‘More Talent in My Hands Than My Feet’: Why Roger Federer Picked Tennis Over Soccer

Published 01/02/2022, 8:35 PM EST
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 3, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his third round match against Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Toby Melville


As much as Roger Federer has put in scores of hours of hard-work to develop his game over the past two decades, there is no doubt that he is also blessed with natural talent and intuition for tennis.

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Typically, when a child dreams to get into professional sports, the decision is made at a very young age. In such cases, most parents wouldn’t give a chance to their kids to explore other sports before finalizing one. But King Roger had it differently.

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Excerpts from ‘The Master’ where Roger Federer explains his decision to choose tennis

Federer’s parents wanted their son to be the decision-maker before taking up a professional sport. They allowed him to juggle between soccer and tennis, among other sports. In his biography written by renowned sports journalist Christopher Clarey, Federer explained why he preferred tennis over soccer.

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I had more talent in my hands than I did in my feet. I wanted to have the victory or defeat in my own hands without having to depend on others”. 

The last line summarizes Roger’s strive for perfection and how he wanted to have some sort control over the result. Federer made his final decision at the age of twelve and never looked back since.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 1, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his second round match against France’s Richard Gasquet REUTERS/Paul Childs

‘The Master’ captured these stories on Federer’s early life beautifully. Told sometimes by people around him and sometimes by the Swiss Maestro himself, the book is a wholesome peek into Federer’s mindset.

Federer will likely make a comeback in second-half of 2022 ATP tour

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Coming to tennis, the 20-time Grand Slam champion is currently in training mode as he intends to make a comeback on the ATP tour this year. While the exact tournament at which Federer plans to enter is unknown, one can safely assume his target will be Wimbledon.

Last year, Federer made it to the quarter-finals at SW19, where he lost to Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets. Post the defeat, the Swiss star announced that he would undergo a third knee surgery as he wanted to stay fit beyond retirement.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 5, 2021. Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his third round match against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

While the scale of success in Roger Federer’s comeback cannot be predicted, it will be a delight to see him back on court for the latter half of this year’s ATP season.

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Watch this story: Everything You Need to Know About Roger Federer’s Daily Routine

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Sagar Ashtakoula

736 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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