© Ella Ling

Mirka Federer

People of Influence No 20: Mirka Federer


The Tennis Space: People of Influence:
Number 20: Mirka Federer.

Sphere of influence: Roger Federer.
When Roger met Mirka, he was interested in tracksuits and video games; now he wears Prada and has Anna Wintour on speed-dial. One of Mirka’s accomplishments – if accomplishment is the right word – has been helping to turn Roger Federer into a off-court sophisticate. She also assists him with on-court matters. Mirka, who is a former player, has watched more of his matches than anyone else, and will offer constructive criticism when she feels it is needed. Jon Wertheim’s book about the 2008 Wimbledon final, Strokes of Genius, records how Mirka intercepted Roger during the first rain-delay to remind him: “YOU are Roger Federer.” As the New York Times put it, Mrs Roger Federer “has long been the most important woman in the men’s game”.

They say: “Mirka plays a huge role and has great input and impact,” Paul Annacone, Federer’s coach, has said. “She understands the big picture extremely well and does a great job in terms of letting us work but also shares invaluable information. This is a tricky balance. She’s been there since day one, so she knows very well what it takes and how to get there.”

She says: Very little in public (she doesn’t do interviews).

What next: In between looking after their twins, Mirka is helping her husband with his ambition of winning a seventeenth grand slam.

  • ADB

    I think she should be ranked much higher than 20.  And she has been called ‘the most powerful woman in men’s tennis,’ by Pat McEnroe, several years back., not the clumsy quote you gave from the NYT.  She apparently does much more than ‘look after the twins’ and help her husband; she once was his business manager.  I found this piece denigrating and dismissive, to her, and to women in general.  Just junk.

    • Scambers

      I remember when Mirka did everything for Federer, from his corporate and sponsorship deals to his media commitments. To have helped make him so successful off the court made it easy for IMG when they came back into the fold and is a seriously impressive achievement 

  • Abc

    Agreed that its nice to have someone taking care of the admin, flights and hotels etc. But its in fact Roger’s parents who have always taken care of the management side of tennis, before IMG. Mirka  didnt have to sacrifice much, other than spare time. After her injury, she had the choice of staying at home watching his matches on TV, or travel the world with this awesome man and have free front row tickets to all his matches. Now she happens to sport some pretty large diamonds coincidentally, so I find the words like ‘she sacrificed alot’ a little bit over the top. There are many of us, in rather unfortunate circumstances, who would trade places any day.