Roger Federer recalls: ‘They were kicking me out from the practice court at..’

The 20-time Major champion Roger Federer has been a role model for many young tennis stars and upcoming heroes. Like all the other competitors, Federer has had some dark moments in those most challenging moments throughout the years. The Swiss is usually calm and collected on the court, focusing on tennis and the rival on the other side of the net. That was not always the case, though, and it would be hard to recognize Roger for his behavior until the end of his teenage years. The Swiss could not keep his temper down right from the first competitive matches in juniors, throwing racquets, cursing and having something to say about every point he would lose! Speaking about his early tennis days, Roger said he needed years to start making improvements in that segment, losing too much energy on fighting with himself and doing his best to change that before stepping on the ATP Tour.

Roger Federer struggled to keep his temper during junior days.

“I was quite the opposite of Pete when I was younger, throwing my racquets around like you can not imagine. I was getting kicked out of the practice sessions non-stop when I was 16. Since maybe this year, I started to relax a bit more on the court. I’m not smashing as many racquets as before. I grew up a bit, realizing that the racquet throwing did not help my game because I was always getting very negative. I used to talk much more on the court; that’s not the case now, and I think positively. Playing on the Centre Court in front of a packed crowd against Pete Sampras does not make you scream and throw racquets. I think that’s pretty normal. I started playing at the age of three, training football in the same period. At like ten or 12 years, I decided between switching to one sport alone. I had more success in tennis and went to the National Tennis Center at 14.

It was in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and I’m coming from the German part. For me, it was very tough in the first six months. I wanted to go home as I was not happy. I was crying when I was about to leave home on Sunday. Then I went to the U14 Orange Bowl, came back, started to feel better and won matches. At 16, the Tennis Center changed to the part of Switzerland where they speak both languages. I also decided to quit school because it was bothering me to deliver my best tennis. I quit school and quickly went upwards, winning a junior tournament and finishing No. 1. Also, the change from juniors to pros was not as tough,” Roger Federer said.

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