Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Saturday, September 23, 2024
Surround sound came to Rogers Arena.
Fans wrapped Roger Federer with a roaring welcoming embrace as he walked out to conduct the coin toss before Laver Cup doubles on Friday night.
The 42-year-old Federer felt the love and shared an update with fans on life after tennis and his future plans in a post-match interview with Hall of Famer Jim Courier.
These days the driving force behind Laver Cup is a driver.
At home in Switzerland, Federer drives his two sets of twins—daughters Charlene Riva and Myla Rose and sons Lenny and Leo—to their tennis lessons (all four Federer kids play with two-handed backhands unlike their famous father and former WTA pro mom Mirka) and various activities.
“I’m a professional driver nowadays and an organizer and a logistics man,” a smiling Federer said of his dad duties. “It’s definitely a test on a complete other level.
“It’s a really intense beautiful life that I’m living right now with the children and Mirka were having the best time really. A lot of things going on. I feel like I’m finally controlling my schedule now.”
Though Federer confessed his kids often blow off his tennis coaching advice—”I’m not the coach, I am the dad, and the dad’s advice, as we know, only goes so far,” Federer told CNN— the children sometimes serve as coaches for their parents. Federer related how his daughter, Myla, convinced him to join buddy Chris Martin and his band Coldplay on stage at a London show before his return to Wimbledon last summer.
“Chris Martin writes me and says ‘Do you want to help us perform one of the songs?’ ” Federer said. “I was sitting at dinner and read the message to my wife, and two daughters and some friends and they were like ‘Oh my God, you’ve got to do it!’
“Myla, my daughter looks at me and goes ‘Papa, Go! You only live once…So I finished my music career on top because I just retired from music as well.”
Reflecting on his poignant parting from tennis at the 2022 Laver Cup in London where he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with rival Rafa Nadal in a tearful Fedal farewell, the Swiss Maestro said it was perfect ending to a storied career.
“It’s great to be back at the Laver Cup one year later and if I look back at the memories, I thought the farewell was beautiful, it was perfect, it was emotional, there was proper suffering going on throughout my talk with you,” Federer told Jim Courier.
Though he’s enjoying a fulfilling life after tennis, Federer shared what he misses most about the sport: All of it, especially engaging with friends and fans all over the world.
“Of course I do. In a way, I miss everything about the game,” Federer told Courier. “The exciting moments spent on court. The break points saved, winning match points, holding up trophies, walking past fans taking selfies—it’s all part of one big happy family on the tour.”
The extended tennis family can expect Federer to drop in for visits at tournaments on occasion in the future.
“I still have those moments from time-to-time: when I went to Wimbledon or to Halle. I’ve made myself a promise that I will be no stranger to the tour, that I will try to comeback from time to time,” Federer told Jim Courier. “Not all the time, but from time to time. And that’s why I’m so happy to be here as well.
“Also it’s been beautiful to be home more. I’ve been traveling, I’ve been busy, but it’s great to don’t have the weight of another match, another practice where maybe the body’s not right. Just spending time with friends and family has been an incredible year, honestly.
“But sure I do miss a lot of the places where I used to travel to regularly and we used to have the best time. Can’t have it all, but I’ve had it for 25 years and it was incredible. And I would do it all over again but it came to end in a great way.”
Rival Rafa Nadal brought a smile to Federer’s face making a video cameo with this question:
Current Laver Cup captains Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe have both said their tenures are coming to a close either this season or next. Borg asked Federer directly if he will serve as his successor and the five-time US Open champion said he’s looking forward to it someday.
“That position is so locked by you forever,” Federer told Borg. “And yes, I mean why not one day?
“I don’t think right away, but I’m absolutely open to the thought … just want to give back to the game in any shape or form.”
The 20-time Grand Slam champion fulfilled a dream this year celebrating the 20th anniversary of his Roger Federer Foundation with a family trip to South Africa. Federer’s mom, Lynette, is South African.
The Swiss Maestro who have fans so many thrills on court is committed to continuing giving back through his foundation. Federer, who addressed the United Nations last week on behalf of educational efforts for children, vowed we will still see him around the sport.
“Obviously, I’ve done a lot with the foundation, as always. I’ve just been to the U.N. as well fighting for early learning this last Monday,” Federer said. “That’s something I enjoy a lot. That’s something that’s definitely going to be my life in 25 years in some shape and form to be able to give back…
“I’m looking forward to what’s next and some tennis has to be sprinkled in there, somehow. So I’ll be around and I’ll see you again.”
Photo credit: Laver Cup Facebook