‘I was supporting Roger Federer’, says ATP ace


Former Nike tennis director Mike Nakajima described Roger Federer as incredibly caring and respectful, as the Swiss once stayed for four hours at an event he was only supposed to stay for one hour. Nakajima, who was Nike’s director of tennis for 29 years, once organized an event where Federer was scheduled to appear and speak for an hour with children and adults. In the end, Federer ended up staying on the spot for four hours. “People love to hate successful people. They’re jealous. But it always amazes me that no one ever says anything negative about Roger. The way he presents himself to others, others love him. Because he treats others with respect, he knows the audience and can tailor his conversation accordingly. He knows how to talk to adults and children. I’ve been to an event where he was supposed to be there for an hour and he was there for four hours. Four hours! Who does that? He knows that these are the people who see him play. It’s the people who sponsor you. He gets it,” Nakajima told CNN. During his nearly three decades with Nike, Nakajima had the opportunity to work with and meet some of the greatest athletes in the history of the sport. Now, Nakajima admits there were cases where he noticed a superstar athlete change because of money and fame. But in the case of Federer, he never saw anything like it, as the Swiss tennis icon was always the same caring and humble person. “I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many world-class athletes. He’s high on my list as far as Roger, the game changer, because of what a great person he is. Yes, he has so much more. money and much more of everything. But he hasn’t changed. Money and fame change people a lot. I’m not going to name names, but there are certainly athletes in our sport who have changed. Money changed his way of seeing things, acting and talking to people.”

Berrettini pays tribute to King Roger

Invited to Sinnaggagghiri’s Youtube channel, Matteo Berrettini slipped a joke about Rafael Nadal at Roland‐Garros before revealing his first match against his idol, Roger Federer. The latter had crushed the Italian in the round of 16 of Wimbledon 2019 (6-1, 6-2, 6-2). “I am a Federer’s fan. I was there when he retired, it was crazy. Everyone was crying. I faced him twice: the first time at Wimbledon, I didn’t understand anything. I wondered what I was doing there, I was supporting him. The second time, I fought harder, but I lost”, said the Italian, who demonstrates with this anecdote all the difficulty of facing a legend of the game, especially when we admired his exploits more young.

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