In Cincinnati we had a fight in the locker room with Dmitry Tursunov… I won!
Is life really that different for five-time reigning Wimbledon champion Roger Federer? He sends text messages to his friends (granted, that includes Tiger), has to skip dinner (admittedly with Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller) due to work commitments and sometimes he can’t get court time when he wants it.
DEUCE Magazine questioned the ATP World No. 1 during the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati about being Roger Federer. So, when was the last time…
I hired a tennis court?
Probably in Switzerland somewhere. I always call and say ‘is it okay if I play’ and sometimes it happens they say ‘the court is taken at this time.’ So I had to come at a different time. But I don’t have to pay there anymore. Generally we struggle in Switzerland to get free practice courts but they gave me a special arrangement.
I played a match that no-one watched?
For a tournament match you’d probably have to go back to the juniors. It was only a practice set, but when I played Pete Sampras [at his house, before the Pacific Life Open in March] there were probably only three people watching.
I had to show my credential badge at a tournament?
It happens all the time because they want to scan your badge. They go after plastic, not faces.
I had a really unusual fan request?
I had a guy write to me asking for $10 million. He had some sort of story but it didn’t make a lot of sense.
I changed the home page on my computer?
When we launched rogerfederer.com – of course!
I went somewhere and wasn’t recognized?
I’m not sure about that one. It’s been a while.
I played a competitive sport other than tennis?
Honestly, I’m very careful these days to avoid injury. I stopped playing soccer matches. I don’t ski anymore. I try to save my energy.
I broke a string?
During practice in Dubai. In a match? It hasn’t happened very often. I think it may have happened once last year when I hit the knot, but I can’t remember at which tournament.
I visited a country for the first time?
India last year in December for UNICEF. (Read story)
I played a practical joke in the locker room?
Basically everyday with everybody. In Cincinnati we had a fight in the locker room with Dmitry Tursunov. There were probably six people involved, including three or four players, throwing about 50 balls at each other for 15 minutes. I won! [Editor’s note: Towards the end of the fight, the Penn ball mascot chose the wrong time to return to the locker room and was mercilessly pummeled.]
I asked someone for their autograph?
Probably Tiger for a friend of mine and Thierry Henry for a friend. That was this year.
I exchanged a text message with Tiger?
After he won the PGA Championships. I had style. I just wrote ‘congratulations’ and a little bit more. But it didn’t have anything to do with 11 to 13 or anything.
I missed meeting a celebrity I wanted to meet?
Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller during Wimbledon. [Vogue editor-in-chief] Anna Wintour invited us over. But I said “Can’t do it. Gotta stay in Wimbledon and stay serious.” So I didn’t go.
I flew economy?
[Long pause] Yeah, it’s been a few years now.