As a young player, Roger Federer was known for his outbursts of temper. With that erratic negative energy far gone from his game now, Federer told True how he achieved a yogi-like state of peace on the court in which he rarely shows emotion, allowing him to grow into arguably the sport’s top player.
I tried to turn the corner in 2001, in Hamburg.
I lost to Franco Squillari, and I was so angry I lost that match – and the way I did. The attitude was wrong. So much was wrong about it. The match point was wrong. I squeezed the ball between the racket and the court and the volley. I looked where the volley had gone. The ball was lying on the ground. I was looking, like, ‘What the hell is going on here?’
[Squillari] was in the back fence, trying to hit past, and I couldn’t make the volley. I got so angry, I smashed the racket. [According to reports, after Federer lost the match, he shook Squillari’s hand, then the umpire’s hand, and then unloaded his racket on the umpire’s chair.]
For me, that was a changing moment in my career and my attitude. I was like, ‘This is enough. I can’t take this attitude anymore.’
I think it definitely grew within me.
Finding myself, and my right attitude on the court and what I feel comfortable with. I think once you find that peace, that place of peace and quiet, or harmony, or I don’t know what you want to call it—confidence—that’s when you start playing your best.
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