All about Roger Federer’s wife, Mirka Federer

All about Roger Federer’s wife, Mirka Federer

Throughout a career that put him among the best tennis players of all time, Roger Federer has had a steadying presence driving him to greatness.

He has often cited Miroslava “Mirka” Federer, his wife of 15 years, as a crucial component in a career that produced 20 Grand Slam singles titles before his retirement in 2022.

Mirka Federer is seen sharing her side of the journey in a rare interview as part of the new Prime Video documentary “Federer: Twelve Final Days,” which begins streaming on June 20. The film details the last dozen days of the tennis legend’s career leading up to his retirement.

Roger Federer spoke to Savannah Guthrie on TODAY on June 19 about what it was like to watch the footage from that emotional time.

“Vulnerable, but also grief,” he said. “But also then a lot of happiness and relief seeing my wife. She hasn’t spoken to the media I think in, like, 18 years. So for her to be so vulnerable in front of the camera. And I know it’s been hard for her.”

Here’s what to know about Mirka Federer.

All about Roger Federer’s wife, Mirka FedererAll about Roger Federer’s wife, Mirka Federer

Roger Federer and Mirka Federer (Arturo Holmes / Getty Images)

She is a former tennis pro herself

Mirka Federer grew up in Switzerland after being born in Slovakia and became a professional tennis player under her maiden name, Mirka Vavrinec.

Her love of tennis bloomed with a chance meeting with tennis great Martina Navratilova when she was 9, according to a 2003 article in London’s Sunday Times. Navratilova inspired her to pursue tennis after Mirka Federer and her father met Navratilova at a tournament in Germany.

Mirka Federer was a serve-and-volley player who preferred playing on hard courts of all the surfaces. The highest ranking she achieved in her singles career was No. 76 in the world on the Women’s Tennis Association tour, according to the WTA.

Mirka Federer did not win any tournaments on the tour during her professional singles career.

She also competed on Switzerland’s Fed Cup team in 2000 and on the Swiss team in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

The experience in Sydney was life-changing, as that is where she met Roger, who was also on the Swiss Olympic team. They shared their first kiss in Sydney, according to the ATP.

A persistent foot injury caused her to retire from the sport after playing with her future husband in the 2001 Hopman Cup, according to the 2003 Sunday Times story.

She is a mom of 4

Mirka and Roger Federer, who got married in 2009, share four children together.

Twin girls Myla and Charlene, 14, and twin boys Lenny and Leo, 10, frequently traveled with Mirka to Roger’s tournaments while growing up.

Roger and Mirka Federer with their family in 2023. (Clive Mason / Formula 1 via Getty Images)Roger and Mirka Federer with their family in 2023. (Clive Mason / Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Roger and Mirka Federer with their family in 2023. (Clive Mason / Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Mirka Federer transitioned from being a player to being her husband’s support system while he was playing around the world, traveling with the children so he always had his family with him.

Roger Federer told Savannah on TODAY in 2022 that the only way he would keep playing once he and Mirka Federer started a family would be if they were able to travel to all of his tournaments.

“I said, ‘Never would I go on the road without my kids,'” he said. “And then I’d rather retire. Then I would’ve had to retire 10 years ago.”

Roger Federer and his kids in 2023. (Jean Catuffe / Getty Images)Roger Federer and his kids in 2023. (Jean Catuffe / Getty Images)

Roger Federer and his kids in 2023. (Jean Catuffe / Getty Images)

He thanked Mirka Federer for all her support over the years when he announced his retirement in a video on X in 2022.

“I would like to especially thank my amazing wife, Mirka, who has lived through every minute with me,” he said. “She has warmed me up before finals, watched countless matches even while over eight months pregnant, and has endured my goofy side on the road with my team for over 20 years.”

He also thanked his children for “creating wonderful memories along the way.”

“Seeing my family cheering me on from the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever,” he said.

She inspired Zendaya’s character in ‘Challengers’

Justin Kuritzkes, the screenwriter behind this year’s hit tennis love triangle movie “Challengers,” told GQ that he took inspiration for Zendaya’s character in the film from watching Mirka Federer during the 2019 Wimbledon tournament and learning about her life.

Kuritzkes watched the broadcast as the cameras frequently cut to Mirka Federer during Roger’s match with longtime rival Novak Djokovic.

“She looked so stressed out, every point,” he told GQ. “I was watching her and just thinking, ‘Why are you so stressed out? You guys have all the money in the world. You’ve won 20 Grand Slams. What’s so stressful to you? It has to be something else.’”

Kuritzkes then learned about how Mirka Federer was a former player herself who made the move to supporting her husband’s career.

“She kind of became his manager, and sort of managed his life,” he said. “He credits her a lot for (his success).”

Tashi, Zendaya’s character in “Challengers,” is a former tennis star whose career was cut short by injuries, and she now manages her husband’s tennis career.

Mirka does philanthropic work with the Roger Federer Foundation

Mirka Federer is on the board of trustees for the Roger Federer Foundation, which supports educational projects in southern Africa and Switzerland.

Roger Federer’s mother, Lynette, is from South Africa, so he is a dual citizen of Switzerland and South Africa.

In 2022, the Federer family traveled to Lesotho in southern Africa to visit a program the foundation had been funding for early education, according to the foundation’s 2023 annual report.

More than 2 million children have benefited from a better education since Federer founded the charitable organization in 2003, according to the foundation.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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