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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Wednesday, September 13, 2024

The Maestro still makes the strings sing.

But these days Roger Federer's tennis play is primarily with his kids and family friends. 

More: Djokovic Captures 24th Grand Slam Title

Former world No. 1 Federer shared he "doesn't play much tennis anymore, other than with the kids.”

In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Federer said his court time is limited to family, friends and the occasional clinic he conducts, as he did in New York City last month for his apparel sponsor, Uniqlo and shoe brand On.

Don't fret: Federer isn't giving up on tennis to pursue a pickleball career.

Federer said there are two main reasons he doesn't play much tennis: he's still rehabbing is surgically-repaired knee and it can be tough to find someone who can hit at GOAT-level on short notice.

“As a former player, to book a court and get someone to hit with you is a process, so you end up not doing it,” Federer told Wall Street Journal. “On vacation, I just played with our friends in the Hamptons. I’m not super competitive. It’s just nice to be out there and then sit on the terrace and let the sweat go a bit.

“I’ve had quite a bit of knee issues, so I’m constantly rehabbing. I haven’t been able to do much cardio - mostly weights, core exercises, exercises for my quad-strengthening.

“I have a physio I’ve been with for seven years, and we see each other four times a week. He does treatments, massages, stretching, and he also runs me through exercises.”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion said his two sets of twins—daughters Charlene Riva and Myla Rose and sons Lenny and Leo—are all playing tennis these days though they don't always take their famous father's advice.

“I’m not the coach, I am the dad and the dad’s advice, as we know, only goes so far,” Federe told CNN. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve won Wimbledon or not, you’re still the dad and sometimes they don’t want to hear what you have to say.

“I try to be funny, but at the same time I also try to be straight sometimes and just teach them. I come in more, I guess, as a technical coach so I try to teach them about all the tennis racquets.

“I don’t think we were the crazy tennis parents who said: ‘Girls, you’ve got to go and play every day for two hours.’”

The 42-year-old Swiss superstar said he's at peace with life in retirement and relished his return to Centre Court Wimbledon in July at a member of the crowd rather than as a competitor.

“My dad leaned over and asked me, ‘Wouldn’t you want to be on the court right now instead of just sitting here?’ And I was, ‘Oh, my God, no. I’m so happy sitting here.’ " Federer told Wall Street Journal. "I felt very content and at peace, sitting and not playing,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “Because a year before, when there was the 100th-year celebration of Centre Court, I felt that I maybe didn’t want to be there. It was important for me to be there, but it was a crushing feeling I had, a twisted feeling I had.

“This year, I was very happy to be back there. And the people were happy to see me happy.”

The man who captured five consecutive Wimbledon crowns between 2003-2007 seemed to relish his new role as tennis fan.

Embed from Getty Images

Seated between Princess Kate and wife Mirka at SW19, Federer stayed to watch reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina against American Shelby Rogers. The Swiss Maestro chatted with Princess Kate and Mirka throughout the opening set of the Rybakina vs. Rogers opener.

Relishing the view from the Royal Box, Federer stuck around to watch former rival Andy Murray score his first-round win.

Six years ago, Federer joined rival Rafael Nadal for the official opening of the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy in Mallorca. On that day, Federer said if his kids ever wanted to play tennis, he would definitely send them to Nadal's Academy to learn.

Well, Federer kept his words as sons, Lenny and Leo, have trained at Rafa's Academy on Mallorca while daughters Charlene and Myla, recently spent time training at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in the Hamptons where the Federer family visited last month.

“The girls didn’t love it in the beginning but as they get better, they’re enjoying it and playing points now. They were up at McEnroe Academy in East Hampton, and the boys were in Mallorca at the [Rafa Nadal] camp for a couple of days," Federer said. “When I have time—and I try to make the time—I go on the court with them and try to teach them a little bit. It’s obviously an interesting dynamic, because I’m the dad, and not a former player. It is what it is.”

Photo credit: Uniqlo Facebook