Five Off-Court Attributes That Make Roger Federer Truly Great
Roger Federer
Roger Federer (Photo: AP/Altered by The Quint)

Five Off-Court Attributes That Make Roger Federer Truly Great

Roger Federer, who turns 37 on Wednesday, certainly proved to the world that he is far from done from tennis after winning his twentieth Grand Slam title in Melbourne earlier this year.

After defeating Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the final, the Swiss maestro had become the second oldest man in the open era to win a Grand Slam.

We all know that he has had success because of a near-perfect technique and moves around the court swiftly.

But there’s another side to Roger Federer, which maybe the main reason behind his greatness.

Here’s a look at the five things which makes the great Roger Federer on his birthday.

1. Great Thinking

For any sportsperson, his or her mindset on going about their business is as important as playing the sport on the court. And Federer gave an insight to his great thinking when, in an interview, he said:

I think I am more on the part where I love winning and the other guys are in the ‘I hate losing bit’, you know.
Roger Federer

It makes a huge difference when a player walks on to the court thinking he wants to win, rather than thinking he doesn’t want to lose.

Winning is all that matters for Federer, and therefore he has a clear mind whenever he walks onto the court.

2. Gracious in Victory

Andy Roddick falls during the 2009 Wimbledon final.
Andy Roddick falls during the 2009 Wimbledon final.
(Photo: Reuters)

Greatness is not just about the number of titles one wins or how big a player one is, but it’s also about how a player handles victory.

It’s very easy for anybody to celebrate in full throttle, without thinking about how the opponent is feeling.

After the 2009 Wimbledon final, Federer decided to have a low-key celebration with his team in the locker room because he knew that his opponent, Andy Roddick, was going through a tough time. The American lost a thrilling five-setter 7-5, 6-7, 6-7, 6-3, 14-16.

Roger Federer spoke about the day in an interview to Roddick on FOX Sports (video above).

The moment was probably tougher for you (Andy Roddick) than it was happier for me. I think it’s so important to respect your fellow athletes and competitors. That was a totally normal thing for me to do and nothing extraordinary.
Roger Federer

3. Family Man

A few anecdotes and reactions shows what a great family man Federer is. It’s not only about titles for the player, but he’s always there for his family as well.

A day before his Australian Open (2017) third round match against Tomas Berdych, Federer’s kids brought ice-cream for him, and the maestro (who certainly flexed his diet, which sportsperson eats ice-cream before a big match, right?) obliged the offer.

And after his third round match over Mischa Zverev at Wimbledon in 2017, Federer made it clear that he will stop playing tennis, once his wife Mirka wants to stop travelling.

If she said, you know, I don’t want to travel no more, I’ll say, Okay, my career is over. It’s as simple as that.
Roger Federer as quoted by Metro

After winning the Wimbledon title this year, Federer couldn’t hold back and burst into tears when he saw his entire family in the players’ box.

4. Sponsor For First International Coach’s Parents

In 2002, Federer had to deal with a terrible tragedy, when his first international coach Peter Carter (Australian) died in a car crash in South Africa.

The 19-time Grand Slam champion can never forget what he has learnt from Peter Carter, and therefore, he has been sponsoring first-class tickets, food and so on for his first international coach’s parents during the Australian Open, every year since 2005.

The parents Bob and Diana Carter sit in Federer’s box every time he plays a match in the first Grand Slam of the year.

5. Didn’t Forget Stefan Edberg

When Roger Federer met his former coach Stefan Edberg after winning the Wimbledon title this year, he asked Edberg to hold the Wimbledon trophy for sometime.

It was only fitting for him to do that because Federer has to give a lot of credit to Edberg for this second wing in his illustrious career.

Under Edberg’s guidance during 2014 and 2015, Federer was more aggressive, which helped him to win many matches.

The Swiss reached three Grand Slam finals with Edberg as coach, but couldn’t go on to win any.

(This piece is being republished from The Quint’s archives for Roger Federer’s 37th birthday. It was originally published on 17 July 2017.)

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