‘Drunk as Hell at a Bar..’ – Legendary American Coach Reveals Intriguing Story About ‘Party Animal’ Roger Federer

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How have we always seen the Swiss Maestro, Roger Federer? Probably in tennis gear, winning, smiling, rarely losing his calm, with family, among many other versions. But do you know about the time when the young Federer was drunk?

In his recent book, The Master, by Christopher Clarey, the famous ATP coach detailed one of the unheard incidents from Federer’s youth. John Skelly, who has coached the great Bryan Brothers- Bob and Mike, among others, detailed the time when he crossed paths with the young Federer and his coach Peter Lundgren.

The ‘drunk’ Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 1999

The legendary American coach, who has been associated with top players over the years, once met Roger Federer and his coach at Wimbledon. However, when Skelly met the 20-time Grand Slam champion, he described him as a laid-back person. He said, “Federer was pretty chill at that time.”

But his next few lines surprised many, as he proclaimed the Swiss Maestro’s affliction for beer, and detailed the drunk Federer incident. He added, “He definitely partied and liked his beer, as did his coach. I remember in 2000 at Wimbledon, Federer was drunk as hell at a bar in Wimbledon village.”  He reminisced about how the then-young Swiss legend loved partying. “He was definitely a happy drunk, loved the player parties in his younger days.”

However, there was also a time when Skelly lost his job and it also had something to do with Federer. Back in 1999, he was the coach of the former American tennis star Vince Spadea, and when Spadea lost to the young Swiss star, Spadea’s father sacked the legendary coach, in a hurried decision. Even though the coach-player duo reunited later, Skelly never held it against the then-World N0. 64, for dealing a crushing blow to his trainee, which ultimately resulted in him being jobless.

He further detailed the Swiss Maestro’s traits, “Really a class guy…never changed a bit with all his accomplishments. He always treated me well and with respect, always a big smile whenever we crossed paths.”

Well, the former World No.1 sure was a funny guy. And even his wife concurred about this trait of Federer, back in the day, from being noisy to singing Back street boys at the top of his lungs and consequently getting kicked by the coach to maintain some discipline.   Certainly, the Swiss Maestro was full of life back then and has carried on the streak from his younger days to the present.


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