“This is the best time of my life,” Federer said. “When we found out we were having twins, it was like one of those moments where you’re like: ‘Wow, I can’t believe it, it’s really happening again.’”
The Federer’s again welcomed twins to the world on May 6, 2014. The two boys , Leo and Lennart, called Lenny , were born almost five years after the arrival of their twin sisters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva in July 2009.
Roger Federer and wife Mirka describe birth of twins Leo and Lenny as ‘miracle’: “Mirka and I are so incredibly happy to share that Leo and Lenny were born this evening! #TwinsAgain #Miracle Twins.”
Future doubles champions?
Their birth led to a flurry of good-natured jokes about future doubles champions:
- Former world number one Boris Becker tweeted: “Congrats to Mirka and @rogerfederer on the new addition to the #family ! #Leo and #Lenny will partner perfectly their older sisters in mixed”.
- Former American tennis professional Justin Gimelstob added: “congrats to @rogerfederer #Mirka on the birth of #LEO and #Lenny the @Bryanbros @Bryanbrothers records could be in jeopardy!
- Bob Bryan, who has won 15 grand slam doubles titles with his twin brother Mike, responded: “Leo & Lenny! #the future #twinsrule.”
- Tennis coach Darren Cahill posted: “Fed works in multiples! Congrats to the Federer family. Very cool. 2 sets of twins.”
Roger Federer is not the first famous sportsman to have twins – Michael Jordan and Pele did as well – but two sets is a rarity.
All the right genes
Although Federer’s children certainly have all the right genes, he’s holding out hope they won’t get into a career of tennis. “I think it’s 40 years on the tennis tour that doesn’t excite me, you know? Forty years straight, I think that’s what it would be,” he said. “I will support them all the way whatever they want to do but I don’t see myself doing that right now.”
Federer’s parents: Robert and Lynette, who are often in attendance at Roger’s biggest matches, found the perfect balance of parental involvement while he was growing up. “I think that we took an approach that was not overly emotional,” says Robert. “We didn’t have utopian ambitions, and we tried to keep our expectations realistic. Even though many described him as an extraordinary talent, we did not view him as having already reached the top of Mount Everest. Most of all, we wanted to support him. But we were demanding, too, and expected discipline and commitment.”
Having become a father in 2009, Federer shows his kids the values that have helped make him one of the best tennis players of all time.
“I have had those conversations with them, you know, that hard work brings you somewhere,” Roger Federer said to his twins after his fourth-round win at Melbourne, Australia Open 2016. “I told them the other day they can be anything they would want to be as long as they work hard at it. It’s not going to happen when you wake up one morning.”
“We are doing a lot educational stuff, which is a challenge but I love it. It’s the cutest thing ever.”
His actions are something the girls have been watching for years, courtside with Roger Federer’s wife Mirka at his matches, usually with a few books in hand. But Federer is also passing on to his kids the fact that he’s done what he has – and that he wants to do more.
“I told them after all these years I still go out and train, trying to improve. I think it starts to make sense to them more and more now.”
“It would be great [for them] to have the same bed for three months in a row … But we’re used to this life,” Federer said. “It’s the only thing they know and [for me what] I’ve known for the last 20 years. Of course there are benefits of being in one place, or for us now only being in Switzerland.”
Earlier in the tournament, Federer said he didn’t wish a pro tennis life for his girls, saying that if they were to take on any sport it might be something more Swiss-like, such as downhill skiing.
“I think they need to know whatever they choose, they have to work hard at it,”.
New Federer’s Coaches in skirts
For now, however, they are on the tour with their dad, observing, listening and playing as any little kids would do. And sometimes, Federer said, they act as coach to him, too.
“Once they told me I should play on the lines,” Federer said, laughing. “They think that’s a good thing. I was like, ‘OK, I’ll try that!’ The other one said that maybe you should look that way and play the other way. I said, ‘OK, I’ll try that, too. It’s not as easy as you think it is, but I’ll try.’ They have given me advice, if you like, yeah. They’re good coaches.”
Why not retire OR what is Federer’s inspiration secret?
After Mirka retired in 2002, Roger remains her greatest support. “He gave my tennis life back to me. When he wins, it’s as if I win as well.”
Many wonder how Federer continues to play so well at the age of 35, nearly two decades after his first Grand Slam appearance. Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg, a child and adolescent psychologist, believes that Roger Federer’s kids are his inspiration and motivators too:
“For many high-profile athletes, kids can be a source of inspiration,” he said. “Particularly in the latter parts of his or her career when they are having a hard time finding motivation. How many times has he gone through the same tennis process year in and year out? But with the kids, that’s good for him. They are his source.”
Roger explained one of the reasons why he keeps playing tennis, is the chance to stay with his sons and daughters during tournaments too, which is not easy at all to manage.
As Roger continues to play at a high level, Mirka and the kids often accompany him to tournaments around the world. “I would be unhappy on the tour without them,” says Federer. “I would retire… It’s good for my mind, when I come back from a match and I’ve lost, they’re there and don’t care if you’ve won or you’ve lost. It’s great.”
“Everything is working out fine. They are good girls and well-mannered. And the boys are just starting. But it’s a great pleasure that requires much energy. Everything needs a lot of patience and a capacity for anticipation.”
“Lots of things are involved with our children. They are keen on sports.“
“But they are also interested in other things. We have always to adapt to the place we are at. It’s wonderful because they can see so many things. On the other hand it’s difficult to stick with the same routine. But it’s a pleasure to travel with them”.
Not everyone has the same passions: “The boys have different reactions compared to the girls. The girls always play together, the boys don’t. Girls like sports and play with balls, boys like excavators and airplanes. The girls like to play with horses and fairies (laughs).”
” I am happy, that I can still do my job. My wife Mirka is doing an incredible job with the kids. And she helps me as much as she can. All of that, helps me to be relaxed on the court.“
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