updated 08/10/2009 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/10/2009 AT 2:20 PM ET
When news broke that Roger Federer and wife Mirka had welcomed identical twin daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva on July 23, it caught many off guard.
Acting on medical advice, the couple initially chose not to disclose that the pregnancy involved more than one baby, and Federer tells The New York Times he decided to “just play along until the very, very end” after reporters had failed to ask whether twins were, in fact, on the way.
The tennis ace, 28, very nearly spilled the beans, himself, however – and on more than one occasion.
“I had to really battle myself. I had a couple [of interviews] where I said, ‘We re really excited to have some babies,’ and I was thinking, ‘Is that already giving it away?’”
Life with Myla and Charlene has been twice as nice for Roger and Mirka, who haven’t had trouble telling the girls apart. “I was thinking that they’re going to be playing tricks on us like crazy,” he says. “But they don’t look the same at the moment.”
On the Road
His break from life on the ATP tour will be short, for Federer will return to action at the Rogers Cup in Montreal this week – with his 2 ½-week-old twins in tow.
“I was obviously only going to do this if everything was safe and good. Mirka went through a check yesterday. The babies have been at the hospital for 10 days, and everything is perfect. So we’re doing it. Big family. Big trip. On the bandwagon. I m really excited to see how we re going to manage it.”
The new family of four will be aided by a baby nurse, and while Federer concedes that an extra set of hands is “a big help,” he is quick to point out that his wife is “really hands-on” herself, as well.
“I think it s all been working well since we came home for three or four days,” he says. “Mirka doesn’t mind getting up in the night, doesn t mind feeding the babies at whatever time, changing the nappies. For her, if she can t do it, it s like she s missing out on something.”