Any tennis fan who loves Roger Federer, can associate Roger’s love for his former tennis coach, Peter Carter. Here is a tribute along with some snipets on Peter Carter.
Peter ‘Carts’ Carter (Aug 9, 1964 – Aug 1, 2002) grew up in the Barossa in a tennis loving family of Bob and Diana Carter. He would trail along to the courts with his parents and two older brothers. When he was 12, he was playing A grade, then at 15 he moved to Adelaide to live with coach Peter Smith, the man who played a part in many famous careers, including John Fitzgerald, Darren Cahill, Brod Dyke and Lleyton Hewitt. In words of his coach, Peter Smith, “He was a little younger than Fitzy and Brod Dyke but in terms of Mark and Darren who were about the same age, I think people considered him to be the best of that particular group.” One of Peter’s most memorable wins was when he defeated John Alexander while he was still at school.”
He then went on the ATP circuit, but dogged by injury, he eventually ended up coaching in Switzerland, where he met the young Roger Federer. His dad, Bob, recalls: He said to me one night when he rang “Oh, have I got a young boy here who looks promising,” “he’s only about 12 or 13”. He said, “I think he’s going to go places.”. And that was Roger Federer.
Peter coached Roger through his formative teenage years till he turned pro. He was popular in Switzerland and eventually became the country’s Davis Cup coach and captain. His mom recalls: “And the team actually refused to play unless he was the captain, at one stage.”
Peter’s life seemed complete when he met his wife swiss-born, Sylvia, but shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with cancer. After a 12-month battle last year she was cleared of the disease. They travelled to South Africa to celebrate. But, while travelling in separate cars, Peter died of injuries sustained in a car accident,as his Land Rover crashed near the Kruger National Park . He was 37 by then. Roger Federer was playing in Toronto ’02. After losing in the first round to eventual champion Guillermo Canas, he learnt of the sad news. Roger said: “I was very shocked and very sad when I found out. He was a very close friend. This is the first time a close friend of mine has died.”
Peter Carter is now remembered as part of the Carter Altman Penfold Fund. The charity known as CAP helps children with disabilities play sport and remembers two other tennis players, Nick Altman and Jeff Penfold. Also, the clash of Australia & Switzerland in Davis Cup is named as Peter Carter Trophy, which Australia won in Dec ’03 Davis cup final.
Bob Carter on Federer: “Obviously Roger [Federer] has got enormous talent, but I am sure, and I can see it in his game, what’s there Peter would have taught him. The serve volley and the slice and the variety in his game, that’s how Peter played. I’m sure that is showing out in Roger now.”
Federer on Peter Carter: “Peter wasn’t my first coach, but he was my real coach. I made trips with him. He knew me and my game, and he was always thinking of what was good for me.”
“This DVD is dedicated to two young men with whom I’ve enjoyed an enduring friendship. To Lleyton Hewitt, the best pupil and the best player that I have had the good fortune to be involved with, To Peter Carter, who was like a son to us and whose achievements in coaching, with Roger Federer, the Swiss Tennis Federation and the Swiss Davis Cup Team, I’m in awe of.”