Roger Federer opens up about bad temper that plagued him early in his career

George Back
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

On Running Wild with Bear Grylls, in the Swiss Alps, tennis star Roger Federer opened up about the bad temper he had in the beginning of his career.

“So did you have, like, your Roger Federer cool temperament when you were a kid?” Grylls asked. Federer, who had won 19 Grand Slams at the time of filming, responded, “I was the opposite of cool.”

The champion discussed his bad habit of throwing tennis rackets early in his career and how he devised a way to throw them into the net so that his parents wouldn’t scold him for breaking another racket.

When Federer was 16, he got upset during a practice and threw his racket into the new backdrop at the Swiss National Tennis Center. It went through the backdrop like a “knife through butter,” Federer said. His coach kicked him off the court and made him scrub toilets for a week.

Realizing he had a problem, Federer spent the next two years focusing on his attitude and learning to combat his “fire” with “ice.” He said, “You know, like, have the fire and desire to win but the ice coolness to absorb losses and absorb bad mistakes.”

Federer even attributed his success to controlling his temper. “I realized, ‘OK, everything’s clear to me now.’ And then my career just went through the roof.”

Running Wild with Bear Grylls airs on NBC. Visit the website for air dates and times. Watch clips and full episodes for free on Yahoo View.

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