The man responsible for shaping Roger Federer into a tennis great, Peter Lundgren, now makes his home in Houston and coaches at the Galleria Tennis & Athletic Club.
Lundgren spoke to Geoffrey Gray for a long piece on Federer in New York Magazine:
Lundgren works in Houston now, helping to run a tennis facility on top of the Galleria mall. I met him for lunch there in the spring. It’s been almost a decade since he coached Federer. His former pupil went on to win so many titles that he travels the tour in his own private jet—Forbes recently declared Federer the fifth wealthiest athlete in the world, with earnings of over $50 million a year, mostly from “the most impressive endorsement portfolio in sports.” Another part of Federer’s genius has been positioning himself within his own global luxury brand. He also had his own fragrance (“Feel the Touch”) and is known on tour for his fashion sense, keeping close company with Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
The Houston Chronicle’s Dale Robertson caught up with Lundgren in March when he started his new coaching gig:
Lundgren’s decision to join the GTAC staff was an easy one to make. He’s reuniting with three good friends dating back to their days in the Swedish juniors ranks, Niclas Kroon, Ville Jansson and Johan Kjellsten. They have ambitious plans going forward, hoping to work with the ATP to establish an elite program for young pros. “I was tired of always traveling,” said Lundgren, who most recently coached Federer’s countryman, Stanislas Wawrinka.
“This is going to be fun, a good change for me. And I’ve always liked Houston.”
Lundgren reminisced on his years coaching the Swiss great in his youth to Gray:
As a young player, Federer could be a challenge to travel with. He was a vegetarian as a kid, and a picky eater.
“Gnocchi with Gorgonzola, and pasta and tomato sauce,” Peter Lundgren recalled of the two dishes that Federer used to order. “I had to get him to eat meat.” Over the years, few people have spent more time with Federer than Lundgren. A former pro from Sweden who beat the likes of Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi, Lundgren was an easy face to spot in Federer’s old box. With his goatee and long shaggy hair, Lundgren looked more like the bass player of a heavy-metal band than a tennis coach. When he first met Federer in 1997, Lundgren had been hired by the Swiss Tennis