Roger Federer appears, in painting form, on the cover of the recent issue of Annabelle magazine from Switzerland. The painting, by artist Pascal Möhlmann, is accompanied by a very lengthy interview with Roger, covering topics from family to Roger as a young student. Some of my favorite excerpts (translated):
Does Roger feel flattered when he’s recognized? Or is it irritating?
“Both. Sometimes you meet people who are so nervous and excited when they see me. Then I try to be calm, convey calmness. To some degree I ‘ve gotten used to the different aspects of celebrity, but there are moments where that is too much.”
Who was young Roger Federer a fan of?
“Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Michael Jordan. Of Shaquille O’Neal, I had a life-size poster in my room.”
As a young player, everyone wondered what you would buy with your first big prize money. The newspaper said a Mercedes. This was a big misunderstanding, right?
“I still remember this interview. My mother was quite beside herself after she read it. I asked her what was wrong, and she said ‘How did you know you your first prize money would equal a car?’ I told her that I had not told the journalist this, she called the editor and asked to listen to the tape with the interview again. In fact, I did not say Mercedes, but several CDs. The reporter had misunderstood me.”
What type of student were you?
“Not top student, but probably average… My weakness was concentration, since I was all the time on the tennis court in thought. Logical thinking was not my forte. But ultimately, for me everything was always a question of motivation.”
Eventually, your kids will remember that their father is no ordinary Dad. Or they suspect that now?
“They know at least that tennis players is a profession. For them, it is normal that I go every day for training and tournaments to play… Why we are so often photographed, they do not yet understand – because they hide behind me or their mother. Of course, we try to educate our children in a as normal environment as possible. I had once asked the daughter of the Dutch striker Marco van Basten what it was like to have such a famous footballer for a Father. She said, ‘I thought all fathers were famous.’ … Probably my daughters at the moment still think the same.”
Read the full interview here.
Artist Pascal Möhlmann at work on his painting of Roger and Roger with painted Roger.
(Image/Photo: Annabelle Magazine)