Roger Federer enjoys a very long line of fans around the world. The Basel legend has been able to make himself loved not only for his countless successes on the court, but also for a style of play that is simply unique in the history of tennis.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion was the big absentee last season, mostly spent in the pits due to a double surgery on his right knee. For the first time in the last 23 editions, the 39-year-old Swiss decided to skip the Australian Open too, a bad blow for the organizers who were ready to host him in the best possible way.
A few days ago Chris Evans, host of a radio show on 'Virgin Radio', recalled his first meeting with Roger Federer which took place in a London bar. Speaking to Vassos Alexander and Rachel Horne, the DJ revealed that the eight-time Wimbledon champion had mistaken him for the owner of that venue.
Evans recalls his first meeting with Roger Federer
"Shall I tell you my Roger Federer story again," Chris Evans asked, eagerly as both Vassos and Rachel agreed. "So, I was in a bar with my mate in London and Bear Grylls was in there with his mate and we're the only two couples in the bar..."
Chris began. "My mate had nipped outside and Bear was sitting with Roger Federer." The former BBC star continued: "Roger and Bear hadn't seen who I was with - I was sat with Tom Jones, so there's me, Tom Jones, Roger Federer and Bear Grylls in a bar - this sounds like a joke!" he giggled as the studio roared with laughter.
Chris admitted he couldn't remember all of what happened next, but when Roger was introduced to Chris, it appeared that he believed he was the owner of the bar. "Roger didn't see at any point that I was with Tom and he obviously didn't see a barman," Chris explained.
While he traveled to Dubai, his usual base for the pre-season training block, and went through the paces under the watchful eyes of his coach Ivan Ljubicic, Federer released a statement announcing his withdrawal from the Australian Open.
It wasn’t a decision taken in haste as Federer won six of his Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park and came within a match of clinching his seventh one, last year. This year marks the first time since he started playing Grand Slam tennis that Federer has pulled out of the men’s draw at Melbourne Park.