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Roger Federer is a supportive father, who insists his four kids continue a family tradition his parents passed on to him.

Play tennis.

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The 36-year-old Swiss said he'll support any passion his kids pursue.

"I'm just a supportive parent," Federer told the media after his Australian Open win over Richard Gasquet. "I can't tell which direction they're going to go. If there's going to be anything in sports or somewhere in finance or business, I have no idea where they're going to go. All I know is I'll be incredibly supportive of them."

The father of two sets of twins and wife Mirka, who was a dynamic attacking player before injuries forced her to retire from the WTA Tour, require their kids play tennis. Not because the Federers are aiming to continue a family dynasty, but because they believe the values sport teaches are life lessons.

"I think it's great for them to do sports early on in their life," Federer said. "I think it's good for them. Winning, losing, that comes a little bit later, but you learn a lot from that. I did anyway. I think also you make a lot of friends through sports. You get to know yourself a bit better. It's healthy. You move around. You go outside. I'm a big believer in these things."

Federer's parents, Robbie and Lynette, are both long-time club players. Federer said the life experiences he's gained through tennis are part of the reason he and wife Mirka, who began their relationship at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, insist their kids to play.

I'm happy they all do play tennis a little bit because basically literally all our friends who have kids as well, they all play tennis," Federer said. "I wouldn't want my kids to be the only ones who don't play tennis, so with my wife we have sort of a little requirement on things they have to do in their life, and tennis is unfortunately one of them. It's not because we want them to. It's because I think it would be a pity if they played no tennis at all."

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve


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