Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mrs Roger Federer

Mirka took to her new sport quickly. She was a net charger like Martina, a serve and volleyer, and became Swiss junior champion at 15. She never won a WTA title, spending most of her career fighting through qualifying. But she was a comer on the minor-league ITF circuit for a while, winning three tournaments and at one point posting a 12-match winning streak. Her best result at a major was the third round of the 2001 U.S. Open, where she lost to Justine Henin. A long-running series of foot injuries ended her career not long after that.

By then, she and Federer were fully committed. (And she was still a good enough player to serve as Roger’s hitting partner.) It seems it was Federer who was the aggressor back at the beginning of the relationship. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Mirka lost in the first round to Elena Dementieva but didn’t escape the notice of her fellow Swiss team member.

"I couldn't work out why he wanted to talk to me so much," she said, according to a 2009 article in the Belfast Telegraph. "Then, near the end of the Games, he kissed me."

Douglas Perry writes about Mirka Vavrinec on The Oregonian.

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