Roger Federer announced via Facebook today that the Federer family will be growing!
Wow! It’s not exactly a surprise, right? I think we were all doing the math and figuring that it was now or never for the Federer family. Mirka’s in her mid thirties, the twins are four years old and, well, I’m sure everyone can squeeze in a bit on the private jet!
Now or never. I realized as I typed the phrase that this could be Roger’s mantra for 2014. Even his most rabid fans have to admit that we’ve been witnessing a decline, a wane, a gradual diminishment of his powers, or at least his consistency, on the court. 2013 was the “get real” season we’ve all been dreading, the time when we pulled the red and white bandanas from our eyes and squinted out towards a hazy future without Roger Federer. (For some reason, I picture a sandy, Dubai-at-sunset kind of glow.) The Fed family’s happy announcement, combined with news of Roger starting the Team8 agency with Tony Godsick, even signing Del Potro and Dimitrov just to show this is serious, have given all of us a clearer vision of what lies ahead for Team Federer, and it’s not just Harajuku Lovers onesies and kindergarten for the twins.
But before we get too misty eyed and start planning the going away raclette party (admission: my tennis teacher and I have started discussing how much we’d pay for seats at Roger’s final match. . .what’s your figure?), let’s savor this quote from none other than Stefan Edberg, after he trained with Roger in Dubai earlier this month:
“I think he will be coming back. He’s a great player and all the pieces are in place, he can definitely win some more grand slam titles.”
Oh, sweet, sweet Swedish music! And I’m not talking ABBA. Edberg, who GTT reader, Judy, totally PREDICTED would be Roger’s next coach, may actually BE Roger’s next coach! “It’s a matter for us to find time to fit it in,” Edberg told Stockholm’s Svenska Dagbladets last week. “If we can, I would be more than happy.”
Stefan, that makes a few million of us! That would be an awesome Christmas gift for tennis fans, to see Stefan “The Sportsman”, himself, in Roger’s coach’s box in 2014. (Perhaps taking up some traveling duties from Mirka?) Roger hasn’t confirmed any long term changes to his team for now, but both he and Stefan seem to be leaving the possibility open, which says a lot. In the short time they were together, Edberg said he encouraged Roger to amp up his attacking style against baseline masters Djokovic and Nadal. That’s not anything we couldn’t have told Roger, but it’s often the messenger and not the message that counts when it comes to coaching an all time great. At the very least, this meeting of Sportsmen indicates that Roger’s as dedicated, hopeful and serious as ever.
So let’s dig out the fondue set and put the bottle of Moet on ice. But don’t call it Bon Voyage. The Federer Express is full steam ahead in 2014! (Brisbane, Roger’s first tournament of the 2014 season, actually starts on December 29.)
As for the Freaky Family – we’re wishing all of you in Tennislandia a very Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a joyous New Year! Love you guys!