Even those who are not committed tennis fans will recognise the name of one man: Roger Federer. The Swiss sportsman has supremely reigned the tennis world for over a decade and is widely considered to be the greatest player of all time.
However, for tennis fans like Yusuf Alireza, it’s not just Federer’s prowess on the court that has made him a firm favourite across the globe. Federer has been voted ATP Fan Favourite for 14 consecutive years and has also won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award an impressive 12 times. Here we explore Federer’s enduring popularity and what makes him such a reputable athlete.
The Gentleman of Tennis
The tennis great is often described as a “gentleman” by fellow tennis legends such as Björn Borg and has a selfless reputation with his fans. He is known for his polite personality, flawless manners and strategic patience in all aspects of the game – from competing with his opponents to dealing with the press.
Federer is credited with bringing a more fluid, versatile style back into men’s tennis and his achievements speak for themselves. He has 17 Grand Slam single titles to his name and has reached the Wimbledon final an incredible 10 times. Federer also confidently displays the ability to bounce back after defeat. After losing the epic 2008 Wimbledon final to rival Rafael Nadal, some expected Federer to break. However, he courteously accepted the defeat and went on to win the US Open just weeks later.
Federer established his own foundation in 2003: the charity helps disadvantaged children to gain access to sport and education. He is also a supporter of the South African-Swiss charity IMBEWU. Over the years, Federer has supported numerous relief efforts following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 Queensland floods. To show appreciation for his charitable endeavours, Federer was appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2006.
Roger Federer has proved to be a polite, respectful and overall likeable personality both on and off the tennis court, which has influenced and maintained his forever growing fan base.