Roger Federer Says He May Miss French Open for Birth of Third Child

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2014

Roger Federer of Switzerland, returns the ball to Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic during their match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Michel Euler

Roger Federer has enjoyed a resurgent season that has thrust him back into Grand Slam title contention, but the Swiss star is prepared to miss the 2014 French Open for the birth of his child.   

According to BBC, Federer's wife, Mirka, is pregnant with the couple's third child. It is unclear when the child is due, but Federer admitted that bypassing Roland Garros is a possibility if the two events intersect.

"I've played enough tennis matches. Missing a tournament or missing a match wouldn't change anything for me," Federer said. "Yeah, let's talk about it when (the birth) would happen. At the moment, we hope it's not going to be (during the French Open). If it is, that's what it is, you know."

Although Federer's comments suggest that things aren't necessarily trending toward the birth occurring during the French Open from May 25 through June 8, these types of situations are unpredictable and can't always be planned for.

The 32-year-old Federer is firmly established as one of the greatest players in tennis history by virtue of his 17 Grand Slam titles. He will forever be considered an all-time great regardless of whether or not he wins another Grand Slam.

With that in mind, it's tough to argue with Federer's state of mind. He has been there and done that in terms of winning huge tournaments, while the birth of one's child is something that is far less common and far more important.

At the same time, Federer's Grand Slam opportunities may be waning. He endured a nightmarish 2013 campaign, but he has bounced back this year to the tune of a 24-4 record along with one tournament title. He reached the Australian Open semifinals, and he has a lot of momentum on his side right now.

Per Carole Bouchard of L'Equipe, Federer is extremely pleased with the way he is playing currently:

Having to take time off could knock Federer off his game, and it is uncertain if he will be able to regain it in time for Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Federer has just one French Open title to his credit (2009), and it is no secret that Roland Garros is Rafael Nadal's playground. There are no guarantees in sports, but Nadal winning the French Open title is the closest thing to money in the bank.

Fed will definitely be a contender if he plays in the French Open; however, Nadal will be the overwhelming favorite just as he is every year.

Winning the French Open is a long shot for Federer at this point, so missing it for the birth of his child is certainly understandable.


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