'Not going to work out': Roger Federer spills on sad family dilemma

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

Roger Federer has opened up about being away from his family for the French Open and Wimbledon, saying restrictive bubble protocols at both events forced his hand.

Federer's wife Mirka and their four children have been regulars at his matches over the years, particularly at his favourite grand slam Wimbledon.

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However the 20-time grand slam champion has been forced to leave them at home in Switzerland this year due to the tricky Covid-19 situation.

"For me, it’s not a problem to come to Paris and do [the bubble] for two weeks, going from hotel to club," Federer said at the French Open.

"You can go for an hour’s walk, but I’m not really taking advantage of it. 

"But having four kids in a bubble isn’t really going to work out for me, so we have this situation here and we’ll have it again at Wimbledon, and maybe also at the Olympics."

Federer said he and Mirka had decided to see how things pan out at Wimbledon before making a call on the Tokyo Olympics.

"My first thought with Mirka is to get through Wimbledon, see how that feels and how that goes, and we’ll go from there," he said.

"Our initial goal was to get in shape for the grass-court season, and for Wimbledon in particular, but so far, so good, everything is ok at home from everything I hear with Mirka. 

"She’s got things under control and the kids are not completely misbehaved yet and I’m not worried here."

Mirka Federer, pictured here with her four children watching Roger at Wimbledon in 2019.
Mirka Federer and her four children watch Roger at Wimbledon in 2019. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Djokovic can equal Federer and Nadal record at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic is targeting a record-equalling 20th major and sixth Wimbledon title from next week, edging him closer to becoming only the third man to complete a calendar Grand Slam.

The World No.1 has already won a ninth Australian Open and second French Open this season.

That has put him halfway to emulating Don Budge (1937) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) in sweeping all four majors in the same year.

It is a feat that even his closest rivals Federer and Rafael Nadal have never managed and will probably never achieve.

"Everything is possible," said 34-year-old Djokovic after winning the French Open earlier this month when asked if the Golden Slam of all four majors and Olympic Games gold was a realistic target.

"I've achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve."

Djokovic memorably captured a fifth Wimbledon in 2019, saving two championship points to defeat Federer in the longest ever final at the All England Club at four hours and 57 minutes.

He was deprived of defending his title in 2020 when Wimbledon was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Djokovic has won seven of the last 11 Slams as he ramps up his assault on the record of 20 majors held jointly by Federer and Nadal.

Nadal, the Wimbledon champion in 2008 and 2010, has already withdrawn from this year's tournament, still scarred by the bruising loss to the Serb in the French Open semi-finals.

Meanwhile, eight-time winner Federer will be 40 in August and won just one match on grass at Halle in the build-up to Wimbledon.

Federer, who underwent two knee surgeries in 2020, won the last of his eight Wimbledons in 2017 and the most recent of his 20 majors in Australia in 2018.

The Swiss star has lost three finals to Djokovic at the All England Club in 2014, 2015 and the epic 2019 clash.

"It's a huge challenge for me," said Federer of his comeback. "Things don't come simple, they don't come easy."

with agencies

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