Roger Federer’s biggest supporters are his family.
The tennis player first met his wife Mirka, who is also a tennis player, when they were representing Switzerland at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. They eventually tied the knot in 2009.
Since then, they have become a family of six, welcoming two sets of identical twins.
In July 2009, the couple welcomed twin daughters Charlene Riva and Myla Rose and in 2014, they welcomed another set of identical twins, boys Leo and Lenny.
While Federer does not often discuss his family life publicly, his kids have been in the stands to support him at major matches.
In a recent interview with Today ahead of his retirement, he opened up about taking them on the road with him, noting it was a no-brainer.
“Oh, it was the only way,” he told Savannah Guthrie. “I said, ‘I would never go on the road without my kids.’ I’d rather retire [than travel without them]. Then I would have had to retire 10 years ago.”
Learn more about Federer’s kids ahead.
Myla Rose Federer and Charlene Riva Federer
On July 23, 2009, Roger and Mirka became first-time parents as they welcomed identical twin girls, Myla Rose Federer and Charlene Riva Federer. “This is the greatest day of our lives,” he said in a statement at the time. “Mirka, Myla and Charlene are all healthy and doing very well.”
The couple initially chose not to disclose that they were welcoming twins, with Federer telling The New York Times he decided to “just play along until the very, very end.”
“I had to really battle myself,” he shared. “I had a couple [of interviews] where I said, ‘We’re really excited to have some babies,’ and I was thinking, ‘Is that already giving it away?'”
Following their births, the tennis star opened up to PEOPLE about becoming a first-time father. “It’s been a lot of fun being a father and spending time with them,” he said of his then-6-week-old twins. “I’m hands on as much as I can because everyday is something new and something different. I don’t want to miss anything.”
“It’s an amazing feeling to be called a dad,” he added. “I take a lot of pride in that title.”
While Myla and Charlene have shown up at various tennis tournaments to support their dad, Roger previously teased that his daughters aren’t as enthusiastic about the sport as he is.
“They will pick up their doll instead of a tennis racket and be happy with that,” Federer told PEOPLE at the 2011 US Open press conference. “They try hard [with a racket] but they get discouraged after 30 seconds. They don’t try to imitate me either.”
Leo Federer and Lenny Federer
On Christmas Eve in 2013, Roger and Mirka made the happy announcement that they were expecting again. “Mirka and I are very happy to share the news that Myla & Charlene will be big sisters in 2014! Happy Holidays,” he wrote on Twitter. On May 6, 2014, the couple welcomed another set of identical twins, sons Leo Federer and Lenny Federer.
The couple’s boys have also been front and center for various championships as well, including his historic eighth Wimbledon men’s singles championship in 2017.
“I was just so deeply touched by my performance in the tournament from the beginning to the end,” he said Today after the win. “I looked up in the stands and saw my kids… then it started to sink in that I was a Wimbledon champion for real.”
“I saw the boys for the first time, and [seeing] them coming out to center court and knowing how much center court means to me, and seeing them like not knowing what’s going on,” Federer laughed. “And then the girls were there too and my wife was emotional. It just really hit me.”
Speaking with Today in September 2022, the tennis star opened up about how welcoming his sons really shifted his approach to his career.
“I have twin girls, as you know, Myla and Charlene. They were born in ’09, just after I became, I think it was world No. 1,” he told Guthrie. “The girls were born and from that moment on, 2010 and 2011, I didn’t win any slam. I remember changing diapers, bathing the girls and just being a dad.”
He continued, “But then when the boys were born, I mean, that rocked the boat, obviously, because going on the road with four kids every single week was hard, to say the least. And from being maybe the dominator, I became the challenger. And I liked that role, as well. I actually really stayed hungry throughout.”
He also shared with Guthrie that one of his sons has an inclination towards tennis, but did not share which one might be following in his footsteps.