Roger Federer returns to French-speaking Switzerland, where he lived the worst and best years of his life

Time, tough and impossible to avoid, puts on Roger Federer [probablemente el mayor artista tenístico de todos los tiempos] Against the ropes and the craving begins to hurt. The Swiss, who will turn 40 in August, built his career in avoiding physical trauma on the rhythm of harmonious foot movements. But last year he underwent two surgeries on his right knee, and on March 10, in the Doha Championships, 400 days of inactivity were cut to the previous first place. Since then, after a few official matches, he has opted to train. Blocks until his new turn. Where? In the ATP 250 from Geneva, From this Tuesday, before Spaniard Pablo Andegar [H2H: 0-0], In the third floor of the District Court [cerca de las 11 de la Argentina; ESPN Extra]. Returning her marginal spice to court: It’s your return to French-speaking Switzerland [distinta a la región “alemana” de Basilea, donde nació]; There he lived “Hell”, two of the worst and best years of his life.

Four languages ​​are spoken in Switzerland: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Federer was fourteen years old [actual 8° del ranking] He left his German district to perfect himself at the Swiss National Tennis Center in Ecoplense, near Lausanne, French region. The sudden change was, for months, shocking. “Roger has a special relationship with Geneva, with which he has many close friends, and with French-speaking Switzerland. He spent two years, 1995-1997, in Lausanne. He lived in a family home, Christines, and learned tennis at the National Center. There he met his physical trainer, Pierre Paganini, For your future coach Severin Lothi And his marital partner Yves Allegro. He learned French as a teenager with his friends, which continues to influence today. If German is your natural language and English is your native language [NdR: su madre, Lynette Durand, nació en Johannesburgo]French is the language of young people, the most forthright one, because it is accustomed to speaking like young people, and using colloquial words. His speech is a lot less controlling than he is in English and that makes him very nice, ”he explains Nation, Laurent Favre, famous journalist from Le Temps, Newspaper based in Lausanne.

It’s worth putting it in context. The Swiss Germans represent 70% of the population, the French represent 20% and the Italians 10%. Zurich is the country’s capital (politically, it is Bern), a nickname that is “contested” by Geneva. “Latinos see the Germans as Germans: hardworking, disciplined, and boring. Germans see the French as French: good at enjoying life, but unreliable at work. This can be seen in sports, where the French-speaking soccer and ice hockey teams have not won the national title for a while. Long (1999 Football, 1981 Hockey) But in tennis, the Davis Cup is the passion of the French-speaking part in Switzerland, and the Swiss team has played all its important matches in Geneva, Lausanne or Neuchâtel, ”adds Favre, who used to cover the professional tennis circuit ( Federer’s moves, of course.)

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But those times were not an enjoyable start for the subsequent 20 Grand Slam tournament winner. TheThe Federers lived in the Wasserhaus, a borough of Münchenstein, a municipality in the canton of Basel-country. And Robert Federer and Lynette’s decision to send Roger to master tennis for 200 kilometers was an emotional shock to the teen. Roger himself will describe it A stage like “hell”, In the book “Roger Federer’s Search for Perfection” by the Swiss journalist Renee Stover Del Diario Tages Anziger. “I was not happy there. I was far from my father and did not speak French. I have no friends. I did not find the motivation and was sad. frequently. I wanted to go home, but my father convinced me to stay, ”revealed Federer, who often slept in class and had little contact with Vincent, his“ adoptive family. ”The tennis player anxiously waited for Friday to travel to Basel to spend weekend.

Roger Federer will make his debut on Tuesday at the ATP 250 Championships in Geneva, Switzerland, against Spaniard Pablo Andegar, who has never faced him.
Roger Federer will make his debut on Tuesday at the ATP 250 Championships in Geneva, Switzerland, against Spaniard Pablo Andegar, who has never faced him. Martial Trezzini – Keystone

As time passed, Roger’s stay in French-speaking Switzerland became much more enjoyable. He began to increase his relationship with members of his temporary family and that state of mind moved onto the tennis court of course. Although school education is very similar, the French part of Switzerland is less rigid, with a more relaxed ‘Mediterranean’ and ‘International’ mindset. It is believed that the new effects of a more relaxed and independent site ended up enhancing Federer’s freedom.

Mathematically, [la formación en Ecublens] It was the right thing to do. And although there were difficult moments, they were good. Looking back, I think I spent the most important two years in my human life there. I only learned to travel anywhere in Switzerland. I have learned to struggle and deal with difficult situations in training. I thought I gave my all, but that wasn’t enough for the coaches there. I didn’t understand why, however I opened my eyes to the requirements of the highest level. And then I was lucky to live with a family, a wonderful host, with whom I still have very good connections. These two years are of golden value, “Federer recalls, in the last hours, in a report for the Tribune de Genève by the journalist and former Swiss tennis player. Matthew Eichmann (Two years older than Roger.)

Roger Federer Teenager and Trainer Peter Carter.
Roger Federer Teenager and Trainer Peter Carter. a file

Federer learned French at the age of 14, and according to him, that’s why when he speaks it, he does it as a teenager. His francophone rule was “tennis, card games, and hanging out with friends. It’s light, colorful.” He was able to perfect it for five years when he worked with a personal physiotherapist, born in Marseille [Stéphane Vivier]But it didn’t. As Federer explained in the same report, he believes in court “60-70% in Swiss-German and 30-40% in English”. When I was little I would sometimes shout “Alice” or “Come on” [’Vamos, en francés e inglés]But it was in moments of extreme distress that Swiss German appeared.

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“Of all the cities of the world, of all the intimate homelands that a person seeks to deserve during his travels, it seems to me that Geneva is the most conducive to happiness.” The phrase belongs to the writer Jorge Luis Borges, Who lived and died on June 14, 1986, is that Swiss city.

When Federer announced that he would be participating for the first time, At the Gonet Geneva Open, It was as if the planets had lined up. The Geneva tennis club, situated in natural beauty like the Parc des Eaux-Vives, opposite Lake Geneva, did not receive him at the tournament. It happens that there are three ATP competitions in Switzerland: Basel, Gstaad and Geneva. Federer played and won the first two matches, in German Switzerland, but never in Geneva. The tournament that was in great class in the 80’s [Guillermo Vilas, Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander y Adriano Panatta fueron algunos de los que allí jugaron], Ceased to exist when Federer began his ATP career in 1998. After I played for the last time in 1991, the tournament only returned again in 2015, when Federer was already a star who played quite a few in the 250th category ATP players and far fewer if they were the week before Roland Garros. But this year, the French Open was delayed by a week, leaving a distance between Geneva and the action at the Bois de Boulogne. Federer has been eager to compete with Wimbledon, since June 28, and needs to play as many matches as possible before reaching the All England Stadium.

The central stadium of the Geneva Tennis Club, located in natural beauty as the Parc des Eaux-Vives, is the place where Federer will play.
The central stadium of the Geneva Tennis Club, located in natural beauty as the Parc des Eaux-Vives, is the place where Federer will play.

Federer often went to Geneva from 2005 to 2015 to attend the Davis Cup. His old team-mates say that, since the team won almost every time, they tried to win 3-0 on Saturday to be able to come out at night, because there is not much to do in Geneva on Sunday nights, “points out Favre. Nation: In August 1998, Roger Challenger played for another Geneva club, TC Drizia, a month later.The first match in the ATP Tour, which he lost in Gstaad to Argentine Lucas Arnold Kerr. The last time they were here was in 2019 on the occasion of the Laver Cup, which has been a huge hit in terms of popularity and image. All tickets sold out within a few hours, even the most expensive ones. Roger was very proud to bring Burg, McEnroe and Nadal to Switzerland. ”

Roger Federer, always a media magnate, this time in Geneva.
Roger Federer, always a media magnate, this time in Geneva.

The tournament, which was held on brick dust, with a prize of 481,270 euros and whose main draw began on Monday, only 100 people are allowed in per day. The government’s health bubble will isolate Federer from thousands of fans. But in the same way the region is celebrating its visit and the exhibition that you will hold during these days. According to Laurent Ducrett, tournament press officer, Nation, It received more than 200 approval requests from the last version launched in 2019 [ahora la mayoría son virtuales, claro]. “We are very proud and happy to welcome Roger. We have a great interest in the tournament we are facing. Television and the national and international press want to cover the tournament,” Ducrett commented. According to Swiss media, the tournament will receive a city council grant of 250,000 francs [unos US$ 280.000].

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Federer, the front runner [el segundo es el canadiense Denis Shapovalov y el único argentino del cuadro principal es Guido Pella, que debutará ante el italiano Fabio Fognini], In the first challenge he will have to tackle a veteran soil specialist, like Andújar, currently 75 degrees [32° en 2015; ganador de cuatro títulos sobre canchas lentas]Who beat Australian Jordan Thompson 6-0, 6-4 in the first round. With rain expected all week, conditions are unfavorable for the Swiss game: he will find a stadium full of soaps and heavy balls.

Federer's attendance at the Geneva Championships for the first time was successful: the city's daily Tribune de Genève published a cartoon showing Roger and his wife Mirka Vavrinec.
Federer’s attendance at the Geneva Championships for the first time was successful: the city’s daily Tribune de Genève published a cartoon showing Roger and his wife Mirka

“I focus on myself. I have to play about ten matches to know where I am. In Doha I was particularly worried about my form and when I won the first set against Danny.” [Evans] In training I thought, “What? Can I play at this level?” I surprised myself. Here in Geneva, I am focusing more on my return to brick dust. If I am in good health, if I can series matches, service for hours and recover. It will increase my confidence. What matters to me is playing a lot and forgetting about the training and preparation part. I’ll take these games as a special training session, “ Federer ventured before the debut.

“Roger’s kind? His look. It’s like Zidane or Maradona in football: they see everything faster. The big players have better eye-arm-brain coordination.”

Swiss Marc Rosset (1995’s ninth ATP), on

He only played two games a season [en Doha, venció a Evans y perdió con Nikoloz Basilashvili en los cuartos de final] And it doesn’t compete for brick dust since Roland Garros 2019 [perdió en las semifinales con Rafael Nadal]. “It goes well in training. When you come back from the injury, you are in a different situation from the rest.” I’m excited to be back and now I’m not going to focus on being on the same level as Rafa or Novak [Djokovic]”.

Federer is back and has chosen a venue close to his roots to adapt to the tour.

Konosy The Trust Project

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