To his record line of trophies, comes another set of twin Slam, which the Swiss, once a ball boy, considers bigger than any other. Roger Federer proudly announced late Thursday night that he and Mirka have now officially become parents of twin girls.
In the Facebook and his website, Federer shares his joy with his fans, "“I have some exciting news to share with you: Late last night, in Switzerland, Mirka and I became proud parents of twin girls! We named them Myla Rose and Charlene Riva and they are both healthy and along with their mother, they are doing great. This is the best day of our lives!”
Federer, 27, had been dating Mirka (Miroslava Vavrinec), 31, since they were part of the Swiss national team for 2000 Sydney Olympics, before they married on April 11, 2009, attended by a small group of close friends and family at Wenkenhof Villa, municipal town of Riehen.
Would there be a better time to reminisce the wonderful journey that Federer undertook to the fatherhood?
Mirka was born in Slovakia and emigrated to Switzerland when she was two years old. Before she retired in 2002, due to foot injury, and became Federer's manager, she was a WTA tennis player. Her entry into tennis has an interesting story, which eventually led her to Federer.
When Mirka was nine in 1987, her father took her to watch a tournament at Filderstadt in Germany, which happened to be on Navratilova's birthday. As a huge fan, Mirka's father, with his daughter Mirka on his side, found a way to hand Navratilova a present.
Call it a miracle or fate, Navratilova praised the little Mirka's athletic look and suggested that she should give it a try. On top of that, later, generous Navratilova sent her a racket from America.
By 2000, Mirka was in the top 100 in WTA ranking and in Swiss National team for the Sydney Olympics. Credit to Navratilova's racket gift that joined Mirka with Federer.
Like Mirka, Federer comes from a diasporic heritage, born to Swiss national Robert Federer and South Africa-born Lynette Du Rand. He grew up in suburban Münchenstein, which borders with Basel city, close to the French and German borders, allowing him to be a fluent bilingual from early childhood.
Federer's parents played tennis socially at a club near Basel, and as a toddler Roger enjoyed watching them. By 3, precocious Roger picked up a racket and started hitting balls on his own and impressed the members of the club. At 8, he joined Old Boys' Tennis Club in Basel and was coached by Seppli Kacovsky.
By 12, his parents provided the prodigy with a proper coach, Peter Carter. At 14, once he became the Swiss national champion, he got the opportunity to train at the Swiss National Tennis Center in Ecublens, eventually join the ITF junior circuit in July 1996.
Before he entered the pro-tour, Federer achieved Wimbledon Junior Singles champion, junior YEC Orange Bowl, and with that, World No. 1 Junior in 1998. Though Carter remained a mentor, another Peter joined the team in 1999, Peter Lundgren, in nurturing the future star that tennis has ever had.
No miracle happened except his fourth round victory over Sampras in '01 SW19. And 2002 was not happy year, with Carter's passing and his early exits from Wimbledon, RG, and USO. Since 2003 Wimbledon, there has never been a moment of turning back. Happiness has continued to fill Federer and his family.
No other than the double Grand Slammer Laver himself once reckoned, "I am honoured just to be compared with him. A lot of the shots that he produces are just totally uncanny."
Back in 2005, Andy Roddick
astutely remarked, "He's probably the most talented person ever to carry a racket around."
Four years later, Federer has surpassed most records that a tennis player can possibly do in his life time. And he has not reposed yet. He continues to mesmerize fans and foes alike.
Whether the simultaneous success in several fronts—from breaking Sampras' record through Career Slam, back to back French Open and Wimbledon titles, marriage, and now blessed with 2 beautiful babies—would be overwhelming joy to handle or would it inspire him to do more wonders on the court is yet to be seen. And tennis fans hope for the latter.
Welcome to the human and tennis world, Riva and Charlene ! Wish you a prosperous and happy growth and hope you two will live up to your father’s legacy, part of which you will grow fast enough to witness.