Why Roger Federer Kept His Twins News Under Wraps

08/10/2009 at 02:00 PM ET
Courtesy Roger Federer

When news broke that Roger Federer and wife Mirka had welcomed identical twin daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva on July 23rd, it caught many off guard. Acting on medical advice, the couple initially chose not to disclose that the pregnancy involved more than one baby, and Roger tells The New York Times he decided to “just play along until the very, very end” when reporters failed to ask whether twins were, in fact, on the way.

The 28-year-old tennis ace very nearly spilled the beans, himself, however — on more than one occasion!

“I had to really battle myself. I had a couple [of interviews] where I said, ‘We’re really excited to have some babies,’ and I was thinking, ‘Is that already giving it away?'”

Life with Myla and Charlene has been twice as nice for Roger and Mirka, who haven’t had trouble telling the girls apart. “I was thinking that they’re going to be playing tricks on us like crazy,” he says. “But they don’t look the same at the moment.”

Shortly after his historic Wimbledon win in early July, Roger hunkered down with Mirka in a Swiss hospital where the expectant mother had checked in early. He stayed on after the delivery by c-section, sleeping in the same room with his wife and new baby girls, yet somehow still found time to practice at a nearby tennis court. “I was sometimes very tired,” he admits. “Don’t know if it was more from practice or from not getting the sleep you usually get.”

His break from life on the ATP tour will be short, for Roger will return to action at the Rogers Cup in Montreal this week — with his 2 ½-week-old twins in tow.

“I was obviously only going to do this if everything was safe and good. Mirka went through a check yesterday. The babies have been at the hospital for 10 days, and everything is perfect. So we’re doing it. Big family. Big trip. On the bandwagon. I’m really excited to see how we’re going to manage it.”

The new family of four will be aided by a baby nurse, and while Roger concedes that an extra set of hands is “a big help” he is quick to point out that Mirka is “really hands-on” herself, as well. “I think it’s all been working well since we came home for three or four days,” he says. “Mirka doesn’t mind getting up in the night, doesn’t mind feeding the babies at whatever time, changing the nappies.”

“For her, if she can’t do it, it’s like she’s missing out on something.”

Source: New York Times

— Missy

FILED UNDER: Multiples , News , Parenting

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me on

aah, bless him. he shouldnt have to feel he needs to justify his decisions re; keeping twins a secret, but his reasons make sense, and why not have a little fun with the press?? i for one laughed when i realised they’d kept it under wraps, and i’m sure others did too, so kudos to him+mirka!!
So little is kept a secret/suprise nowadays, i think its nice! congrats again to the federers x

Stella Bella on

My baby was born July 21st and I can’t imagine trying to hit the road right now. I hope they have a lot of help!

Sanja on

I prefer it when celebrities don’t reveal the sex or the name before the birth.
I mean with babies you actually meet in real life I like knowing, but these are strangers we see rarely, so some surprise is welcome, imo.

But going on the road and from Switzerland to the US with two week old twins!? Brave people indeed!!

skunknuggets on

Good for them for keeping it a secret. It’s their choice when, and if, to ever share details of their personal life. However, I cannot imagine traveling that soon after a c-section. She must feel a whole lot better than I did after the c-section I ended up with for my first child.

eternalcanadian on

Sanja, Montreal is in Canada, not the USA.

That is so cool the family is going to come along with Roger to Montreal. There’s nothing wrong with traveling so soon after giving birth. My parents took me to the cottage at the lake 5 days after I was born. Granted it was just a 2 hour car drive, not a trans-Atlantic plane trip, but even so.

Roger and Mirka obviously got the a-okay from the doctors per the babies. Mirka feels good, and she wants to go. They have help from the baby nurse/nanny.

Welcome to Canada, Myla and Charlene! 🙂

MZ on

It’s so much easier to travel by plane when they are that young, as opposed to when they are older. We moved across the country when our baby was 2 1/2 weeks and that was nothing compared to me flying solo with him on my lap this past week, now that he’s 6 months…

Cece on

My babies were born in Switzerland, and the baby nurses are wonderful there. They are provided to all new mothers and help with everything.

CelebBabyLover on

So the girls ARE indeed identical! Cool, we finally have some more identical celeb twins (most recent celeb twins seem to be fraternal)! 🙂

Since the girls were at the hospital for 10 days, I wonder if they were a bit premature (although they don’t really look it in the photo that Roger shared a few days ago!)? Or is keeping babies in the hospital that long the norm over in Switzerland?

Elli on

Hmmm, not quite sure what to think about taking them on the road that soon…
Shouldn’t young families be together at home adjusting to the new situation etc.?
Although they fly first class, have a baby nurse etc. it must be stressful, not only for the mother herself but also, and that is most important, for the babies (noise, smells, all the impressions of the bustling outside world!)!!

lennie on

In Switzerland with your first child u stay in the hospital for approx. a week. With twins a bit longer. In that time the nurses and doctors help you get hang of breastfeeding, schedules, bathing, nappy changing, etc. Also it is an opportunity for the mother to really rest and sleep after the birth. It’s so lovely.
With following children it’s usually around 4 days but you can always stay longer if you feel unsure.

Sandra on

I understood that they flew Private jet (not commercial) so I don’t think it was that hard for them. They have all the help (and more) than ‘regular people’ and they are use to traveling. I know Roger feels better having his family with him for about 6 weeks as opposed to being seperated that long during the North American tour.

I’m so happy that everything went well for Mirka and the girls, and that Roger has had the most amazing summer you could have possibly dreamed!

I’m looking forward to seeing more pictures of Rose and Riva! I think we all have ‘adopted’ them as our little neices so we want to watch them grow!

mmh on

lennie — What you say about giving birth in Switzerland sounds amazing! I felt like here in the U.S. I had to have nursing, bathing, etc., all figured out in less than two days. Needless to say I didn’t and it was a really rough go (esp. with my mom far away and my hubby unable to take much time off of work). Bravo to the more “civilized” countries in the world for giving new moms a good start!

Alexis on

wow…that does sound like great care in Switzerland for new parents. And I think it was great that Federer was able to keep the details of his marriage and the birth of his daughters private. He lives most of his life in the public eye… so he deserves to have these special moments private. Good for him!

Sanja on

eternalcanadian -not to worry I know where Montreal is, lol (been there and loved it). I just saw the New York Times part and US came out. I realized my mistake as soon as I pressed submit:-( I hate that we can’t edit our comments!