'Wouldn't be happy': Roger Federer's startling marriage admission

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Roger and Mirka Federer, pictured here at the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews in 2017.
Roger and Mirka Federer at the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews in 2017. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Roger Federer has elaborated on his wife’s “incredible” sacrifices, heaping praise on Mirka’s decision to quit her own tennis career to support him instead.

In July, Federer made the startling admission that he and Mirka may have broken up had it not been for her selfless decision to walk away from her career.

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Mirka was a top-100 player in the early 2000s but was forced to retire after a string of persistent injuries.

She instead turned her attention to making sure her husband had everything he needed in his quest to become a tennis champion in his own right, something Federer is forever grateful for.

“She invested everything,” Federer told SRF Sport recently. “She started playing tennis when she was 11.

“She had bad surgeries and didn‘t return well from rehabilitation. She always had problems with her heels and never truly recovered from it.

“Until today she feels little there. I think realistically she would have had to undergo another surgery and tried to come back, even if it would have taken two years.

“It was easy for her this way though to decide. I said to her: 'Don‘t you maybe want to stop? We could be together the whole time and have a great time.'

“Then I won Wimbledon and when I look back, I once talked with her about it, it‘s incredible what you did and she said: ‘No problem’. She just put her career aside and said: ‘This is more important for me’.

“We wouldn‘t have been happy when we would have been apart.”

The Swiss Maestro admitted he might have retired long ago had Mirka asked him to.

“She has supported me incredibly so I‘m looking forward to when everything is over. I would have stopped long ago if she hadn‘t have said: 'Come on, continue’,” he said.

“Or when she would have said: 'Please stop, I don‘t want this any longer.’ I would have stopped then.

“We also have to find a balance with the four kids, it isn’t the same anymore as four, eight or 10 years ago, that’s for sure.”

Roger Federer and wife Mirka, pictured here at the Met Gala in 2017.
Roger Federer and wife Mirka Federer at the Met Gala in 2017. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Federer admits Mirka relationship might have ended

Roger and Mirka met at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney when they were playing tennis together for Switzerland.

Mirka retired in 2002, going on to become Federer’s manager before stepping down from that role to look after their four children.

“She has been wonderful in terms of support,” Federer told The Times in July.

“It was amazing how easily she walked away from tennis and retired, never really tried to come back.”

Imitating Mirka, Federer said: “You know what, I’d rather have helped you have an amazing career (than) me having some kind of a career and we won’t see each other and we’ll grow unhappy and maybe we’ll break up because we won’t see each other enough.”

“We just love our time together and that’s still the case.”

Roger and Mirka married in 2009 and have since had two sets of twins - Myla and Charlene, 10, and Leo and Lenny, 6.

Mirka and the kids follow Federer all over the world to watch him play, constantly spotted courtside during his matches.