Roger Federer

Roger Federer: The Biography by René Stauffer

This in-depth biography about Roger Federer has been updated for 2021 and is now available in English

René Stauffer has been hot on Roger Federer's heels for almost 23 years and knows almost everything about the man from Basel (except how many matches Federer has lost despite holding match points 😊)

Thanks to several years of in-person contact with the player, Stauffer managed to win his friendship and go behind the scenes of Roger's life, the result is a comprehensive biography that covers Federer's career in great detail, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy ahead of the official release.

Roger Federer: The Biography

roger federer biography


From Federer’s early life in Basel, Switzerland, where he first picked up a tennis racquet, to the heights of his twentieth Grand Slam victory and all points in between. Stauffer explores the secrets of Federer’s success, the hardships and doubts that he has faced and examines Federer’s legacy in the modern game. Insightful, touching and revealing, this is the most definitive biography on Roger Federer ever written. Roger Federer: The Biography

Roger Federer: Die Biografie was first published in 2019 in German, but now the publisher, Polaris, has translated the book into English, and some minor updates have brought it up to date for 2021.

This latest 293-page book is in some ways an updated and remastered version of the original Das Tennisgenie: Die Roger-Federer-Story from 2007, which was translated into English as Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story.

I hadn't read the original but picked up a copy to compare the two, and while the book reworks some of the passages, it is more than just a revised edition and has a lot of brand new content.

It is mainly because a lot has happened in the fourteen years since it was released, but even several parts around Federer's earlier years contain never seen before content and go much more in-depth.


federer the biography

To get a feel for the book, here are the chapters.

Part One: The Rise

  • The world is a ball
  • Best friends
  • In exile
  • A dream of perfection
  • Finding his feet
  • ‘Hello, Mr Federer'
  • A boy amongst men
  • Under the rings
  • The violinist
  • Broken racquets
  • Crises and a tragedy
  • The redemption

Part Two: Becoming King

  • Battles in Texas
  • At the top
  • Ther kings of grass
  • On broadway
  • Marks on clay
  • Pizza Basilea
  • The Salad Bowl
  • Rivalries
  • Searching for peRFection
  • Mona Lisa of tennis
  • Sergeant Pepper
  • The brand
  • An almost normal family
  • Citizen of the world
  • The philanthropist
  • Carousel of the coaches
  • The peaceful warrior
  • The legacy
  • Media man
  • Fed fans

Part Three: Chasing 18

  • The end?
  • Submerged
  • The magic transformation
  • Laver and the legends
  • The long wait
  • A new wand
  • The calm before the storm
  • Unforgettable thirty minutes
  • Norman in the snow

Part Four: The Greatest

  • In the sunbelt
  • Champions' dinner
  • Court of tears
  • The GOAT
  • The honoured

So who is the book for? Fed fans, tennis fans or just those who like biographies will enjoy the read. Even those who think they know absolutely everything about Federer will get something from it.

While most die-hard fans know all about Federer's early days in Basel and at the National Tennis Centre in Biel, parts three and four of the book are worth reading for Federer connoisseurs as Stauffer shows the meticulousness and attention to detail with which Federer planned his comeback in 2017.

Win a Copy of the Book

biography copies

I have three hardback copies of the book to giveaway. To enter, play the quiz below, and we will pick three winners at random from those who get all five answers correct. Winners will be contacted by email on May 10th 2021.


Update May 10th. Three winners have been drawn:

  • Muru
  • Carissa
  • James

I have contacted you via email.

2020 comment leaderboard prize:

  • Sue
  • Anna
  • Emerson
  • Dr Evil

You can either have a copy of the biography, or a copy of Footsteps of Federer, let me know in the comments or via email…

Thanks to all who entered!


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. If anyone was wondering why I say Stauffer doesn’t know how many matches Federer lost from match point up. I and others think it’s 24. Stauffer and Graf think it’s 25 with a match point in Rotterdam 2002 against Escude but there is no info on it, and from the way the tiebreak was played out, it seems unlikely.

  2. Update: if some of you entered and got one wrong, then play again. There were two flaws in the quiz:

    One was the Geneva question which was technically correct but misleading so tripped up too many people so I changed the wording.

    The other was a mistake in the question. I created the questions from the records page in the back of the book. And I’ve just noticed that they’re wrong so a few minus points to the editor there! 😁

  3. Drat, I didn’t realise they’d have updated the book since I bought the German version 🙁 And I expect Luke would appreciate a credit as the translator, without whom the English version wouldn’t exist at all.

      1. I kept this bookmarked so I could reply once I’d finished the German original, which I now have. I originally bought the 2019 German version (I’m assuming there’s a later one now) because a client gave me a gift card for and I was wondering what to buy with it that I could buy before B****t to ensure I didn’t get clobbered with any customs charges. As it turned out, I could have waited a while longer …

        Anyway, since you ask, Jon, no, the chapter order is different: it starts more or less with Part 3, then part of Part 4, then goes back to the beginning after that. If there’s a second edition, then I’d guess they may have reordered the chapters in the German version too – with the original order, it did feel as though the book petered out somewhat at the end. Reminds me of the US TV series “Alias”, which deliberately dropped you right into the thick of the action before winding back so you understood what was happening: when Channel 4 showed it in the UK they apparently chopped it up and put it all back into chronological order, because obviously people aren’t clever enough to deal with something that’s not chronological 🙁 . Doh! But I digress …

        Luke is Luke Hubbard, the translator of the English version. Ironically, no sooner had I finished the German version, I wandered into my local library and found the English translation on display, so I thought I’d grab it so I could read the updates 🙂

      1. Agree. In Spain there was some notable crowd. It’s on fresh air, so (according to epidemiologists) almost no risk of virus transmission if distance of 1,5 m can be hold. Which means almost 50% of stadium capacity should be no problem, even without masks.
        Moreover, there are more and more people vaccinated, having passed infection or having fresh test. All these “categories” are in Poland allowed to watch sports live.
        I know your general approach, but even in terms of public policies for pandemic it makes no more sense.
        As I wrote earlier, I think, every athlete should be given the opportunity of getting the vaccine and be free from every restrictions, bubbles a.s.o. Who prefers to get infected and have the same freedom, should be given an opportunity to get infected (under medical control). Others must so far go via bubbles. Maybe another nonsense, but still some different possibilities to choose from.
        Another option for the sport’s elite is the possibility to have a “private bubble”, like some had in New York 2020.
        Thiem got somehow “mentally ill” because of all the bubbles and needed 2 months break from tennis (knee and foot injuries were not the reason). Now he needs to restart the season And it’s again bubbles in every tournament. At least finally some crowds are there.
        Federer playing before empty tribunes does not make sense at all. He could instead organize with Stan or somebody else a private tournament (like Djokovic did 1 year ago) with prize money (would be no problem to get sponsors) interesting for some good players to come.

      2. “Money talks” is not new 😉 “Money makes the world go round…” TBH – Fed’s money can talk too 😉 Of course it#s not needed on tour, where his name talks everything 🙂

  4. So three winners now drawn:


    Are the three winners drawn at random from those who got 5 correct. I will email you shortly.

    Next – 2020 comment leaderboard prize:

    Dr Evil

    Were the top 3, Emerson and DrEvil joint 3rd.

    You can either have a copy of the biography, or a copy of Footsteps of Federer, let me know…

    1. Thanks so much, Jonathan.

      Cheers! PeRFect Tennis is turning 10 years old. Congratulations for all your work and care into this site!
      I really appreciate your dedication and consistency. I don’t think you’ve ever missed a Fed match the whole 10 years. Amazing stats.

  5. Today nice pairing 😉 Karatsev vs Medvedev. Good news is – at least one doper out, bad news is – at least one doper advances 🙁

  6. Does the author talk about 2019 and 40-15? I’d love to read more about that AS I CONTINUE MY DAILY THERAPY OF HEALING


  7. When will this book be made available in India?
    I am a huge fan of RF and eagerly waiting to have a copy of this biography!!
    Please do make it available for purchase in India!

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