Last year Roger Federer surprised everyone at Wimbledon on the Centre Court wearing, for the first time ever and with no previous announcements, an Uniqlo outfit to face Dusan Lajovic. The six-time Major winner Boris Becker admitted he was surprised by the change, as Federer wore Nike for 24 years, from 1994 to 2018.
'We’ve watched Roger for so many hours over the years and it was always one particular brand associated with him', said Becker. 'To see him not with that brand any more was a little bit weird, I must say.
The new deal must have been a big difference. I’m sure his agent liked the change. But players are a little bit superstitious. We like our routines and the same things at certain times and for him to be with a completely new sponsor after so many successful years with the old one will be a bit odd for him.
I remember the first time I heard about Roger. I was good mates with his former coach Peter Lundgren and he said ‘I’ve got this young, crazy Swiss. Badly behaved but unbelievably talented’. I saw him at the Aorangi Park Practice Courts maybe 18 years ago.
Then I commentated on his match against Pete Sampras, in the fourth round in 2001, which he won. That was the first time we all went ‘what? what happened here?’ Roger always had the game. He always had something special about him.
about his whole demeanour and the way he plays tennis. I think he’s elevated tennis into a new dimension, with the help of Rafael Nadal I must say. We talk about him, we appreciate him we’ll really feel the moment he’s no longer playing and the impact he made when he was.'