Roger Federer’s wife, Mirka Federer, has been with the tennis star throughout his career. The couple has known each other for nearly 20 years as they met at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Roger and Mirka’s biggest priority is their family as the couple has four kids: Myla, Leo, Lenny and Charlene.
Mirka was born in Slovakia but moved to Switzerland with her family when she was two years old, per Oregon Live. Prior to being a mom, Mirka had a brief pro tennis career before injuries caused her to hang up her racquet. The most important thing to Roger is his family, and Mirka is at the center of this as GQ detailed.
Above all else, though, Roger Federer: loves his family, with “family” being a widely inclusive term. Mirka is his rock. She’s a former professional tennis player herself, and they got together in 2000. “Here we are, 17 years later, and we did it all together,” he said with wonder.
Learn more about Roger’s wife and kids.
1. Roger’s Wife, Mirka, Is a Former Pro Tennis Player & Was Forced to Retire With a Serious Foot Injury
Roger is not the only athlete in the family as Mirka was also quite a tennis player. Mirka was ranked as high as No. 74 before a foot injury prompted her to retire, per Tennis World.
“She had a problem with her foot, she could not walk properly anymore she had surgery, she tried to come back and if comeback would have been okay and the pain were gone away she would have kept on playing, but her foot today still hurts her sometimes, so it did not go well for her and the decision was simple,” Roger said, per Tennis World. “She found a great place in my life first as a girlfriend and now as a wife, incredibly supportive. I could have never asked for a better girlfriend and wife, she has been the best throughout all these years and it has been wonderful.”
2. Legendary Tennis Player Martina Navratilova Arranged for Mirka’s 1st Tennis Lesson
When a tennis legend encourages you to pick up the sport, it is wise to listen, and Mirka did just that. Mirka and her father met Martina Navratilova at a tournament in Germany.
Martina encouraged Mirka, who was nine years old at the time, to start playing tennis and even organized her first lesson with a friend, per Oregon Live. Mirka’s meeting with Martina was detailed by the Times of London (via Oregon Live).
Navratilova asked the youngster if she played tennis. No, she’d never tried it. Navratilova said she looked athletic and ought to give it a go, telling her that tennis was a great game. Nothing overly unusual in that, but Navratilova went further. When she learnt that the Vavrinecs — who originally came from Slovakia — lived in Zurich, she telephoned a friend there and arranged Mirka’s first tennis lesson. Some time later, Navratilova remembered the young girl she had met at Filderstadt and sent her one of her rackets from America.
3. The Couple Met at the 2000 Olympic Games & Roger Lied About His Age
Roger needed a bit of courage when the two met at the 2000 Olympics. Roger admitted to CNN that the couple “built up some chemistry” over their two weeks in Sydney, but it was an Olympic wrestler who suggested he try to kiss Mirka.
It also turns out that wrestlers have big hearts — it was one of them who suggested Federer make the first move. “He said, ‘Hey, kiss her now.'”
Federer giggles: “And I’m like, ‘No, I don’t know, maybe, should I?'”
The wrestler egged him on. “So, anyway, I did,” continues Federer.
Mirka was initially skeptical about Roger’s age, so the tennis player did what anyone would do in his situation by pretending to be older. Mirka is two years older and Roger pretended to be 18-and-a-half.
“She told me I was so young when she kissed me,” Roger explained to CNN. “I tried to tell her I was almost 18-and-a-half. I tried to sneak in a quarter year.”
4. Roger & Mirka Have 4 Kids With 2 Sets of Twins
Roger and Mirka have two sets of twins. The couple’s daughters, Myla and Charlene, are the oldest at nine-years-old, per E News. Their two sons, Lenny and Leo, are five-years-old. Roger admitted that he used to mix them up when they were a little younger.
“I used to sometimes if I couldn’t see their face right away,” Roger said, per E News. “But no, nowadays I’m a pro. Of course, I can tell them apart.”
Roger explained to People that being a dad has its challenges. His best strategy includes trying to remain calm with their children.
“I’m very laid back and I think it makes me, I believe, a good father and good husband,” Roger said, per FanSided. “Being a dad is a challenge in itself. You always have to figure things out. Trying to anticipate, trying to organize and at the end of the day it all gets thrown out of the window and you’re just trying to figure it out again and then again and again.”
5. Roger Travels on Tour With His Family
The couple’s four children are home-schooled which allows them to travel with Roger on tour, per Daily Mail. Roger noted that this can have its challenges, but he prefers it to not being with his wife.
“I refuse to leave the bed with my wife,” Roger explained to the Sunday Times (via Daily Mail). “We always wanted to have kids, but my dream was to be with [her] and not in another bedroom on another floor…I’d rather sleep with kids screaming than away from my wife.”
Mirka frequently attends Roger’s matches but having the kids in the stands depends on the policy of the host tournament. Some places have a minimum age requirement.