Roger Federer took his first steps in tennis at the age of three, hitting various objects in his backyard and enjoying the sport more and more. In 1993, Roger became the U-12 national champion in Lucerne, focusing only on tennis and leaving football behind, although he loved to play it.
During that time, Roger often trained at the Old Boys Tennis Club at his home in Basel, met Peter Carter there and became a great friend of his coach who taught him a lot.
At the end of 1994, the young Federer began to think about moving to the National Tennis Center in Ecublens on Lake Geneva and he went there the next year, starting to work with Pierre Paganini.
The latter remains one of the most influential people behind its success. Federer was the youngest player in the training group at Ecublens, he didn’t speak French and had no friends to hang out with.
Little by little, everything changed and Roger became a great friend to Vincent Christinet whose family he was staying with, feeling much better and beginning to show that on the court as well.
Roger Federer struggled to get settled in at the National Tennis Center.
“When I was 13, my parents asked me if I wanted to go to the National Tennis Center. First I said no because I wanted to stay home.
Then I saw a tape, half a year or a year later, and suddenly he was interested. I told the press that I am quite interested in going there and training. My parents read that and we started talking about it, looking at the positives and negatives.
I went to play there and they thought I was talented, so they took me. It was almost my decision to go there; my parents helped me choose a little. At first, I was quite alone there. The first six months were very hard because I am from the German-speaking part of Switzerland and could not speak French or have friends there for that reason.
I was from a very nice family, but I didn’t have any success in those first few months. Then I met all the players and coaches and learned the language, which helped me. It also helps me now. I can speak three languages perfectly, “said Roger Federer.