These are the facts for you about one of the world’s most renowned athletes of all time. Everyone knows of Roger Federer and most people know a lot about his career and achievements. To think the man is only 37 years old is an astonishing fact in itself, but it’s not an unknown one. These are the facts which you probably didn’t know about Roger Federer.
1. Federer lost his first match as a pro
Federer turned pro toward the end of 1998 at the age of 17. His first match was in a tournament in Gstaad, Switzerland, near to where he grew up. He lost in the first round to Lucas Arnold Ker. If Federer had been a boxer, then a defeat in the first match could possibly have been something he would never be able to recover from. Luckily, tennis is a lot more forgiving. Conversely, Lucas Arnold Ker, an Argentine now retired from professional tennis, never won a singles tournament during his career.
2. Federer’s Charity Work Is Nearly As Extensive As His Sporting Achievements
Federer has tirelessly worked to give back to a world that blessed him with unbridled natural talent. In 2004, he auctioned off the racket he used to win Wimbledon and donated all the proceeds to charities helping with relief work after Hurricane Katrina. In 2006 he organized rally for relief with other professional players in order to raise money for those affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
He staged a match in Switzerland between himself and Rafael Nadal called match for Africa, the game raised over four million dollars for charities that helped to provide education to children in South Africa in 2010. It’s estimated that Roger Federer’s proactive philanthropy has raised well over sixty million dollars for charitable causes.
3. Roger Fedrer Is A Doctor
In 2017, the University of Basel awarded Roger Federer with an honourable doctorate. He was given the title as a result of raising the reputation of his home city and country, so extensively on the international stage of competitive sport. T
The university also praised him for all the charitable work he’s done, to raise education standards for so many children in South Africa. It’s estimated that over 100,000 children have been provided with better education. The class of 2017 from the University of Bassel were extraordinarily lucky to have such an esteemed guest of honour after graduation.
4. Federer Could Have Been A Professional Footballer Too
Federer played a lot of sports growing up. His two favorites were tennis and soccer. His soccer coach at the time said, he was easily the best midfielder he had ever coached. He remarked that Federer had the brains to make it as one of the world’s best playmakers. However, at the age of 12, he decided to give up on all other sports and concentrate solely on tennis. He believed that his natural talent in this sport surpassed his abilities in soccer.
5. Federer Is One Of The Highest Earning Sportsmen Of All Time
Roger Federer prize money alone, currently stands at a staggering 19 million dollars. When you add this to all the lucrative sponsorship deals, his net worth becomes an astonishing total. He’s currently sponsored by Uniqlo, national Swiss, credit Swiss, Rolex Lindt, sunrise, mercedes-benz, Gillette, Barilla, and Moet and Chandon. It’s estimated he earns around 70 million dollars a year and his net worth is somewhere around 450 million dollars.
6. Federer Had Anger Management Problems In His Teenage Years
When Federer was young, he would have had major tantrums and outbursts of anger on the court. Tennis is as much a game of mental resilience as it is physical skill, what often holds back the best players is their inner demons. In an intimate interview, Federer said that everything changed at the age of 21 when his childhood coach and good friend died in a car crash in South Africa. This made him reassess his life and character. He grew in maturity and adopted a far more reserved and humble approach on the court. Many experts believe that this ability to control the mental side of his game, helped him to become the greatest tennis player of all time.
7. Federer Was Excused Of Military Service Due To Back Problems
It is compulsory for all Swiss citizens to complete a year of military service for their country. In 2003, having already been a pro tennis player for five years, he was selected for draft. However, he was deemed unfit due to back problems, instead he had to contribute 3% of his taxable income to the Swiss government. Many criticized the decision at the time, saying, Federer was given special treatment. The argument was that a man of Federer’s athletic prowess surely couldn’t be so physically impaired. However, 35% of all Swiss citizens are actually excused from military service because they are also deemed unfit.
The Swiss hold their army in high regard, they also have great respect for medical healthcare as well. Every young man is given a rigorous health check before being drafted to the army. Furthermore, soldiers are required to carry heavy packs on their back for long marches which creates a strain that is far different to anything experienced while playing tennis.
8. Federer Has 2 Sets Of Identical Twins
Federer has four children, both are sets of identical twins. In 2009, his wife, former tennis pro Mirka Vavrinec gave birth to identical twin girls. The couple named them Maya and Charlene. In 2014, Mirka fell pregnant again and I’m sure that happy parents were pleasantly surprised to find out the phenomenon had occurred again. This time, she gave birth to twin boys who were named Leo and Lenny. Interestingly enough though, Federer’s only sibling his sister Diane is also mother to twins.
9. Federer Has Been The World Number One For The Most Consecutive Weeks
Federer has been ranked at world number one for a total of 310 weeks so far in his career, 237 of those weeks came back to back from February 2004 to August 2008. He dwarfs his nearest opponents in the field quite magnificently. Pete Sampras is the second player to have held the number one spot were the longest with a total of 286 weeks, his longest back-to-back run was a measly 102. The only person that got anywhere near Federer’s record for consecutive weeks was Jimmy Connors. He held the number one spot for 160 weeks between July 1974 and August 1977.
10. Federer Has 3 Estates And Over 50 Cars
Federer has a lavish apartment in Dubai, estimated to be worth around five million dollars. He decided to buy the place after realizing it was a great location to train in order to get accustomed to playing in extreme heat. The average daily temperature in Dubai is 102 degrees Fahrenheit or almost 40 degrees Celsius.
He also has two properties in his native country of Switzerland, one is a modern ski chalet in the Swiss Alps, valued around 8 million dollars. The other is a penthouse apartment in Zurich, one of the most expensive cities to buy property in the world. Federer is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and therefore has an endless garage of their finest vehicles. He said, his favorite vehicle is the SLS AMG Roadster that goes from zero to 100 in 3.2 seconds and costs around a quarter of a million dollars brand-new.
11. 2018 Has Been A Record Breaking Year For Roger Federer
2018 was an incredible year of Renaissance for Roger Federer. At the age of 37, he’s still able to compete with the very best. He started the year with his best record of any previous season, winning 21 games in a row. He’s also won the Australian Open, but 2019 could see Federer moving even further into the distance as a record-breaking hero of all times. Pundits have praised his latest successes, saying that his patient intelligent style of play is the reason he can still compete with the best despite his advancing years.
12. Djokovic May Surpass Federer In The Future
On October 14, 2018, Djokovic won the final of the Shanghai Masters. His opponent was the Croatian Borna Coric, who he beat in straight sets 6-4 6-3. Federer had lost to Borna Coric in the semi-final but the prize money in this tournament means that Djokovic has now won more money than Federer during his career. Former pro Greg Rusedski writing for a British newspaper and said that “Djokovic had not only surpassed Federer in prize money earnings but also in the agility he’s displayed on the court.” Many believe that if Djokovic can show more consistency, he may be the man to break some of Federer’s outstanding records in the near future.
13. Federer Speaks Five Languages
Federer is not only one of the greatest athletes of our generation, he’s also a gifted linguist. He speaks German, French, and English completely fluently, while also being able to communicate effectively in Italian and Swedish. There is very little to do but admit the fact that Federer is an extremely special man in many ways, and he’s only 37 who knows what the future holds for this legendary man.
14. Federer Worked As A Ball Boy
Federer worked as a ball boy In 1992 and 1993, Federer worked as a ball boy at the Swiss Indoor Championships, near his hometown of fossil. Fun fact: If you search on YouTube, it’s possible to find the 12 year old Roger Federer running around collecting balls for his idols at the time. Stefan Edberg won the 1993 tournament, someone who Federer has always praised as a role model.
15. Roger Federer Brought About The Golden Age Of Tennis
Before Roger Federer, many would have said that Pete Sampras was the greatest tennis player of all time. However, he was never that consistent and often lost his cool on the court. Roger Federer personified great sportsmanship whilst breaking every record along the way. In turn, other modern greats such as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray have had to up their games exceedingly to even compete. This is why pundits are calling the current era, the twilight of the Golden Age of tennis. Federer raised the bar so high, the quality of competition we see today is largely down to his excellence.