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Honeymoon on hold for newly-wed Federer
World No 2 takes up wild card in Monte Carlo Masters after surprise wedding
By Paul Newman in Monte Carlo
Monday, 13 April 2009
Monte Carlo may sound like the perfect honeymoon destination, but this was probably not what Mirka Vavrinec had envisaged. Having married in Switzerland on Saturday, the bride flew here yesterday with her groom so that he could go straight back to work. Business is business, especially when your husband is the world's most famous tennis player and there is an important tournament in the offing.
Vavrinec and Roger Federer, who is playing here in this week's Monte Carlo Masters, met nine years ago at the Sydney Olympics. She has been his constant companion ever since, helping to run his business affairs and supporting him from the side of courts around the world. The couple recently announced they were expecting their first child this summer and on Saturday they married in Federer's home town of Basle.
The wedding was a closely kept secret, with Federer making a simple announcement on his official website. "Dear fans," he said. "Earlier today, in my hometown of Basle, surrounded by a small group of close friends and family, Mirka and I got married. It was a beautiful spring day and an incredibly joyous occasion. Mr and Mrs Roger Federer wish all of you a happy Easter weekend."
News of the wedding came as a surprise to almost everyone. "I had no idea it was happening," one of Federer's closest associates said here yesterday. "I texted him as soon as I heard. He texted back to say he was over the moon and that it was the best day of his life."
The wedding probably explains why Federer had initially chosen to miss this week's tournament, which is the traditional start of the European clay-court season. On Thursday last week, however, the world No 2, presumably with the blessing of his bride-to-be, successfully requested a wild card. Federer joins nine of the world's top 10 players, including Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Those two yesterday interrupted their preparations to play an exhibition match to publicise the tournament.