“Bad Boy”: The Story of the Lesser-Known Federer


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"Bad Boy": The Story of the Lesser-Known Federer

Roger Federer he is known, on and off the courts, as an almost stately person. The Swiss, who throughout his career has maintained an aura of godliness generated by flawless tennis and chivalrous attitudes, also knew how to have a dark past.

The first Federer is, perhaps, the least known of all. Looked with a platinum blonde and possessed of an anxious and explosive attitude that left rackets destroyed in addition to discussions with umpires, players and work team, the Swiss was beginning to build a reputation for “Bad boy“inside the circuit.

“Federer was a very nice boy, very open and very nice. But he was very hyperactive. He was crazy. He kept singing, fooling around. He didn’t come to physical training and I had to go find him. Federer did one and the other. He didn’t learn. You had to punish him again. Those years have been difficult. “ recalled Paul Dorochenko, the Helvetian’s first physical trainer at the end of the 90s.

And it is that the former world number one and winner of 20 Grand Slam tournaments at that time had more broken rackets than other things. By the beginning of 2000, he had a record of 36 ATP matches played with 21 losses and 15 victories in addition to failing to win any title. His personality was his greatest enemy.

Although by 2001 he began to settle in the Top 50, the Basel-born was still unable to make the big leap. “I prefer games”, was his statement at the time, showing that he cared little about training. In addition, his control of pressure and anger during matches were his greatest deficit.

But after Hamburg 2001 everything changed. And with an Argentine in the middle. Federer it was measured before Franco Squillari (No. 19 in the world at the time) and the albiceleste tennis player beat him in two sets: 6-3 and 6-4. “I was playing badly and I ended up breaking my racket. I was so angry that I lost that game. I had a terrible attitude, I had done a lot of things wrong, especially at match point.” the Swiss himself recalled a few years ago about the situation.

And thanks to that moment, he decided to change. “I saw how my family and my coaches looked at me and I felt like I could never have this behavior on a court again. I realized that I definitely had to change. It was a long process and I got help from a psychologist. It took me two years to find the right one. perfect balance between passion and calm. “

Starting in 2002, his head completely changed. He made his debut in Sydney, defeated Juan Ignacio Chela in the final and lifted his second trophy (the previous one had been Milan) when he was only twenty years old. And between that year and 2004, he got 21! titles, of which four were Grand Slam: Wimbledon twice, Australian Open and the US Open.

That 2004 ended up being the year that Roger rose to the top of the ATP rankings for the first time. On February 2, he rose to the top position and did not leave it until 2008. The “Bad boy“from Basel went on to become” His Majesty “, the tennis legend.


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