Roger Federer says he is ‘thankful he chose tennis’ after nearly perusing football career instead

Roger Federer says he came very close to choosing to concentrate on playing football rather than tennis as a child, but he’s ‘thankful’ he picked the latter. 

The Swiss ace has since gone on to become one of the undoubted all-time tennis greats, with no man able to boast more Grand Slam titles than him.

However, in a question and answer video for social media, he explained how he very nearly missed his calling.

“I think in my world that I grew up in Switzerland, education always comes first and sports wasn’t really a way of life,” Federer said. “But then, I remember playing badminton or ping pong or tennis, in the backyard of my friend’s house.

“We were like, ‘and the winner of Wimbledon is Roger Federer!’. … So I think I was dreaming of winning the Wimbledon.

“Playing against the wall, playing doubles with my parents… realising that tennis had so much more to it than just hitting a ball. I also played football, [but] never looked back.

“I always enjoyed it, but eventually, I had to take a decision if it was gonna be football or tennis. Thankfully, I chose tennis.

Federer also shared some anecdotes about his very early days playing tennis.

“My first ever match, I lost 6-0, 6-0,” he recalled. “I heard some rumours that maybe, ‘he was not that good like we thought he was’.

“I kept on practicing hard. I started playing more tournaments. I started to become more successful, even as a junior. Nationally, I became a junior Swiss champion when I was 12 years old.

“Jokingly, I put up a sign on the wall that said, ‘Junior World Champion lives here’. We were leaving the next day. The Swiss junior team – when they knocked on the door, on my, sort of, dorm, everybody was laughing.”

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