Roger Federer is one of the world’s best known professional tennis players and a highly influential member of the Big Four (along with Nadal, Djokovic and Murray) and as such sports pages, websites and magazines are filled with the latest Federer news pieces and gossip. It seems the appetites of professional-level tennis fans know no boundaries when it comes to information about the Swiss tennis whizz, not least about his elusive and mysterious wife Mirka Federer.
Mirka Federer – a.k.a Miroslava Vavrinec – met the tennis pro at the 200 0 Olympics and within 9 years has gone from being his girlfriend, to press and public relations manager, to his wife. Having married in April 2009, the couple soon extended their family with the arrival of two twin girls in August 2009. This was about all the information that the quietly confident Slovakian was prepared to share with the world, despite all the questions and comments about whether she was to blame for everything from Federer’s poor performance on court to his lack of fashion sense. One thing has been certain since she appeared on the radar of the world’s press, this woman did not behave in the way that was expected of her, instead remaining Zen-like when watching Federer in action, and quick to defend herself whenever negative comments got a bit too personal.
The calm and stoic manner that Mirka Federer has developed may have something to do with her own history as a budding professional tennis player. When she was just 9 years old, Martina Navratilova – arguably one of the world’s finest female tennis players – encouraged the youngster to try her hand at playing tennis by arranging her first tennis lesson. This surprise story doesn’t end there, a number of years later Navratilova sent Mirka one of her tennis rackets from America, having remembered the potentially great young player that she met at a 1987 tournament in Fiderstadt.
It seems, too, that Navratilova was right about the potential that Mirka had when it came to playing tennis. Her style was similar – charging the net, hitting big serves and fast volleys – and she became a Swiss junior champion at the age of 15. Although she never captured a WTA title during her professional career, Mirka did reach the mid-80’ ranking and performed well in the US Open Grand Slam tournament where she successfully reached the third round. A number of long-running foot problems and injuries put an end to her career and potential not long after that, although she had three tournaments to her name and a 12-match winning streak.