Roger Federer has enjoyed a lot of success in his life. So far, the Swiss Maestro has won 89 titles, 18 slams, and he has the blessing of having a fantastic family. Obviously, Roger had also to endure some pain and probably one of the biggest heart-breaking moment of his life was when had the horrible news that his beloved coach, Peter Carter, passed away in a car accident in South Africa.
It’s Johan Kriek, a two-time Australian Open champion (1981-1982), that in a Facebook posts explained this heart-breaking story.
"Every year, at the Australian Open, behind Roger Federer’s coach (earlier Edberg and now Ljubicic), sits an elderly couple. There is a story about this couple, and it shows what a human being Federer is. The couple, as Federer’s diehard fans would know, are Bob and Diana Carter, the parents of the tennis great’s first international coach, the Australian Peter Carter.
Federer was just nine when Carter took him under his wing. In 2002, in a terrible tragedy, Carter died in a car accident in South Africa during a vacation with his wife. The story goes that Federer (then 21) was so affected by his coach’s death, he ran through the streets of Toronto (where he was playing that day), bawling his heart out.
Carter had recognized Federer’s genius at a young age and was determined to make him an all-time great. For over a decade, Carter was at it before he died at the age of 37. He was not Federer’s first coach, but the one who took him from relative obscurity in Basel in Switzerland to the threshold of international greatness.
So, coming back to Bob and Diana Carter. Federer feels so close and so indebted to them that, every year, since 2005, his team sends an all-expense paid itinerary to the Adelaide-based couple — first-class air tickets, bookings in the same hotel as Federer, food, winner’s parties and even commiseration parties in Melbourne. And they sit in Federer’s box at the Rod Laver Arena, supporting him as if he is their son.
They see their Peter in him. And Federer never forgets the Carter family’s role in his life and career.
Roger Federer is an athlete that has and continues to transcend way beyond the borders of his tennis persona. He is a real compassionate and caring guy. The lofty position of #1 rankings, the myriad of titles and all the “stuff’ that comes with his “world” can easily screw the views of such super successful people, but somehow he has kept his life (at least from my vantage point) simple. He truly loves tennis, his family, his kids, his fans, etc. We should all thank Roger for what he has done for tennis the past 20 years because he is a true ambassador of the sport and continues to amaze and electrify fans all over the world."