The mark of by Roger Federer tennis career was his remarkable success on the court, but did you know he didn’t win any titles until he met his wife Mirka?
And did you know how and where the Swiss legend met her?
Luckily for Federer, tennis led him to find the love of his life, and now wife of 13 years with whom he shares four children.
After announcing his retirement from the sport last week, we look back at an introduction 22 years ago that would forever change Federer’s life on and off the pitch.
Miroslava “Mirka” Federer is a former professional tennis player who represented Switzerland at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Photo courtesy of 2017 Getty Images
How did Federer and his wife meet?
The magic moment happened at Sydney 2000 Olympicswhere Swiss tennis players and wrestlers shared accommodation in the Olympic Village.
It had become apparent that 18-year-old Federer was in love with another tennis player Miroslava ‘Mirka’ Vavrinecwho was 21 years old.
But the painfully shy future star needed the help of his teammates to introduce himself.
But everything went according to plan and years later Federer revealed that they shared their first kiss on the last day of the event.
“We spent two weeks together in those dorms. We were with the wrestlers and all the other cool athletes. I guess over the two weeks we built some chemistry,” Federer recalled in an interview with CNN.
“(A wrestler) said, ‘Hey, kiss her now.’ And I was like, ‘No, I don’t know, maybe I should? So anyway, I did.
“She told me I was so young when she kissed me. I tried to tell her I was almost 18 and a half. I tried to sneak in a quarter year! “
Roger Federer in action at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games
While Federer failed to medal at the Sydney Games, falling to Arnaud de Pasquale in the bronze medal play-off, he had captured Mirka’s heart.
The duo teamed up for their country again in the 2002 Hopman Cup, but a recurring foot injury forced Vavrinec into early retirement the same year.
But his future with Federer was already decided.
She accepted the offer to become his public relations manager, meaning the pair could travel together on tour.
How Mirka helped Roger Federer mature
If anyone thought this love interest could put Federer away from tennis, they were seriously mistaken.
In fact, the stability off the pitch helped the sometimes emotionally erratic teenage player mature.
“She didn’t have any special requests, the only thing she wanted was to spend time with me,” Federer told Sportworld of their early years together.
“I hadn’t won a title yet.
“She is a strong and intelligent woman, who had a huge impact on me on and off the pitch. She trusted me and taught me to always do my best. , she was close to me after every defeat. She never allowed my career to interfere with our daily lives.
Three years later, the Basel prodigy beat Marc Philippoussis in the Wimbledon final in 2003 to win his first Slam.
The victory ushered in an unprecedented period of success, where Federer dominated at SW19, the Australian Open and the US Open.
Roger Federer: Family and children
In 2009, Federer and Mirka tied the knot at a villa near Basel, the same year the couple’s first set of identical twins were born – both daughters.
They had another set of twins in 2014, this time fraternal twins.
After a career that featured 103 victories, including 20 Grand Slams, Federer was quick to thank his wife and children when announcing his retirement.
“I would especially like to thank my amazing wife Mirka, who lived every minute with me,” the statement read.
“She warmed me up before the finals, watched countless games even though she was over eight months pregnant and endured my clumsiness on the road with my team for over 20 years.
“I also want to thank my four wonderful children for supporting me, always eager to explore new places and make wonderful memories along the way,” he added. “Seeing my family cheering me on from the stands is a feeling I will forever cherish.”