He is likely to be remembered as the greatest tennis player in the history of the sport, but Roger Federer admits he does not want his children following in his footsteps.
Federer waltzed into the third round of the Australian Open for the 16th consecutive time on Wednesday morning, but the former world No.1 does not harbour a desire to keep coming back to Rod Laver Arena for much longer.
His six-year-old twin daughters, Charlene and Myla, have begun playing tennis, but their father is hopeful they do not make a career out of the sport.
“I will support them all the way whatever they want to do, but I don’t see myself doing that right now,” Federer said about the prospect of following his children around the tennis tour for the next few decades.
“I’d rather support them in another sport. Go see them be a super skier. That would be exciting. To go watch tennis matches, I don’t know [laughter]. As much as I love it now, I’m just not sure what my excitement level will be in 20 years’ time from now. You never know.”
Federer, who also has 21-month old twin boys, Lenny and Leo, has seen and experienced everything there is to see in the sport, yet somehow has the desire and commitment to return to the top.
While he is appreciative for all tennis has done for him, he does not see his children carrying on the Federer legacy in the sport, nor does he want them to.
“I think it’s 40 years on the tennis tour that doesn’t excite me, you know, straight,” Federer said laughing.
“I think that’s what it would be. And they don’t necessarily love it the way I did. So that’s why, for me, it’s quite obvious that it’s not going to happen. Who knows? They are going to tennis lessons because daddy says so because I think it’s a good thing for them.
“I think it’s a wonderful place, the tennis tour, otherwise I wouldn’t be on it. It’s a great sport to learn how to lose, to win, to figure it out, for friendship, discipline, you name it; for hand-eye co-ordination. I only think good things about it. I didn’t say it in a negative way. I just don’t think they will ever be a tennis player who is ever going to play on Rod Laver Arena. Maybe they will surprise me and one day they will be here and I will be home in the cold and they will be here. Who knows?”