That according to Rick Reilly who in the April 9th Sports Illustrated (Florida Gators) wrote about his recent sit down with Roger Federer during the Miami event.
It’s a pretty funny read, which appears on the back page of the magazine (hey, might not be the front, but at least Roger’s in the magazine!), as Reilly is struck by just how normal and humble the World No. 1 is compared to other mega-star athletes.
I can’t find a link to the story, but here are a few excerpts:
Roger Federer is decent, humble and kinder than Aunt Bee. He is constantly saying, “I’m just a normal guy.” All his winning shots were just “lucky.”
Do you realize this man, whom most experts say is the greatest tennis player to ever live, actually goes to restaurants and sometimes waits in line?
He doesn’t have a full-time coach. Has no tattoos. His entourage is a joke. His publicity agent, his scheduler, his hitting partner and his girlfriend are all the same person. And she’s not even a lingerie model! Just an ordinary, very nice Swiss miss named Mirka.
Here’s a guy who has dominated his sport far more than Tiger Woods has over the last three years, yet Tiger has a 155-foot yacht and Federer doesn’t even own a dinghy. Federer made an estimated $28 million last year, yet he doesn’t own a house, just two “flats,” he says.
Get this: You can send an autograph request to his parents’ house – their address is on his website – and within a month you’ll get a photo hand-signed by Roger. .. Damn, son, at least get one of the signing machines like everybody else!
There were two chairs in the interview room. A large, cushy one with armrests and a plain straight-backed one. He looked at me sheepishly and said, “Would you mind very much if I took the larger chair? I am very tired from my match.” Hello? Roger? Monster sports Goliaths don’t ask. Monster Sports Goliaths plop down in the big one, then put their feet up on the smaller one.
Also in the issue (sorry, i’m a week late!) is a story from Jon Wertheim on the relative ease at which tennis players – a la Serena Williams, Guillermo Canas and Martina Hingis – can return to success so quickly after lengthy layoffs. And in addition to Yannick Noah getting a mention for being Joakim’s dad, there’s also a note on Andre Agassi selling the rights to his memoirs for $5 million. Heck, it’s almost like a special tennis issue!
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