Federer was born in Basel, to Swiss-German Robert Federer and South African Lynette Federer (née Durand).
He grew up in suburban Münchenstein, ten minutes from Basel and close to the borders of France and Germany.Federer considers Swiss German his first language. He also speaks German, French and English fluently[/align
Federer started playing tennis at the age of six.17 He began participating in group lessons at the age of nine and began weekly private coaching when he was ten. He also played football until the age of twelve when he decided to focus solely on tennis. At fourteen, he became the national champion of all groups in Switzerland and was chosen to train at the Swiss National Tennis Center in Ecublens. He joined the ITF junior tennis circuit in July 1996. In 1998, his final year as a junior, Federer won the junior Wimbledon title and the prestigious year-ending Orange Bowl. He was recognized as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion of the year.20
In July 1998, Federer joined the ATP tour at Gstaad. The following year he debuted for the Swiss Davis Cup team against Italy and finished the year as the youngest player (for the year) inside ATP's top 100 ranking. In 2000, Federer reached the semifinals at the Sydney Olympics and lost the bronze medal match to Arnaud di Pasquale of France. Federer reached his first final in Marseille which he lost to Marc Rosset and was also the runner-up in Basel. He failed to make an impression at Grand Slams and Masters Series tournaments, and ended the year ranked 29th.