10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Roger Federer on Life as a Tennis Dad, Rock Star and Rafa Replacement

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 04: (L-R) Catherine, Princess of Wales, Roger Federer and Mirka Federer court side on day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 04, 2023 in London, England. Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage

Retirement has been pleasurable period of adjustment for Roger Federer.

The 41-year-old Swiss superstar has embraced his role as tennis dad, rock star and even reminding some fans he’s not Rafa Nadal.

Speaking to CNN’s Christina Macfarlane, Federer shared a story of a fan approaching him for a selfie believing he was Rafa Nadal.

“Because I show up in completely random places now some people are surprised to see me,” Federer told CNN. “I had a moment where I was in Venice and a guy chased me down. And said ‘Can I please take a picture? Are you who I think you are?’

“And I’m like: I don’t know who do you think I am?

“And he [said]: ‘Are you Nadal?’ And I said, I’m so sorry, I’m not. So I kept on walking and the guy looked at me like ‘Oh, he’s not Nadal’ but he kept on looking at me…I thought maybe he was going to figure it out, but he didn’t.”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion said his two sets of twins—daughters Charlene Riva and Myla Rose and sons Lenny and Leo—are all playing tennis these days though they don’t always take their famous father’s advice.

“I’m not the coach, I am the dad and the dad’s advice, as we know, only goes so far,” Federe told CNN. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve won Wimbledon or not, you’re still the dad and sometimes they don’t want to hear what you have to say.

“I try to be funny, but at the same time I also try to be straight sometimes and just teach them. I come in more, I guess, as a technical coach so I try to teach them about all the tennis racquets.

“I don’t think we were the crazy tennis parents who said: ‘Girls, you’ve got to go and play every day for two hours.’”

It’s been a busy Wimbledon fortnight for Federer, who was honored with a video tribute and a rousing Centre Court standing ovation during his visit to the Royal Box where he sat next to Princess Kate on Wednesday.

Before rolling into Wimbledon, Federer play rock star at a Coldplay concert.

“On Saturday night, Chris Martin writes me and says ‘Do you want to help us perform one of the songs?’ ” Federer told CNN. “I was sitting at dinner and read the message to my wife, and two daughters and some friends and they were like ‘Oh my God, you’ve got to do it!’ 

“Myla, my daughter looks at me and goes ‘Papa, Go! You only live once…So I finished my music career on top because I just retired from music as well.”