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Federer's tears at missing Aust move
Darren Walton
16:50 AEST Mon Jan 14 2013

Roger Federer recalls breaking down in tears when his father told him the family wasn't moving to Australia.

Federer, who was 13 at the time, was shattered when the move was ruled out and wonders how it would have been if he had ended up playing Davis Cup for Australia.

"I remember that period quite vividly actually and it would have been a life changer, no doubt about it," Federer told AAP ahead of his first-round Australian Open match on Tuesday.

The Swiss superstar touched on the subject three years ago, but only revealed just how heartbroken he was during a candid pre-tournament interview in Melbourne.

"That was serious stuff. My parents were serious," Federer said.

"My dad went on a few business trips to Australia for three months each time and then he came back again.

"Eventually he got a good job offer from a pharmaceutical company and they were seriously debating it (moving permanently to Australia) and he asked us if we wanted to go.

"I was like: 'Yeah, let's go. I'm ready to go to Australia and live there.'

"Then he was, like: 'No, we have too many friends here, our roots are here now and I don't think we should go.'

"I remember when he told me this, I cried. I was like: 'No, I can't believe it.'"

In hindsight, Federer said he was "very happy to stay in Switzerland" - but admitted it would have been fun to play Davis Cup with Lleyton Hewitt, his career-long rival with whom he partnered in doubles on their Wimbledon debuts back in 1999.

"Switzerland's an incredible country," the 17-times grand slam champion said.

"I'm so thankful for everything that the Swiss tennis federation has done for me.

"The school set-up in Switzerland was amazing. So for me, I'm very happy at the end that I went through that.

"It would have been equally nice here probably in Australia."

Instead of moving to Australia, the Federer clan, including his sister Diana, embarked on a holiday Down Under when the budding tennis star was 14.

"We did a two-week family trip. We went to the Great Barrier Reef, to Cairns, to Brisbane, Sydney," he said.

"I don't think we did Melbourne back then, but we did all of the east coast."

The Davis Cup - along with an Olympic singles gold medal - are the only two major prizes in tennis to elude the 31-year-old Federer.

"I wonder who I would have played for. Hmmm, maybe (Australia). It would have been nice, I guess, to a degree," he said.

"It's out of the question now, of course. But with the heritage here with Davis Cup, it would have been fun actually."

With typical Swiss diplomacy, Federer wouldn't even presume that he'd have won a Davis Cup by now had he and Hewitt formed a formidable combination.

"Well, who knows. You don't just win it overnight. It's a lot of sacrifices," he said.

"But we would have had chances."

Federer begins his quest for a fourth Australian Open crown against Frenchman Benoit Paire.


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