Roger Federer has achieved unprecedented and unparalleled success in the sport of tennis. However, he has tasted his half of failures and frustration, a fact that very people know of. “That was back in maybe ’99, when I almost cracked the Top 100 and was stuck at 120 in the world for about six months and was just not good enough, basically, to make the next step”, says Federer. “That was for me very hard.”
Federer says that every player has a period of time in their lives where they are forced to look for other options in terms of their careers. Every player thinks about hanging up their shoes at the least once in their careers. “There’s always times I think in a player’s career where he just wants to do something else or walk away from the game because too many losses, too much traveling, whatever”, says Federer. “So I was joking around quite serious at one stage I thought, just hang up my racquet and go away and just not be so frustrated”, he added.
“I really thought I tried to work extra hard on it”, recalls Federer. “The work didn’t pay off straight away. But then when the wins come back and also the pleasure obviously comes.”
Federer recalls how his first Wimbledon title made him realize what he was missing out on. “So for me then to have cracked the Top 10 and win Wimbledon, that really gave me a boost”, says Federer. “Now I look back and go, “What the hell did I do before? Why didn’t I enjoy tennis before?” It’s crazy that it needs a Wimbledon championships sometimes for me to realize that”, laughs Federer.
Roger also recalls the proud moment where he was honored with the task of bearing the flag for his country Switzerland at the Olympics event in Athens. ‘I was very proud. I’m a big idol or a star in Switzerland’, says Federer. “All the other athletes look up to me as well. I can feel it, they want to take pictures with me and the flag. It was a very special moment when I walked in. To the right I had the fans; to the left I had the athletes. Both were applauding. This, for me, was a very new situation.”