Because of Roger Federer I watched the live broadcast of the 2008 men’s tennis final at Wimbledon. The game was twice interrupted by rain, so it lasted from 14.30 till about 22.30. From the beginning Federer fell behind Nadal, losing two straight sets. He later recovered from this almost lost situation, and fought hard until the last set. It was a great pity that in the end he lost so narrowly to Nadal.
The first time I went to watch Roger Federer playing live on a court was at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. This was his first attempt at an Olympic gold medal since becoming a professional player. At the quarterfinals I sat in the audience, cheering for Roger Federer. After the game, I met up with him and he told me: “I feel so honored that you’ve come to watch me play. You are an Olympic champion, the whole of Switzerland is proud of you. I don’t known when I will be able to win an Olympic gold medal.”
At the time, Roger Federer did not have the fame he has today, he was only a rising star in the tennis world. He had his heart set firmly on gaining an Olympic gold medal. I was an Olympic gold medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (the one prior to the Sydney Olympics), so he was very surprised and happy that I came to watch his game. It was a shame that he only came fourth in the end.
At the 2004 Athens Olympics, in order to realize his dream to win an Olympic gold medal for the men’s singles, Roger Federer even gave up the chance to compete in a master tournament. At the time he was already the World No. 1., so he didn’t expected that he would be beaten by a much less well known player. In the second round already, Roger Federer lost to the Czech Tomas Berdych. Federer’s bad streak at the Olympics continued.
If you compare the Roger Federer of many years ago with the superstar he is now, there isn’t a great difference. Roger Federer is a great player. He is also an athlete whom I respect very much. At present, perhaps the only accolades he still lacks are the champion’s title for the French Open and an Olympic gold. Roger Federer has officially registered to join the Swiss Olympic Games delegation to the Beijing Olympics. As member of the delegation I hope that Roger Federer will win the Olympic gold medal this time.
The Beijing Olympics will open on August 8, 2008, and it happens that this date is also Roger Federer’s 27th birthday. This kind of coincidence only comes round once in a hundred years Hopefully, the Beijing Olympics will bring him luck.