Sports

Federer wants kids to be skiers, not tennis players

Former world No. 1 says he won't follow his kids on the tennis circuit if they follow in his footsteps

Roger Federer is in love with tennis even after nearly two decades on the ATP Tour, but he may not be that keen to follow his children on the circuit if they ever turn pro.

The Swiss maestro revealed that after storming into the third round of the Australian Open yesterday.

The 34-year-old overcame some feisty second-set resistance from Alexandr Dolgopolov before he ran away with the match 6-3, 7-5, 6-1, courtesy of a superb service game and aggressive groundstrokes in the final set.

With the win, Federer reached the third round of the Australian Open for the 17th straight year and will next play Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov tomorrow.

FUTURE WINTER OLYMPIANS? Tennis great Roger Federer says he would like his kids (above) to be skiers.

And the third seed is so far enjoying his quest for a fifth Australian Open title.

"It's been going very well for me, and I hope to keep it up as long as I choose to play tennis," he said, after recording his 299th victory at a Grand Slam against the 27-year-old Ukrainian.

"The least I expect (is) to be in the third round of a Slam, so I'm pumped up, playing well, feeling good."

The Swiss all-time Grand Slam record holder (17) said that while he is still in love with the sport that has earned him hundreds of millions of dollars in prize money and endorsements, he may resist the idea of following any of his four children if they turn professional.

"I think it's 40 years on the tennis tour that doesn't excite me, you know, straight," he said, while laughing when asked to clarify an on-court statement he made about not wanting to watch his daughters play on Rod Laver Arena.

EXCITEMENT LEVEL

"As much as I love it now, I'm just not sure what my excitement level will be in 20 years' time."

Federer, who has six-year-old twin daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva and twin boys Leo and Lennart, who were born in May 2014, said he had encouraged his daughters to take tennis lessons for reasons other than carving out a potential career.

"I think it's a good thing for them," he said. "It's a great sport to learn how to lose, to win, to figure it out, for friendship, discipline, for hand-eye coordination.

"I will support them all the way, whatever they want to do, but I don't see myself doing that right now.

"I'd rather support them in another sport. Go see them be a super skier. That would be exciting."

"To go watch tennis matches, I don't know," he added with a smile.

Next up is for the Swiss is 27th seed Dimitrov - the former world No. 8 and a finalist at last week's Apia International Sydney who has long been tagged "Baby Fed" because of the similarities to Federer's elegant game.

After last year's campaign ended at this stage with a stunning defeat by Italy's Andreas Seppi, the 34-year-old hopes to avoid another upset this time around.

"Grigor did well in Sydney and that definitely will give him a bit of a lift," Federer said.

"I think it's a tough draw. He's got the game to be really dangerous. He's fit enough for a five-setter so I've got to definitely bring my best game to the court...

"There's always a danger, you know. Like last year, the third round was the end for me, so I hope to go further this time."

- Reuters.

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