To warm up before an exhibition match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Melbourne, Roger Federer exchanged a few balls with Rod Laver. Federer then realized one of his dreams.
Roger Federer has achieved one of his dreams last Wednesday night in Melbourne exchanging bullets with Rod Laver, the last player to have achieved the Grand Slam.
The legendary Australian champion, now aged 75, was one of the guests of honor at the event held at the .Rod Laver Arena by Roger Federer to mark the tenth anniversary of its foundation. Present alongside three other heroes of Australian tennis (Tony Roche, Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt), Rod Laver was “heated” one that must be considered as his heir before Federer will cross swords against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga . A meeting that Federer has also won” s 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 7-5.
“I knew that Rod Laver was playing with me. He had already prepared Tuesday typing with Rafter and Hewitt, says Roger Federer. I was nervous. Faced with such a legend, the least thing is to hit the ball cleanly “. Federer held to remember the pioneering role held by Rod Laver and other great Australian champions. “They opened the way. In their time, they have sacrificed everything for tennis. Travelling by boat for weeks to reach Europe are arguing tournaments for almost nothing. This is thanks to them that the court could develop “.
This exhibition reminded obvious. Federer is a true icon in Australia. On its name alone, it is indeed able to fill the Rod Laver Arena. We played to sold-to five-day three strokes of the Australian Open. Never before in recent months, he had inspired such devotion. We remember the sweet madness that gripped Gstaad last summer during the announcement of his return. It has not forgotten the “standing ovation” which had been sent to Basel after the final lost against Juan Martin Del Potro. A Melbourne as the public sees it as one of their own, like “his” almost player.
“See a full stadium was another nice surprise of the evening, he loose. Tonight I realized how much the Australian public was sensitive to my foundation.” According to one estimate, the event raised over 800,000 francs to the Roger Federer Foundation.
How did you Live With Your Warm Rod Laver?
I had heavy racket when it took him to return the ball. I was tense! It was obviously very emotional. I always said that he and the other legends of the past had done much for our generation. And we must not forget. Tony Roche (former coach of Federer) told me all the sacrifices he had to do at the time. They took the boat to Australia to play at Wimbledon. It’s very different today. We’re all in the light!
“Being able to interact with Wash is my dream come true, said Federer after his victory in three sets 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-5 over Tsonga. It is also on the ground, named in his honor. It is so deserved.
“He told me that his wrist was hurt less when it hits forehand so he asked me to lead my shots a little more on that side there.
“When I hit, I felt my heavy racket, a sign that I was nervous. I was really because I did not want to miss a shot. “
The Swiss 32-year-old won four of his 17 major titles in the field of Rod Laver Arena. He melted into tears especially in 2006 when Wash gave him the championship trophy.
Federer will begin the Australian Open next week, as the sixth seed. He points to the sixth-ranked ATP.