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The film provides insight into the final days of Federer's career

The film provides insight into the final days of Federer's career


This is why Roger Federer allowed himself to be followed every step of the way in the final days of his career as an athlete. And why is his wife, Mirka, speaking out publicly after nearly ten years of silence?

February 21, 2024, at 10:20February 21, 2024 at 1:05 pm

Simon Haring/Media

Roger Federer was sitting in Zurich's luxury Hotel Bour-au-Lac near Burkleplatz on Thursday, September 15, 2022, when he announced shortly after 3 p.m. that he would not be returning to the tennis court. In his letter, the Basel citizen talks about a “bittersweet moment”

On this autumn afternoon, Federer gathered the most important people around him: father Robert and mother Lynette. And his wife Mirka. Resigning is perhaps one of the most personal moments of his life – and at the same time one of the most public. “It was great to break the news surrounded by my mum, dad and Mirka. “Who would have thought the trip would take this long,” Federer wrote.

RWC - Roger Federer in the final of New Zealand vs. South Africa Lynette Federer's mother Roger from South Africa, above Roger Federer, Mirka Federer with their children Leo, Lenny, Mila Rose, Charlene Riva...

Federer at the Rugby World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand with his family. Image:

Mirka remained silent for a decade

When Roger Federer has lifted a trophy somewhere in the world over the past two decades, it has not only been photographers who have taken pictures, but also his wife Mirka. Whether using a camera or a cell phone, the 45-year-old always made sure to record the special moments of the tennis player's career in the family album.

For most people, it is only present from the waist up. The box in which Mirka Federer has been chanting “Roggie” for two decades says a lot. If the ball stops, the curtain rises for her whether she wants it or not. Then there was the discussion of the pink Gucci jacket with a tiger on the chest for 1,500 francs, the diamonds on the ring finger being counted, the handbags being discussed, or how well Federer's daughters and two sons were dressed.

Tennis - Wimbledon 2019 - Week 2, Sunday the 13th Men's Singles, Final: Novak Djokovic Serb vs. Roger Federer Sui Federer's wife Mirka with her disappointed children after the match, or...

Familiar photo – Mirka Federer with family in the spectator area.Image:

Federer and Mirka have been a couple since the 2000 Olympics. First his personal assistant until his successes made him a center in the tennis world, then an icon in the history of the sport and a million-dollar brand. That was before she retreated to the role of wife, mother, and advisor, and remained silent in public.

In 2002, Mirka ended her career due to chronic foot pain and became a key figure in her career. “Roger shares everything with me. If he wins, it'll be as if I won too. “Roger somehow brought me back to my tennis life,” Mirka said at the time.

And soon Federer won only one: Grand Slam title, world No. 1, ascended to advertising icon. Federer here, Federer there, Federer everywhere.

This was too much for Mirka, who had been rooting for him for a long time, refused a lot of things and quickly had a reputation for being grumpy. At one point she says: “I don't mind being mistaken for a dragon here and there. Whoever criticizes me should see what happens to us.” She stands up and says, “It's about Roggie now! My time comes after tennis. He's now No. 1 in the world. Only you this once.”

Roger Federer (right) and Miroslava Wavrinec (Switzerland) Roger Federer (right) and Miroslava Wavrinec both Switzerland

Roger Federer competes with Mirka, then Wavrinek.Photo: imago sports photo service

The two decided that Mirka should withdraw from the public eye. “It organizes our lives, which means a lot of work,” Federer says. That's why I protect her and speak on our behalf.” Even today.

Now Mirka Federer has broken her silence.

Award-winning film director

In a documentary to be released this summer. According to Bloomberg, Amazon has obtained the rights to exclusive video material from Federer's private archive. Asif Kapadia was therefore given the task of documenting the last 12 days of the tennis player's career. The Briton won several awards for the film based on the life and work of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna and football star Diego Maradona.

Film director Asif Kapadia from Great Britain poses during a photo shoot for a movie "Diego Maradona"  At the 72nd Locarno International Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland, Thursday, August 8...

Asif Kapadia at the Locarno Film Festival.Photo: Keystone

The raw material was created between his retirement announcement and Federer's final match at the 2022 Laver Cup in London in doubles alongside his old rival and friend Rafael Nadal.

At that time, Federer provided insight into his world, which had not only previously closed its doors, but also defended them vigorously. “I never let anyone into my house, not even my hotel room,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying. To date he has not had any personal recordings for his career. “That's why it was important for me to do it,” Federer said.

When Federer served coffee

Dressed in jeans and a jacket, he serves coffee as he offers a glimpse into his inner workings in a discreetly located, dimly lit but dignified room at London's O2 Arena three days before his final match. A man stands filming inconspicuously from a corner, recording every gesture and every emotion with his camera. He is there when Federer meets Rafael Nadal for the first time since announcing his retirement. While Federer prepares to train in the locker room. He also feeds himself. At the physical therapist. On the way to the hotel. Everywhere.

Tennis: Laver Cup, September 23, 2022 London, United Kingdom Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal look on in tears after their last Laver Cup tennis match.  Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sp...

Federer says goodbye to professional tennis and plays his last doubles with his former rival Rafael Nadal.Image:

Even if he thought the timing was right, Roger Federer was emotionally disturbed by this farewell. He laughs and cries — on the field, but also off it, when there aren't usually cameras on him. Tears, joy, sadness, and even despair, the most intimate moments of any sports icon – this is the stuff filmmakers' dreams are made of.

Federer's message: camaraderie!

This was improved through discussions with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. “It's a very personal film,” Federer says. It's supposed to show how good the camaraderie between tennis players is. “Yes, there are competitions. But in addition to the playing field, there are also friendships and respect.

Federer said at the time that he did not yet know whether or in what form he would use these recordings. But it did not take much imagination to imagine the extent of great interest in the material. Federer's documentary is scheduled to be released this summer.

The best example of how popular sports documentaries are right now is the ten-part series The Last Dance, which documents Michael Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls. The basketball player kept the exclusive material secret for 22 years before making it available on Netflix in 2020. With overwhelming success: on average, nearly seven million people watched the episodes.