Roger Federer revealed that he sent his two twin boys to old rival Rafael Nadal’s training centre after they found a “love” for tennis. The Swiss star was at the opening of the Rafa Nadal Academy back in 2016. Two years ago, the 20-time Grand Slam champion joked that he would be sending his children to the Mallorcan facility and it seems Federer kept his word.
A year after Federer’s emotional retirement at the Laver Cup, there are signs that tennis fans could one day see some future generations of the his family on a match court. The 42-year-old revealed that his two sets of twins – 14-year-old girls and nine-year-old boys – had taken up the sport and even spent time at tennis academies over the summer.
And one of the academies belonged to his old rival and good friend Nadal. The Spaniard opened the Rafa Nada Academy in his home of Manacor seven years ago with Federer by his side as a special guest. And things came full circle this summer as his twin boys Leo and Lenny spent a couple of days at the training centre.
“All four kids love it,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “The girls didn’t love it in the beginning but as they get better, they’re enjoying it and playing points now. They were up at [John] McEnroe Academy in East Hampton, and the boys were in Mallorca at the [Rafael Nadal] camp for a couple of days.”
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The former world No 1 also admitted that he hadn’t spent too much time on a tennis court himself since retiring 12 months ago, only getting the rackets out to hit with his kids – as well as a one-off with friends in the Hamptons. And Federer said he was trying to make some time to coach his four children after they showed an interest in his profession.
He added: “It’s obviously an interesting dynamic, because I’m the dad, and not a former player. It is what it is.” The 103-time title winner ended his 24-year playing career at the Laver Cup in London’s O2 Arena surrounded by his greatest rivals – Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
The Big Four were all part of Team Europe. And Federer’s final match was a doubles outing at the team event alongside Nadal, with the pair losing to Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock. They were both in tears after the final ball was hit, sitting at the player bench and crying as Ellie Goulding sang during a ceremony honouring Federer’s career.
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Federer shut down his season in 2020 following the Australian Open due to a right knee injury and underwent two surgeries. He mounted a comeback in March 2021 but played just five tournaments, crashing out in the Wimbledon quarter-final and again ending his season to have a third surgery.
The Swiss star had still been planning to return to the sport as late as last July when he appeared at Wimbledon for a centenary celebration on Centre Court and claimed he wanted to compete at least one more time. But just a few weeks later he announced that the Laver Cup would be his final tournament and said he had to listen to his body.
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