Andy Roddick was shattered. He had just lost to Roger Federer in the 2009 Wimbledon final.
But while in the middle of his devastation inside his locker room, Andy Roddick experienced the kindness of his opponent, an act that will be etched in his memory for a long time.
Roger Federer, the best male tennis player of all time with20 grand slam wins under his name, is popular not only for his world titles and elegant playing style but also for the aura he exudes.
Roddick attests that what happened in their locker room ten years ago tells a lot about the kind of man that Federer is.
After that particular game, Roddick steps inside their common locker room overcome with devastation and disbelief. Then Federer’s team comes in.
Naturally, the team was in a celebratory mood. Out of the corner of his eye, Roddick saw Federer point to him and give his team the signal to be quiet. The team walked out of the locker room and proceeded to celebrate in a different corner of the All England Club.
Roddick was moved by Federer’s gesture, thinking it was unnecessary for the latter to be considerate of his feelings knowing that the win entailed a whole life of work.
Roddick won the title at the 2003 US Open making him world’s No. 1 tennis player but lost to Federer in that Wimbledon final. However, the two kept in touch even after Roddick quit tennis in 2012 during the US Open.
In fact, during a fundraiser for Roddick’s foundation which was held last September in Austin, Texas, Federer showed up with genuine intentions, even if the event was sandwiched between the US Open and Laver Cup.
Roddick found the act exceedingly outstanding especially from Federer who has won millions of prize money, an array of endorsements, and vast following on social media. Unlike other superstars, Roddick said Federer tried his best to be helpful and mindful during the fundraiser.
Not your usual superstar
Darren Cahill, an esteemed coach, and ESPN TV analyst, echoes Roddick’s assessment of Federer’s character. He says Federer is not the usual superstar who gets a little bit weird and puts aside a lot to be able to maintain their self-motivation. Federer does all of it while still being normal. Cahill believes this makes people connect with Federer more.
Federer is only seven titles short to matching the record of Jimmy Connor who is considered to be the greatest in the history of tennis. Federer’s next likely target must be the Tokyo Olympics in the singles division, seeing that it’s the only title lacking in his trophy cabinet.
Federer once said that when the time comes for him to retire, he prefers it to be a moment without sadness.