I have lost count of the number of times I have heard a tennis fan say, 'Federer is God'. I can see why they say it; Federer's game is flawless. He can go on playing, sets after sets, without making a single mistake.
However, if perfection is the sole parameter for godliness, he is definitely a human. We have seen him getting overwhelmed, crying, laughing, jumping and loving. Loving in the most flawed, human way there could be.
He is married to the love of his life, who also happens to be his biggest support system. Their relationship is based on mutual admiration, trust and unconditional love; the kind of stuff they make movies about.
Their romance started back in 2000, in the most endearing manner one can imagine.
Mirka and Roger first met each other during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Neither of them won a medal in the competition, but they won each other. After the games, Federer would chase her and try to talk to her. Mirka couldn't understand why he was doing it. Reminiscing the time she once said:
I couldn’t work out why he wanted to talk to me so much, and then, near the end of the Games, he kissed me.
Since then, Mirka has been there for him through thick and thin, through victories and defeats.
Whether it was winning a trophy or losing matches on end, Mirka has always been there, supporting her husband. You can spot her in the stands, crying out of disappointment on some occasions and being teary-eyed with pride, on others.
Mirka is possibly the only constant in Federer's journey from one milestone to another.
Having quit her career because of an injury, she has supported her husband for the longest time, and this includes everything from scheduling, taking down notes from his interviews and sponsorship.
And Roger doesn't take it for granted.
He has always been appreciative of her efforts and places his family over anything else. When asked about what is more important to him, tennis or family, he said:
Ever since my kids were born it has been that way. My wife needs to be happy. My kids need to be happy. Without that this doesn’t matter.
During times when relationships seem to have lost their meaning, these two reassure our faith in true love.
Taking about Mirka and her endless support towards him, Federer once said:
Mirka doesn’t want to be away from me, and I don’t want to be away from her. And like this we make it all work and we are actually together all year long. It is just incredible that she’s willing to make all of that effort. I’m happy that it’s this way, because anything else would make it more difficult to compete and to play at the highest levels. It would basically be impossible.
It has been 9 years of marriage for this 'rock-solid couple', as Roger likes to put it, but nothing much has changed for them.
They are parents to two set of twins and look as much in love as they did two decades ago. Being the best tennis player on the planet is not easy, nor is being the wife of such a star, but these two make it look so, so effortless.
It is often said that life is a competition, and if that is true, Roger and Mirka were lucky enough to find the perfect partner in each other.
To many more years of this flawless companionship!