Roger Federer made his way onto the Shanghai Masters courts once again and the crowd exploded when the Swiss tennis icon's name was announced. For Friday, the Shanghai organizers planned to honor Federer as "the Icon Athlete of the 2023 Shanghai Masters.
Federer, who made eight appearances in Shanghai, won his second title at the tournament after beating Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-3 in the 2017 Shanghai final.
On the court, the organizers played highlights of his 2017 final against Nadal. “Yes. I’ve heard of his name… Many times," Federer jokingly said.
After making a stop in Tokyo earlier this week, Federer came to Shanghai.
Roger Federer before a video of his match with Rafa Nadal from 2017 Shanghai final is played:
In Shanghai, Federer wants to make the most out of his time there. “I want to enjoy the night life. I have to be a little bit careful to not overdo it. If anyone has good recommendations for restaurants & bars, let me know," Federer said.
China's Zhizhen Zhang attended Federer's ceremony and the two shared a great moment.
Roger Federer wants bar recommendations in Shanghai:
“I want to enjoy the night life. I have to be a little bit careful to not overdo it. If anyone has good recommendations for restaurants & bars, let me know”.
“I’ve always been your fan. Clapping for you every match you play. It’s a great honor to meet you in person," Zhang told Federer. Federer kindly responded: “Thank you. Thanks for being here. I appreciate it."
Chinese tennis legend Li Na was also present.
Federer & Zhizhen Zhang had a nice moment at Roger’s ceremony in Shanghai
Zhizhen: “I’ve always been your fan.
Clapping for you every match you play. It’s a great honor to meet you in person”.
Roger: “Thank you. Thanks for being here. I appreciate it”. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/bFdQxHna6l — The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) October 13, 2023
Li Na joins Federer on court in Shanghai.
Roger made so much history for the sport & represented it with so much class.
Li Na forever changed the face of Chinese tennis & what it means to be a Chinese tennis player.
Great to see them together
pic.twitter.com/i4yGLou0oM — The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) October 13, 2023
Federer returned to Shanghai as a two-time champion
In 2014, Federer became a Shanghai champion after beating Gilles Simon in the final.
Three years later, Federer delivered a clinical performance to beat Nadal and lift his second Shanghai title. "I had no nerves really before the match, which was nice. I was pretty clear about how I wanted to play the match.
And then I came out and started off very well. Felt relaxed from then on. I always know that Rafa can come back at any moment if he connects well, picks the right sides, and does the right things. I even felt that way being up 0/40, you know, going for the double break, but, I had a clear game plan and felt I was playing well all week," Federer said after his second Shanghai title in 2017.