Roger Federer’s biographer has lifted the lid on the role that wife Mirka plays in his decision-making process, in a telling insight into how she might have affected his choice to retire from tennis.
Federer left the tennis world devastated last week when he revealed he will walk away from the sport after the Laver Cup – starting on September 23
The 41-year-old hasn’t played since a fourth-round loss at Wimbledon in 2021, subsequently undergoing third knee surgery and missing more than a year of action.
The Swiss legend was originally supposed to play the Laver Cup before also hitting the court at the Swiss Indoors in Basel next month for his first official ATP event since the surgery.
He had also expressed his desire to play at Wimbledon one more time next year, but recent reports emerged that his knee hadn’t responded well to training – forcing him to announce that he will retire after the Laver Cup.
Speaking recently, Federer’s biographer Rene Stauffer lifted the lid on how wife Mirka would have heavily influenced his plans to return to tennis after such a long time away – as well as his decision to retire.
“She is the person who supports everything, who takes care of her children’s education, something that Roger now takes care of very conscientiously,” Stauffer told Clay Magazine.
“The most important point is that when she says ‘Roger, enough with tennis, don’t try it anymore, take care of other things’, I think he would do it to please her.
“So she is a decisive factor, and she has to be ready for him to come back, she has to support him, otherwise it’s not going to work.”
Federer and Mirka met at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when both were representing Switzerland in tennis.
Mirka was an accomplished player in her own right before her career was cut short by injuries.
“Absolutely [she supports him], because she herself is very much in love with tennis,” Stauffer said.
“She cut her career prematurely. She’s still living it through Roger’s career. She comes from the sport, and that helps Roger a lot.”
One day after announcing his retirement, Federer revealed the ‘beautiful’ moment in which he released the news to the world alongside Mirka and his parents.
“Who would have thought that the journey would last this long. Just incredible,” he wrote alongside some happy snaps with his family.
Roger Federer’s touching tribute to family
Federer also paid tribute to Mirka and family in his original announcement.
“I would like to especially thank my amazing wife Mirka, who has lived through every minute with me,” he wrote.
“She has warmed me up before finals, watched countless matches even while over eight months pregnant, and has endured my goofy side on the road with my team for over 20 years.
“I also want to thank my four wonderful children for supporting me, always eager to explore new places and creating wonderful memories along the way.
“Seeing my family cheering me on from the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever. I would also like to thank and recognise my loving parents and my dear sister, without whom nothing would be possible.”
While he won’t be playing in Basel, the tournament director has since revealed that Federer will make a special appearance to farewell his home fans.
“The huge fan base, partners and supporters of the Swiss Indoors are looking forward to seeing the legend step on to the centre court once again this year,” Roger Brennwald said in a statement in which he declared that Federer’s retirement ‘hurts’.
“We will give Roger Federer a warm farewell in St. Jakob. Further information will follow at a later date.”