from, many players begin to think about retirement around their 30s. Federer is currently 36 and a senior in the tennis world.

Roger Federer facts

2. Plans to Move On

Given the early retirement age of many pro tennis players, many of them still continue to teach private lessons at country clubs after their championship careers are over. If they are rich enough to stop working, they often spend their time sitting in the audience courtside. Federer doesn’t want to do that; he says that he can live without tennis being a part of his life.

Roger Federer facts

1. Still Going Strong

In 2017, Federer came back from his injury to win Wimbledon for the 8th time. At 35 years old, he is the oldest man to ever win the title—he may continue to compete for years to come.

Roger Federer facts

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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