Roger Federer

Roger-Federer

Born on August 8, 1981, Roger Federer was among the Top 3 junior tennis players in Switzerland by the age of 11. He turned pro in 1998, and knocked out reigning champion Pete Sampras in the fourth round at Wimbledon 2001. Federer became the first Swiss man to win a Grand Slam title, when he won the Wimbledon 2003 singles. In 2004, he won the Australian Open, the U.S. Open and the ATP Masters, and retained the Wimbledon singles title. He also moved from the No. 2. spot to No. 1. In 2006, he won the Australian Open, his fourth successive Wimbledon singles title and his third successive U.S. Open. Federer held the No. 1 ranking from 2004 to 2008, regaining it in 2009—and several times thereafter, after frequent pushes by such rivals as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. In 2012, Federer defeated Djokovic in the Wimbledon semifinals, and beat Andy Murray to become the Wimbledon 2012 champion—Federer’s seventh Wimbledon win. The victory helped Federer regain the No. 1 spot, and tie the world No. 1 ranking record of 286 weeks (set by Pete Sampras).

sampras-federer

Federer has appeared in 24 men’s Grand Slam finals, with ten in a row, both records, and appeared in 18 of 19 finals from the 2005 Wimbledon Championships through to the 2010 Australian Open. He is the only man to reach at least the semifinals of 23 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, from the 2004 Wimbledon Championships through the 2010 Australian Open. At the 2013 Australian Open, he reached a record 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final and a record 33rd Grand Slam semi-final. He has also won the most matches, 252, in men’s Grand Slam tournaments. He also won the Olympic gold medal in doubles with his compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and the Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. He spent eight years (2003–2010) continuously in the top 2 in the year-end men’s rankings and ten (2003–2012) in the top 3. His rivalries with Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray making for a “Big Four”, are considered some of the greatest of all time, in what is increasingly described as a “golden era” of men’s tennis. Federer has won the ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favorite Award a record ten times straight (2003–2012) and the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award (voted for by the players) a record eight times (2004–2009, 2011–2012),both being awards indicative of respect and popularity. He also won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2006. In 2011, in a South African poll, he was voted the second most trusted and respected person in the world, next to Nelson Mandela.He was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record four consecutive years (2005–2008).Federer is at times referred to as the Federer Express,shortened to Fed Express or FedEx, and the Swiss Maestro,or just Maestro.

Early Life

Tennis star Roger Federer was born on August 8, 1981 in Basel, Switzerland, to Swiss father Robert Federer and South-African mother Lynette Du Rand. Federer’s parents met while on a business trip for a pharmaceutical company, where they both worked.

Federer took an interest in sports at an early age, playing tennis and soccer at the age of 8. The young athlete excelled at athletics, and by age 11, he was among the Top 3 junior tennis players in Switzerland. At the age of 12, he decided to quit other sports and focus all his efforts on tennis, which he felt he excelled at more naturally. By the age of 14, he was fully immersed in the game, playing 2-3 tournaments per month, and practicing six hours of the game a week, along with up to three hours of conditioning. To perfect his technique, he often imitated his idols, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg.

At age 14, Federer became the national junior champion in Switzerland, and was chosen to train at the Swiss National Tennis Center in Ecublens, and had his his first sponsorship by the age of 16. He joined the International Tennis Federation junior tennis circuit in July 1996. In 1998, shortly before he turned pro, Federer won the junior Wimbledon title and the Orange Bowl. He was recognized as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion of the year.

Personal Life

In 2009, Federer married Mirka Vavrinec, a former professional tennis player. That July, the couple became the parents of identical twin girls, Myla and Charlene. Federer lives with his family in Oberwil, Switzerland.

In 2003, Federer established the Roger Federer Foundation, which helps provide grants to poor countries that have child mortality rates of more than 15 percent, for education- and sports-related projects, among others.

Family

Federer is married to former Women’s Tennis Association player Mirka Vavrinec. He met her while both were competing for Switzerland in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Vavrinec retired from the tour in 2002 due to a foot injury.They were married at Wenkenhof Villa in Riehen near Basel on 11 April 2009, surrounded by a small group of close friends and family.On 23 July 2009, Mirka gave birth to identical twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva.

Roger with family

Philanthropy

Federer supports a number of charities. He established the Roger Federer Foundation along his mother Lynette in 2003 to help disadvantaged people and to promote sports. In 2005, he auctioned his racquet from his US Open championship to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.He was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF in 2006. At the 2005 Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Federer arranged an exhibition involving several top players from the ATP tour and WTA tour called Rally for Relief. The proceeds from the event went to the victims of the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Since then, he has visited South Africa and Tamil Nadu, one of the areas in India most affected by the tsunami. He has also appeared in UNICEF public messages to raise public awareness of AIDS. In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Federer arranged a collaboration with fellow top tennis players Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams, Lleyton Hewitt, and Sam Stosur to forgo their final day of preparation for the 2010 Australian Open to form a special charity event called Hit for Haiti, in which all proceeds went to Haiti earthquake victims. He was named a 2010 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in recognition of his leadership, accomplishments, and contributions to society.

Similar to the 2010 event, Hit for Haiti, Federer organized and participated in a charity match called Rally for Relief on 16 January 2011, to benefit those that were affected by the 2010–2011 Queensland floods.

Federer is currently no. 31 on Forbes top 100 celebrities as of May 2012.

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