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Rafa Pays Tribute To Carers On Coronavirus Front Line

  • Posted: Mar 22, 2020

Rafa Pays Tribute To Carers On Coronavirus Front Line

Spaniard encourages those suffering during this pandemic

Rafael Nadal took to social media on Saturday evening to share a message in support of those dealing with the worldwide coronavirus situation. In Spanish, the 33-year-old thanked those on the front lines combatting the virus, encouraged those who are suffering from it and more.

See the full message, in English, below.

Hi everyone.

First of all, I just wanted to apologise because I was out of social media for some time, but these are very difficult times for everyone. This whole situation is overwhelming us and we are all committed in the best possible way from our homes.

I wanted to send a message of thanks to all the doctors, nurses and all the health personnel who are all protecting us, and to the police forces, civil and national guard, the army, and all those who make us feel a little safer, who are in the first line of fire. After all, they are those who are most at risk of catching [the virus] and they are our heroes. I want to express my admiration and thank you all.

Finally, I want to send encouragement to all the families who are suffering, both the infected, and especially those with relatives or friends who have died from the coronavirus. Send them a message of encouragement. It is difficult to say something in these difficult times, and I can only say in this case that we all feel very sorry, that we trust that at this moment we can go ahead with our lives as soon as possible.

There are also positive things in these difficult times. We are demonstrating to be a united people, many companies are being supportive and contributing, and all citizens are showing ourselves united day after day, complying with all the standards that health [departments] advises us: stay at home, follow all the indications to end this terrible pandemic as soon as possible.

Thank you and see you soon,


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From Wooden Racquet To Global Superstar: Federer's Dream Continues

  • Posted: Mar 22, 2020

From Wooden Racquet To Global Superstar: Federer’s Dream Continues

Federer takes fans back to the beginning of his tennis journey

Roger Federer has won 103 tour-level titles, 20 Grand Slam championships, and spent a record 310 weeks atop the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Swiss’ strokes have become iconic.

However, Federer wasn’t always the legend with countless eyes glued to his every move. 

“My first memories go back to playing with a wooden racquet. Instead of the neon yellow tennis balls I started off with the white tennis balls. In Switzerland, we used a lot of pressure-less tennis balls as well. I don’t know how many players of this generation today could say that,” Federer told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot, cracking a laugh. “I remember playing against the wall and at the cupboards and the garage doors for hours.”

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Federer was just like every other kid, falling in love with the sport for various reasons. He famously was a ball boy at the Swiss Indoors Basel, an ATP Tour event that he has won 10 times, including in each of the past three years.

“[I collected] a lot of the stickers as well. There was a year, I guess it was the beginning of the 90s, when all the old tennis players were in [a book],” Federer said. “It was about the tournaments, about the trophies, about the players, so I got to know them all. And then eventually also became a ball boy in my hometown event in Basel.

“I used to chase the players for autographs, which at the time was not a big deal, as the selfie didn’t exist. So those are my memories really from back then.”

Federer has won 1,242 tour-level singles matches, earned 224 Top 10 victories, and lifted an ATP Tour trophy in 18 of the past 19 years. But he never dreamt that big as a kid.

“Thinking back on how it used to be, you have a dream and a hope that one day you’ll become a Top 100 player and maybe play on some of the [big] courts. Next thing you know, it’s normal to play on centre court, it’s normal to play in front of 15,000 people,” Federer said. “Sometimes you tend to forget what a privilege that is. I feel like I never did forget. I enjoyed every single time it does happen and I try to enjoy it as much as I can.”

When Federer was young, his parents didn’t exclusively groom him to become the next tennis superstar. In fact, Lynette Federer and Robert Federer were concerned about far more than sports.

“The original mindset in Switzerland is of course education always goes first. That was the same that my parents also taught me, but I do believe it’s starting to happen more and more that people actually believe that also sports can be a future and a career and a path,” Federer said. “I hope that through what I do on a tennis court that I show them, maybe also I lead the way a little bit. That’s also going to be helpful for the next generation of superstar athletes from Switzerland.”

That doesn’t mean that Federer grew up in a country where sports weren’t prevalent. He has long supported FC Basel, his hometown’s football club.

“I think the Swiss really love their sports,” Federer said. “They might show a little bit less craziness about certain athletes or clubs [than] maybe in Latin countries or other places. But at the end of the day, we love our sports.”

Federer is 38, and he has experienced all tennis has to offer. But he takes nothing for granted.

“I try to give my absolute best effort every single day I walk on a practice court or on a match court and I try to interact with the fans and let them know how thankful I am,” Federer said. “It’s definitely been a hell of a ride. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.”

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