Roger Federer is a legend in the world of Tennis and there’s no doubt about that. He has been dominating the tennis court since the time he came to Wimbledon as a junior player in 1998, where he won both the Singles and Doubles final by the way. He has won 20 Grand Slam Single titles and a total of about 101 career titles since then. Known for his packed smashes on the field, Federer has been ranked No.1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals in February 2004 and currently holds the 4th rank worldwide. Over the years he has been called a lot of things like ‘Greatest athlete of his generation’ and ‘Greatest male player of the Open Era’ but he is much more than those titles.
Born and brought up in Basel, Switzerland, he had a pretty normal life growing up. He started playing soccer and tennis at an early age but eventually, he gave up all the other sports and focused all his energy on tennis. He was a calm and composed kid who had difficulty controlling his emotions just like any other teen. He even went through a rebel teenage phase where he turned his hair yellow-white.
According to his parents, Robert and Lynette Federer, Roger knew he wanted to play tennis professionally since the beginning and he always worked in that direction. He showed the traits of a champion by the age of 11 when he became one of the top three tennis players in Switzerland. Just by the age of 14, he started playing tournaments and secured the National Junior Championship in Switzerland.
He met his wife Miroslava Federer while they were both competing for Switzerland at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and tied the knot 9 years later in April 2009. They had identical twin girls later the same year and then identical twin boys in 2014.
Being a philanthropist, Federer established the Roger Federer Foundation with the aim of helping disadvantaged kids get better and easy access to deserved education and sports. In 2004, he also supported the South African – Swiss charity IMBEWU which educates the kids on social and health awareness.
From paying personal visits to the kids who have benefitted from his outreach to auctioning his racquet from the US Open Championship in order to help the victims affected by Hurricane Katrina, Roger has been involved in many other social programs benefitting the needy and the poor. He even visited Tamil Nadu in 2004, the Indian state which was most badly affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. UNICEF appointed him as the Goodwill Ambassador in 2006 and has helped them raise public awareness of AIDS.
He also collaborated with his colleagues during the Australian Open in 2010 and organised a charity event called Hit for Haiti for the victims of Haiti earthquake. Recently, he received a doctorate from the University of Basel, in the recognition of his role in engaging with the African kids and guiding them towards a better life and future and also for giving Basel a global recognition.
Apart from being a humanitarian, Roger also has bagged a couple of brand endorsements. Apart from his sports endorsements brands like Nike and Wilson, he is also the brand ambassador of many high-end luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Moët, Lindt and many more. The best part about having a contract with Mercedes-Benz? He receives a new Merc every six months.
Apart from this, he also represents and promotes brands like Jura, Rolex, NetJets and Rimowa. His ten year long deal with Credit Suisse has benefitted his Foundation as well since the brand promised to make an annual contribution to the charity in order to help the disadvantaged African kids. He also made a 10 year long deal with Uniqlo right after his contract with Nike ended, which is estimated to be around $300 million.
To sum up, apart from finessing his tennis skills, Roger Federer is also constantly working towards bringing change in the society. He is not just one of the greatest athletes of all time, but is also a considerate human being who sees himself placed on a seat with responsibilities, and does his part to fulfil those responsibilities.
(Picture Credits – Instagram, @rogerfederer, @federerworld, @rogerfederer.foundation)