But one person who never doubted the veteran’s a lents is his beloved wife Mirka. That was clear to see in the warm embrace – or rather handshake – they shared after he won his 18th Grand Slam.
Moments after sealing victory against old enemy Rafael Nadal in a thrilling fi ve-set Australian Open final, the Swiss legend went straight to his wife.
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Had he been able to reach her the couple might have kissed – but in the end they had to make do with slapping each other’s outstretched palms.
Even so, the incredible moment in Melbourne said it all: tearful mother-of-four Mirka’s belief in her evergreen husband never wavered.
A clearly emotional Federer, whose professional twilight years have been plagued by injury, later hinted it might be his last appearance Down Under.
Roger Federer and Mirka
Mirka was quick to reach out and join her husband in his moment of victory
“I’ve been coming here for almost 20 years,” he said.
I’ve always enjoyed it and now my family does too
“I’ve always enjoyed it and now my family does too. Thanks again for everything – to everybody. I hope to see you next year. If not, this was a wonderful run here and I can’t be more happy to win.”
Incredibly, it was Federer’s first Grand Slam title for almost five years and his fifth in Australia. The relief was palpable.
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After winning an engrossing final in an energy-sapping three hours and 37 minutes, jubilant Federer leapt in the air in celebration, before breaking down in tears as Mirka, 38, did the same in the stands.
Federer met former professional tennis player Mirka when they were both competing for Switzerland at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
The couple have identical seven-year-old twin girls Myla Rose and Charlene Riva and two-year old twins Leo and Lennart. Federer’s last major win was at Wimbledon in 2012 when he beat Andy Murray to win his seventh men’s singles title at the All-England Club.