Roger Federer Says One of His Four Children Is ‘Getting Serious’ About Playing Tennis (Exclusive)

The retired pro (and dad to two sets of identical twins) says he never pushed his kids into the sport, but that one of them is starting to get more serious about it

Roger Federer poses for a photo with his family prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 07, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
Roger Federer poses for a photo with his family prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 07, 2023 i.

“No, I never pushed my kids into it,” he tells PEOPLE of getting his kids into the game. Of course, coming from such active parents — their mom is his wife and former Slovakian tennis pro Mirka Federer — they’re athletic kids nonetheless.

“They do play tennis, and we ski, and we’re all learning to golf. We recently tried scuba diving. But the girls were never passionate about tennis, and I was relieved about it,” Federer says of twin girls Charlene and Myla, 15, and twin boys Leo and Lenny, 10.

“The boys love their soccer. Leo is starting to show interest in getting serious about tennis. Lenny is much more creative, he’s very into drawing, reading.”

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Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Marin Cilic of Croatia on Court Philippe-Chatrier during the second round of the singles competition at the 2021 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on June 3rd 2021 in Paris, France.

“I’ll jump on the court with them whenever they want,” he says.

In the new Prime Video documentary Federer: Twelve Final Days, about the two weeks leading up to him announcing his retirement (out on June 20), the usually private star opens up his home and allows viewers to see glimpses of his family life. He tells PEOPLE he’s loving how much time he gets to spend with the kids now that he’s retired.

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“I used to have to sleep in in the mornings because of late matches. It’s completely different now,” he says. “I get to wake up when the kids do and help get them ready.” (He notes that he’s not the one flipping the pancakes — yet: “I’d love to learn to cook!”)

Once school drop-off is done, he’s often working on his Roger Federer Foundation and partnerships with brands like Uniqlo, Rolex and On athletic shoes.

“Then I get to connect with the kids again over their sports and homework,” he says. “It’s a very vital time for me to be around them, to help them and guide them and obviously let them fly on their own as well.”

Mirka Federer, wife of Roger Federer with their children nine-year-old twin girls Charlene and Myla and five-year-old boys Lenny and Leo during presentations after Roger Federer of Switzerland loss against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the Men’s Singles Final on Centre Court during the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 14, 2019 in London, England.

And after so many years of his family traveling for his career, Federer says he wants to be sure his children now get their own time and space.

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“They have their friends and need their playdates. We’re making sure their social aspect is a given.”

Not that the kids exactly minded tagging along. “The other day they were asking if we could go to Wimbledon because they wanted to walk the courts,” he says. “I’m just happy their life on the road was such a good memory.”

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