Balancing family with tennis makes Federer shine

Since Roger Federer and his wife, Mirka, had their twin

daughters four years ago, the girls have become fixtures on the

tennis circuit, traveling with Federer from tournament to

tournament.

But their immersion in the tennis world hasn’t made Myla Rose

and Charlene Riva eager to pick up tennis rackets. Federer says

they haven’t shown any interest in following in the footsteps of

their famous dad (or mom, who was also a professional tennis

player).

”They’re not crazy about it. Either you like doing that or you

don’t. And they’re in that part which they don’t,” Federer said in

a recent interview. ”They’d rather draw, listen to music, and

dance, swim and do those kinds of things, which I’m really quite

happy about. As long as they’re active and they do sports, which I

think is good for them, then I’m all for it. I’m not pushing them

in any way. But if they do it, I’m happy to help them out.”

Federer would be the ideal helper if that happens. He is the

all-time Grand Slam champion with 17 titles under his belt.

Still, he hasn’t won a major title since Wimbledon in 2012, and

at the U.S. Open, scheduled to start in the New York borough of

Queens on Monday, he’s seeded seventh – the first time he’s been

outside the top three at a Grand Slam tournament since 2003.

His goal, though, hasn’t changed: ”Win the U.S. Open.”

”It’s fun chasing something you want to win again like I did in

2008,” Federer said.

With his girls with him, though, he’s not as singularly focused

as he used to be.

”Tennis still remains a big priority in my life, like it used

to, it’s just that I’ve adjusted to a new situation,” he said.

Federer’s face shows the contentment of family life – just the

mention of his wife and children and his face beams with joy.”I

didn’t have kids to have a reality check. I had kids because I love

my wife and we wanted to start a family,” Federer said. ”It’s

been challenging, but you learn more about yourself.”

Federer says that throughout his career, he has always tried to

balance his time with ”things other than tennis.” But instead of

an active nightlife, the activities have gotten more family

oriented.

”Before having the girls, I used to be more flexible. … I

could come and go. All I needed was my wallet and off I went. Bars,

clubs, restaurants,” he said. ”(Now) we’re visiting the cities

from a different angle. Instead of going to bars and clubs, we go

more to the park or the zoo and other attractions.”

He grinned while talking about a recent outing with the girls in

New York City.

”I went to the Guggenheim (museum) with the kids. `Let’s go to

the Guggenheim. Let’s go walk around and see some pictures and see

what they say.’ We had a good time,” he said smiling.

”They’re great travelers and we have a great time. I guess

looking back, these will be the years that I remember the

most.”

Online:

http://www.rogerfederer.com

http://www.usopen.org

Follow John Carucci at www.twitter.com/jacarucci