It takes a lot of work to get to the top of any sport. Ask Roger Federer. The Swiss sprung onto the scene as a teenager and rose to the upper echelons of tennis through hard work and an intense physical regimen. And the payoff was just as noteworthy. Fame, a healthy pay check and a soaring net worth are some of the upshots of reaching the very top.
One particular aspect of being a famous sportsman is that you have scores of fans who fervently follow you throughout your career, and in Federer’s case, post it too. Roger Federer has long been an active participant in fan meet and greets and has never shied away from offering a pose for the camera when asked by an enthusiastic admirer. However, an ever busy schedule prohibits much of the expected interaction with fans. Still, Roger always does ensure that he takes the required time out to make his ever-growing fanbase happy.
Roger Federer sets sail with fans club
Attendees from Roger Federer’s official fan club “fans4roger” were provided with a golden opportunity to meet their idol when the Swiss’ management company organised a meet up on personal invitation from the 20-time grand slam champion himself.
280 of Federer’s loyal fans thronged the cruise ship Diamant and sailed around Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland with the Swiss maestro. Fans of the tennis star boarded the ship, having come from a myriad of far-flung places such as Brazil, India, Japan, the United States, Australia and Europe.
This isn’t the group’s first meeting with the star but previous rendezvous have notoriously been private affairs, with no cameras allowed. This time though, Roger Federer provided fans with a signed baseball cap, a customised photo with each fan, and discussed matters of tennis and other news with them for over four hours. He also shot a video for Swiss Tourism while he was on board.
“We will remember this farewell very fondly,” a fan named Loeffel said. “It was the icing on the cake. Especially since the weather was perfect too.”
“We are known for not making a big deal out of everything,” told Doris Töpfer, one of the fan club’s chief organisers.
After Roger Federer’s last match at the Laver Cup before he hung his boots for good, the fan members asked the Swiss for one final meet up before they disbanded. The fan group will cease to exist at the end of this year, but their memories of the elegant tennis icon will live on forever.
Federer’s post retirement venture in clothing
Post retirement, Roger Federer has vigorously taken a step forward in the fashion scene. From hosting events to bolstering partnerships with apparel brands, Federer has focused intently on his entrepreneurial ventures in life after tennis.
In August, the tennis star debuted a fashion collection for Uniqlo, designed with Jonathan Anderson to a multitude of fans, who longed to see Roger. The 42-year-old has previously dabbled with selling hats and T-shirts with his RF logo, but the new collection includes polo shorts, fleece zip-up jackets and nylon joggers.
The most stylish man of the decade–as voted by GQ readers in 2019- was heavily involved in the design process and focused on stylising tennis apparel for the modern generation.
“We have such a great style history in tennis. René Lacoste and Stan Smith were wonderful tennis players. I feel it’s important to remember where we came from. And if I can make tennis look stylish, I think I should do that.” he said.
Federer’s fashion sense developed much earlier in his youth and before he thronged advertisement hoardings and graced the cover of magazines.
“I really enjoy it,” he said. “It’s like deep diving into a completely different world. It’s like the art world or the jewelry world or car world. The fashion world is the one I know a lot. And I’ve gotten to know so many of the beautiful and best designers, so I’ve been very fortunate.”
With a partnership worth over $30 million, Uniqlo and Roger Federer are building a brand that tennis players and casual users can drape on, as per their needs. The tennis great is delving eagerly into the fashion world as part of his post-retirement legacy building.
How wonderful was it that Roger Federer met his fans on a cruise for the very last time? What are your opinions on this never-seen-before side of the Swiss, as he transitions from tennis star to fashion designer? Let us know in the comments section below.