Behind the ‘raw’ photo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that captures their enduring friendship and their enduring love for one another, perhaps the most endearing thing about both rivals is their unbridled happiness with their sport. Federer on the court and Nadal in the audience are never far apart, and that is even more so on the set of “Federer: The Biography.”
The title refers to Federer’s 2008 film, which includes his 2011 biography on the same subject. It’s a film, obviously, and a book, too, of the same name. One would think a biopic of Roger Federer would be the stuff of Hollywood cinema, something like “I, Tonya,” but the movie instead was shot in only a two-year time span, from November 2008 to November 2011, during Federer’s first two years, and only his second year with his coach, Ivan Ljubicic. “Federer: The Biography” (it’s not an adaptation of Federer’s book) was also a subject that never occurred to Federer.
The movie was filmed with the same sense of detail and care with which Federer himself presented himself, and the picture he created has never been better. It’s a perfect portrait of the tennis world we would imagine. Federer’s playing partner, Roger, who has always been with him, is in the third row, and, as always, he is seated in the second row on the very left, right next to Ljubicic, wearing the famous blue of Federer’s and Nadal’s teams both.
In his seat are Federer’s parents, Anna-Lena, 69, and Tom, 72. In the next seat to the right is Federer’s wife, Maria, 46. Both Federer’s parents came from Italy, which has always marked their love for tennis. Federer’s father played as a young boy for the Italian Davis Cup team and then represented Italy in international tennis on its most successful day, November 9, 1960. Federer’s mother, Anna, too, played in the 1980 Olympics, in Moscow.
“You didn’t see this part of tennis before and you