Raquet-Smashing Federer

Roger Federer lost his temper

Roger Federer lost his temper

Roger Federer has a temper? The tennis world was shocked to see the Swiss maestro smash his Wilson racquet during his semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne Friday. While many were surprised to see this display of negative emotion, it is behavior that is deep-rooted in Federer from his early days in the game. In the book THE ROGER FEDERER STORY, QUEST FOR PERFECTION ($24.95, New Chapter Press, www.rogerfedererbook.com), author Rene Stauffer chronicles the hot-tempered youngster. Stauffer’s excerpts about the racquet-throwing Federer are as follows;

Negative emotions also often took control of him on the court. “When things weren’t going the way he wanted, he would curse and toss his racquet,” (Adolf) Kacosvky explained. “It was so bad, I had to intervene sometimes.”

“I was constantly cursing and tossing my racquet around,” said Federer. “It was bad. My parents were embarrassed and they told me to stop it or they wouldn’t come along with me to my tournaments anymore. I had to calm down but that was an extremely long process. I believe that I was looking for perfection too early.”

Stauffer also writes;

Roger was still the same playful, fancy-free hot head whose temper some­times exploded. “You often heard a yodeling, a liberating primal scream from the dressing room or the players’ lounge,” Annemarie Rüegg recalled. “You knew it was Roger. He needed to do this as a release. He was pretty loud but it wasn’t unpleasant.”

However, Roger became unpleasant if things weren’t going well on the tennis court. His verbal outbursts were notorious and he often tossed his racquet. Roger personally recounted probably the most embarrassing story from his time in Biel. “There was a new curtain at the tennis center,” he said. “They said that if someone were to wreck the curtain, they had to clean toi­lettes for a week. I looked at the curtain and thought that it was so thick that there was no way anybody could wreck it. Ten minutes later, I turned around and hurled my racquet at the curtain like a helicopter. It sliced through the curtain like a knife going through butter.” Everybody stopped playing and stared at Roger. “No, I thought, that’s impossible, the worst nightmare. I took my things and left. They would have thrown me out anyway.” As punishment, Roger Federer, who hates nothing more than getting up early, had to help the grounds-keeper clean toilettes and the tennis court at an ungodly hour of the morning for an entire week.