Roger Federer shares his grand vision
“I definitely believe that I can win another grand slam. Otherwise, I would not sign up to compete week in week out,” Federer, who was in the city for an exhibition match against old rival Rafael Nadal, told Weekend Argus.
But it’s not just all things tennis that has brought the Swiss maestro to Cape Town - it’s education.
“The Fedex Express”, as he is affectionately known to his fans across the world, rolled into town this week.
He faced Nadal at Cape Town Stadium in “The Match in Africa” on Friday night.
The aim of the Federer/Nadal trip was to raise funds for the Roger Federer Foundation which aids children’s education in Africa.
Although access to Federer was limited, Weekend Argus was able to secure answers from him via email.
Federer said South Africa was a special host to him as his mother, Lorraine, was born in the country.
“It has always been very important for me to play in front of the South African people. As my mother is South African, it saddens me I was unable to visit much across my career, so it was almost a must to play against my biggest rival in South Africa in support of my foundation’s efforts,” he said.
A trip to South Africa has been on the cards for some time and took several years to plan, Federer said.
“It was difficult to find a date which suited well in the tight tournament calendar and that was feasible for Rafa and me. Especially, because such an event is not just an investment of 24 hours for both of us and it requires a lot of travel,” he said.
Federer said he would be in the “region” for almost a week and hoped to find time to explore and catch up with family as well as celebrate this incredible event.
Before arriving in the country, the Swiss was in Namibia to visit one of his foundations.
“It is important to be involved with all of our early education initiatives on the ground. It is great to be able to put a structure in place, but there is no replacement to seeing how the project runs first-hand.
“Afterwards the whole focus is on the charity match. Our goal is to break the world record for spectators at a tennis match and illustrate to the fans the importance of education. It will be an unforgettable experience,” he said.
But the question on the minds of most fans: how long does he plan to continue playing professionally?
“As long as I am healthy and I am enjoying the game, I will continue travelling around the globe. I am really grateful that my family is still taking the effort to travel with me and support me in my passion in life.”