“My life has completely changed and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me”
Roger Federer I was 19 years old, no circuit titles yet ATP and he was hardly recognized as a young promise for having conquered Wimbledon Jr two years ago. No one could have imagined what the Swiss would eventually achieve as a professional, but many feared that the fire of youth he had on the court would be diverted from the game. court too soon after exchanging glances with a tennis player in the Olympic village Sinday 2000.
This tournament was a good test for the young man who had already played – and lost – two finals, Marseille and Basel, so his coach, Sven Groeneveld, became worried when the Swiss told him something about a 24-year-old girl with whom he exchanged a few words in the Australian city. Faced with the horror that a summer affair would end the athlete’s chances of success at the tournament, the Dutch coach was adamant: “No.”
the woman called Mirka Vavrinec, was 24 years old and part of the Swiss delegation. Although she was born in Bojnice, Czechoslovakia (a city that is now part of Slovakia), her parents immigrated to Switzerland when she was 2 years old, and so she adopted that nationality to compete in the Olympics. In the villa where the athletes are accommodated, he held several conversations with the young people Federeralmost five years younger than her, and these conversations went far beyond the purely sports framework.
“He was asking everyone if he should be with Mirka. We all told him not to do it, that he was too young, that he had better stay free. He didn’t and he made the best decision of his life,” revealed Sven Groeneveld in a live broadcast on social networks in 2020, when he also recalled that at the time “Roger was not yet emotionally formed.”
The truth is that Federer listened to his teachers for a while and in the tournament reached the semi-finals, for example, he lost to the German Tommy Haas in two sets, and then fell to the Moroccan Arnaud di Pasquale and was left without a bronze medal.. Before everyone left Sydney and to go on their way, the Swiss disobeyed his guides and chose to follow his heart: “I was a rookie and had no idea how to organize myself. The reality is that during those two weeks in Australia we built a beautiful chemistry. And on the last day, when we all went our separate ways, something more than a kiss came. This led to something extraordinary for both of them“said the athlete a long time later.
Fate wanted the career of Vavrinec was interrupted and in 2002, exhausted by a leg injury, she decided to retire as a professional without having won any titles but reaching 74th in the rankings of WTA. After that, completely in love with Federer, she became a cornerstone in the life and career of her partner.
It is that those who follow Federer from the beginning they remember that his character was not very good on the courts. His ambition to win sometimes led him to become a person who did not arouse the sympathy of most of the audience or some of his rivals, something that changed over time until he adopted an amazing persona that made him one of the most charismatic and winning athletes in history.
In an interview with The nation In 2019, Roger himself admitted that his wife was one of the keys to this change: “She had a profound effect on my character. Maybe not in my game, but in me as a professional, because he was a professional tennis player before me, because he had more experience when I came on tour, and because he knew what hard work was; I was learning what it was. It made me grow and mature in my early years. After that, the support I got from her was always unconditional love. He was always there to help me. It made my life easier, no matter if I won or lost. I will always have her in my corner and she gives me great stability.
Vavrinec’s presence in the stands during the Swiss’s matches has become as common as seeing him lift trophies. In April 2009, the couple said “I do” at the altar and a few months later, in July, the twins were born honey Y Charlene. In May 2014, the twins joined the clan Leo Y Lenny to complete a family of six that has traveled the world and watched Your Majesty win 103 circuit titles and 20 of them Grand Slams.
The truth is that everything was born with this disobedience of Federerwho was convinced of what he was doing: “Ever since I met her, I’ve always wanted to start a family. My life has completely changed and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” This is what Federer said in an interview with the British website The mirror. And in another chat with Sunday Times stated: “I refuse to sleep in bed without my wife. We have always wanted to have children, but my dream was to be with her in the same room, not in another room or on another floor, it pays me to change a ton of diapers to live out my dream with Mirka.
22 years after that kiss, the Swiss announced his retirement as a professional. Affected by knee injuries recently, there will be a Last dance for him in Laver Cupand then he will be able to continue enjoying his life with his four children and Mirka, that girl who smiled at him in the corridor of the Olympic village and who conquered him from day one.