As there are several threads in the off topic section which could easily go to the players forum I thought to post my translation of the following interview with Lynette and Robert Federer:
ĄWe never saw Roger as a future Wimbledon championď
On the 30th birthday of Roger Federer his parents Lynett and Robert walk down memory lane. They talk in this interview about the youth of the tennisstar, his birthday wishes and their pride.
The most eminent Swiss athlete in the history gets 30 years old today. Roger Federer Ė jetsetter which he is as a tennisworldstar - celebrates far away from home in Montreal where the Rogers Cup takes place, Federers first tournament after a four weeks break since Wimbledon. His parents arenít in Montreal for the special birthday, but therefore they talk in this interview about the birthday of their famous son and the last 30 years.
Lynette and Robert Federer, you canít have a common birthdayparty with your son because he is in Montreal today.
Robert Federer (RF): We already celebrated before in Zurich. It was a surprise party for Roger and he was really happy about it.
What do you give someone as Roger Federer, who can buy everything materially, on his birthday?
RF: It doesnít matter what it costs Ė what counts it that it is original.
Lynette Federer (LF): I want to give him something which I know he canít give to himself. For example all the collected reports of the ĄBasler Zeitungď since his first Wimbledon victory 8 years ago. This article collection is a present which nobody can give to him otherwise.
Are presents your charge as a mother?
LF: No, no, Robert also has good and original ideas. We are really different and his ideas are different as mine. But that is good. Itís funny for Roger that mom makes this and dad that.
What kind of presents did you gave him in the younger past?
LF: Once I got really old videocassettes from Wimbledon with Borg and Connors. I knew that they were originals. Those are special presents.
What is Rogerís favorite cake?
LF: He likes cake, for example marble cake. For his birthdays I always baked him a chocolade cake and decorated it.
When was the last time when you baked a birthday cake for him?
LF: For his 19th or 20th birthday. We sang in 12 languages ĄHappy Birthdayď. It were that many nations sitting around the table.
RF: Roger even sung in Swedish.
Do you have a deal that Roger doesnít exaggerate it when he gives you something for your birthdays?
LF: Because Roger wasnít at home at festive days from when he was 14 years old those days donít have such a big meaning. He gives us something when the opportunity aries.
RF: Thatís how I got my Harley-Davidson.
LF: We celebrate those festive days when we get the chance. Then we meet spontaneously with 20 or 30 friends and relatives.
How does it normally work when you want to go to a tournament?
RF: We are principally invited to every tournament.
RF: Yes Ė well, it isnít the case that he always invites us. But when I want to go to the tournament in Rome for example I say it Ė and it always works then.
Has there ever been a time when he didnít wanted to have you around?
RF: In 1998, when he won the juniors title in Wimbledon.
LF: I think because he was on a great run and didnít wanted to change anything. He tried not to lose his focus. At that time I was still working for Ciba, so it was just about the weekend anyway. I talked to Roger on the phone and he said: ĄNo, no, everything goes fine and you donít have to come!ď
How was it back then when Roger played?
LF: We followed the liveticker on the computer and always had to go to the office for this. In one corner of the screen there was always the liveticker open.
RF: At that time we didnít had an own computer at home.
LF: We also followed the juniors Wimbledon final that way.
RF: The liveticker is a real torture. It takes sometimes an eternity until the Score changes and thatís difficult to endure.
And today? Do you have a subscription on your TV so that you donít miss any of Rogerís matches?
LF: Yes, we have it but we canít see every match. The matches of the Masters tournaments get broadcasted most of the time, the matches at the Grand Slams anyway, when we arenít there. But there are matches which donít get broadcasted and a few which we canít watch.
RF: Especially when they are time delayed, for example the Australian Open. We donít get up there every time because otherwise we wonít sleep then. But I often sleep restless when I know that Roger is playing.
Are you nervous in front of the TV?
RF: Iím always nervous.
LF: It never changes and sometimes we both suffer.
How good do you remember the day when Roger was born?
LF: It was a Saturday.
RF: I was playing a doubles tournament before and after the birth. Roger was born on Saturday morning and in the afternoon we won the tournament.
At what time Roger was born?
RF: At 8.30.
How large and heavy has he been?
LF: 3610 gram and 54 cm. He had huge feet. (laughs)
How has Roger Federer been as a baby?
LF: Until he got two years old Roger had problems to sleep through the night, just as our daughter Diana. He was always awake very early. Sometimes he couldnít fall asleep again at 5 oíclock in the morning. Such days were really long. But Roger was easy care nevertheless.
He is extremely strong coordinately. Was he able to walk already very early?
LF: About when he was 11 months.
RF: He could play football really soon and catch balls. We always played with Roger Ė football, table-tennis, later on squash. There are lovely pictures where he can barely look over the table when he played table-tennis.
LF: When we went to the playground we always had a ball with us. You could throw the ball to Roger and it immediately came back whilst the other children throw the ball into all directions.
Was there a moment where you noticed that your son would become a star?
LF: We get asked this question a lot. But honestly said: We never saw Roger as a future Wimbledon champion or a good footballer as Gerd MŁller, even though we knew of his coordinate strengths.
RF: Other people seemed to notice it way more. The breaking point for us was probably Rogerís victory at the Orange Bowl, the most important juniors tournament. He was already 17 years old. On the other hand: When Roger was 14 years old we renounced a change in our job because of Rogerís tenniscareer. We could have worked in Australia back then.
Did you have to make many sacrifices like this for your son?
LF: Because it is your own child you donít see the investated free time as a huge sacrifice.
How much money did you invest in Rogerís career?
RF: Lynette started to work more again so that we got enough money. When Roger was between 13 and 17 years old we paid about 30 000 Swiss Franks in a year for his career. But we also got supported by the Swiss tennis federation.
Did Roger ever wanted to pay you back for this money?
RF: That has never been a topic for us. Roger already spoils us enough.
How did he celebrate his birthday as a child? Did you have the classic kids birthday party?
LF: He has birthday at a very good time of the year. In August you can celebrate outside. We liked to go to the wood. There was a nice fireplace where we celebrated Rogerís birthday with his friends with sack race and paperchase.
What kind of presents the young Roger Federer wanted to have?
LF: The gameboy was really popular.
RF: But the best was his first mobile phone. It was really large for todaysís standards.
How old was Roger when he got his first mobile phone?
LF: I think 15 years.
Was he playing tennis on his gameboy?
LF: No, his favorite was Super Mario. Roger liked to play with friends on the computer Ė for example football games or an Indiana Jones game. When he got older he started to play several sports on the consoles. With Peter Lundgren he had some ice hockey duels which were pretty intensive.
As a baby Roger was easy-care. Also as a teen?
LF: He was a very lively child with lots of energy. It was strenuous that he was always searching the limit. He often tested how long he could do something and I got peeved. But he was doing this with everyone. He had a huge endurance in this kind of thing.
We donít know your son like this. He isnít seen as a provocateur on the court, quite the contrary.
LF: He meant no harm. With his funny, open, friendly way it took long until the explosion.
RF: That wasnít also easy sometimes for the teachers.
What punishment did he got for his behaviour?
RF: He had to pick up stones in the garden.
LF: Exactly, in the vegetable garden.
What kind of things Roger didnít liked as a child?
LF:He never liked homework. I was glad when he finished school. It probably didnít interested him that much. Therefore Iím surprised how good Roger speaks French. He didnít liked to learn vocabularies.
Did Roger smoked secretly?
LF: I donít think so.
RF: I donít think so either. But we always get to hear stories: How he got chased away from practice or how they have been to the gambling room.
Did he ever came home drunk?
LF: Never. But he didnít lived with us anymore when he was 14.
RF: Roger has always been staid.
When does Roger need his parents today the most?
RF: When he needs a babysitter (laughs).
LF: He likes to talk with us when he has to make big decisions.
RF: But he isnít someone who needs the parents the whole time. He already made his own important decisions when he was young Ė for example when he went to Ecublens into the intensive training centre when he was 14.
What makes you the most proud when you think of your son?
RF: How he gets welcomed worldwide in the stadiums. Thatís why Iím mostly early on my seat. The applause for Roger touches me. And of course I was very proud when he won in Wimbledon fort he first time.
LF: Iím extremely proud how he has developed. When he moved out when he was 14 we opened him a chance. He had to find his further way alone.
RF: Or how he now deals with the children. He is incredible gently with them. Itís sometimes not easy with all the travelling.
Is there something which Roger Federer could make better?
LF: It would be easier if he would make decisions sooner. He has to be quick on the court as well.
A late decision was his rejection to play against Kazakhstan in the Daviscup 2010 .
RF: I also didnít liked how he handled this. But the discussions with Swiss Tennis seemed to be clarifying.
Is there something which you learned from Roger?
RF: (long pause) To drive disciplined. (laughs) He gets sometimes bugged when I donít keep enough distance.
LF: His ease of mind is great. Not only me but many people can learn from his way how to treat other people.
Robert Federer, what does Roger have from his mother?
RF: When he was young he played the backhand like his mother: Lynette doesnít have the drive, she also always played with much slice.
And what does he have from his father?
LF: He looks like his father. From the personality he isnít like Robert at all.
RF: He got the balltalent from me (laughs).
LF: Roger always says that he has the serenity from me and the discipline from his father.
How does he call you today? Does he still say Mom and Dad?
And how do you call him? ĄRotschiď like Mirka?
RF: He is ĄRotschď for us.
When did you have the most palpilation because of Roger?
RF: When he had mononucleosis. There are people who always get this disease back. Fortunately Roger was never really heavy injured.
LF: You have palpilation several times. For example when it went into a 5th set in Wimbledon.
Do you get recognized yourself on the street?
RF: Yes, especially me (laughs)
Do you feel watched during the matches?
RF: During the Australian Open 2009 there was a camera focusing on us. You have to check yourself in those moments. In one of his matches Roger was hitting a really important ball out and I yelled ĄDamn it!ď Just in this moment the camera was showing me. I immediately received some textmessages where I got addressed on my crude language.
When you lean back: Do you feel sometimes that the last 30 years have been like a dream?
LF: Yes, it is not self-evident what Roger has achieved. It is just great.
RF: I always said: Letís enjoy these great years. When tougher times should come you can remember those moments. When they write disrespectful about setbacks one should always think back of the time when Roger dominated tennis. The problem is: Everyone wants to be the first one who predicts the end of Rogers career. Therefore with each loss they write about the end. Five times it wasnít true but maybe it happens with the sixth time.
What apart from health and luck do you wish Roger on his 30th birthday?
RF: Also with the family.
No Grand Slam titles?
RF: That would be great, sure. But it gets more difficult. Today he travels and lives with his family. The constellation is different.
Swiss source: http://bazonline.ch/sport/tennis/Wir...story/20989630