Q&A With Tennis Star Roger Federer
BY STEPHANIE SAYFIE AAGAARD
Roger Federer has been called the best tennis player of all time, holding the number-one position for a record 237 consecutive weeks. Whether slamming a tennis ball at a zillion miles per hour or giving back via his foundation—which supports local relief organizations around the world—Federer gives everything his all. One of only two male players to have won all four Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces (clay, grass and hard courts) and fresh off another win at the 2010 Australian Open, he is now here on Key Biscayne for the fi fth-largest tennis tourney in the world, the Sony Ericsson Open.
STEPHANIE SAYFIE AAGAARD: Was it your dream to be a tennis superstar?
ROGER FEDERER: As a kid, I was always hoping to be a soccer player or a tennis player, performing on the biggest stages around the world.
Who have been your role models in the tennis world?
My idols growing up were Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Pete Sampras. As you can tell, I really enjoyed the serve-and-volleyers.
What do you do off-season?
The ATP season is long, so there isn’t much off-season. But when I do have free time I like to spend it with my wife and children and go to the beach or the mountains to unwind. Sometimes just lying down on a beach chair looking out onto the ocean is really nice.
What did you feel when you won the Olympic gold?
It was a very special moment because winning a gold medal was a lifelong goal of mine. It obviously feels good to win Grand Slams and other individual titles, but winning an Olympic gold is different because you are representing not only yourself but also your nation.
You are known for your fashionable ensembles. Who are your favorites?
I enjoy a lot of designers, including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton. Obviously, when I dress casually, I love my Nike gear.
Name your top three indulgences.
I don’t have that many indulgences, but I do enjoy Lindt chocolate, a great red wine and an occasional cheeseburger.
Congrats on the twins. What has it meant to you to become a dad for the first time?
It has been wonderful. It keeps you grounded and makes you realize there is more to life than tennis. No matter what happens on the court that day I always have my family waiting for me. Nothing could be more rewarding than becoming a father.
When did you feel you had really made it?
Probably when I won my first Wimbledon title in 2003. When any player wins a Grand Slam title they understand they are in some pretty elite company.
PHOTOS BY ZACH HYMAN/PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM