Davis CupFan StoriesRoger Federer

Federer Fan Story: SUI vs Serbia Davis Cup 2014

Hey guys, a couple of weeks back I got sent a fan story through from Antonio, a big Federer fan from Macedonia, who was lucky enough to watch Roger play against Serbia in the Davis Cup earlier this year. I didn't post it immediately as Shanghai was just about to start but here it is, it's a great piece and one I'm sure that resonates with fans both young and old who have had the pleasure of seeing Fed play live. Enjoy!

It was few days before the 2013 Davis Cup final. The draw for the 2014 Davis Cup World Group was made; and the tie was Serbia vs Switzerland in the first round.

I knew that Serbia will choose to play at home. I'm from Macedonia and I thought this will be my chance to meet Roger. After the 2014 Australian Open there was still a chance that he would not play because he was tired from tournament and he would need time to rest for the upcoming tournaments Dubai and Indian Wells.

Still there was no confirmation whether he would play or not. I bought the tickets one week before the series because Stan confirmed he would play, I was happy because I could meet him at least.

It was Wednesday and the matches started on Friday yet there was still no information for Roger. Some said he would play, others said no, so there was no confirmation. I came back from school that day and my phone started to vibrate. I checked and saw that one of my friends and a big fan of Roger messaged me to say that he saw on the internet that Roger will play. I was thinking there was no chance it must be rumours. We chat a couple of times and as I'm closing the chat, the first thing that I saw on timeline on Facebook was confirmation by Roger himself that he is going to play. I was like NO WAY!!

I start screaming, crying, jumping around the house, I scared my parents because they didn't know what was happening. I felt something that I have never felt before.

In Serbia that week, the weather was horrible and was only getting wors. Snow, wind, cold. There were places where the snow was 2 meters high. But that was in North Serbia and luckily it wasn't as bad in Novi Sad. Me and my parents decided to go.

Then came the 31st January 2014 Friday. The happiest day in my life. We packed up and we left at 4am. Because of the weather and the traffic we arrived in Novi Sad at 11am and the match was starting at 1pm. We left our bags at the hotel room and went to Spens Arena for the matches. Me and my mother entered the arena with Federer fans from Switzerland, about 200 were there and they were all wearing caps, t-shirts, coats signed from Federer.

I bought a big tennis ball and marker hoping that I will get autograph from Roger. We go to our seats and I was so excited. While waiting for the players to step on the court, Pascal Maria appeared. I was happy because I saw one of the best umpires in Tennis world.

After 15-20 minutest the ceremony started. First came the Serbian national team and then one after another the players from the Switzerland team started to arrive on court. While I was waiting for Roger to appear on court i was thinking… is this happening or am I dreaming?

Roger walked on court last and when he showed up the crowd went nuts. When I saw him I started crying, smiling, jumping. He played against Bozoljac and his game was on highest level. He was poetry in motion. He was like a ballet dancer. He was like ice-skater on ice. He was moving so smoothly, gently, gracious, his forehand the best shot in our sport was flowing, lighting up the court and the crowd, the backhand was so good, beautiful to watch, then half volleys and after all that there was his serve back at the level from his prime. He won the match 6-4 7-5 6-2.

After the match was over he had an interview on court. I took like about 1000 photos and 10-15 videos. After the interview he came back to sign autographs. I was standing behind the fence and was feeling like I was in jail and the person I love and respect the most was on the other side of the bars. I wanted to grab him and hug him. I wanted to tell him how much he means to me, how big inspiration was he for me. Watching him in live, watching all the matches on TV, interviews on internet gave me hope that I can succeed in tennis and in life.

The first autograph that he signed in whole arena was the autograph he wrote on my tennis ball. We handshake and I said: “Thank you Roger” and he replied “No problem” and his was smiling and happy that he had the chance to make the people happy.

He took my marker and signed almost every autograph in the arena. He was trying to sign as many autographs as he could. When shookhands I felt something that can't be said with words and can't be bought with all the money in the world. I knew that now my life wish was achieved and can live happy knowing that I met my idol, my inspiration, my good and my example how one person should be like. He was always there for his fans and we will always be there for him.

What he does on court and off court, there's no one else like him. He is the best ever not just like player, but as person as well. I hope that one day I'll have chance to see him again and we can talk a little bit.

After his match I stayed and watch Stan and he also won his match against Lajovic. It was like 9 hours in the arena. I have so many memories from that day, much more than people have for all life. He gave so much, that we can only thank him if we are with him forever no matter what.

That night we slept in hotel and I slept with the ball that night. The day after we came back to Macedonia. I told the story to my friends and they were so happy for me. The ball is now in special box made from glass and the ball for me is what the Cross is for a church. Tennis is my religion and Federer is my god. This was my story.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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    1. Yes it counts πŸ™ I need to raise my game if I want to maintain my ranking… Wouldn’t be nice if I lose the race after such a long reign at the top lol

      1. You still way ahead Alex. Kind of Asian swing timezone worked out in favor as Jonathan’s post getting published in my work hours…:-)

    2. Of course Nambi.

      @Alex – it’s been a long year, hope you’re not suffering burn out, maybe skip Basel to prepare for the World Tour Finals πŸ˜›

      1. Wouldn’t be wise of me lol except if th maestro does it too :p would avoid me the effort πŸ˜‰

  1. You’re soo lucky Antonio πŸ™‚ I saw him live for 15 min only, didn’t go anywhere near him, and yet I felt so happy words can never describe it…
    This guy is soooo special for what he makes us all feel πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ and we are even more lucky to have him, to look up to him and to watch his genius not only on a tennis court but way beyond that!

  2. Antonio, It is fantastic write-up. Way of your write felt like seeing things, well described……I had chance to see him play live three times now but never had opportunity for Autograph, forget about handshake. Luck you.

  3. Great write up Antonio! I enjoyed reading it, and sooo happy for you that got a handshake from the maestro! πŸ˜‰

    So were the serbian fans lining up to get Roger’s autograph as well? Haha!

    1. Hey Simon, because at that time I was so busy, I forgot to tell you that I also loved your post about the DC πŸ™‚

      Ps: Want to see Roger-crazyness?? Just wait till he shows up in India. I thought Brasil/Argentina/Colombia were crazy about Roger, man, what will happen when he is in India, where he is like a halfgod?? πŸ™‚

  4. So happy for you! DC is an awesome fan experience because the atmosphere is pretty similar to a football match! Wait till the DC final and you will feel the true power of the crowd chants! πŸ˜€

  5. Hello Antonio-such a great post. You capture well what many of us Roger fans feel when we see Roger live and, if so lucky, get a chance to interact with him. It is a transformative experience and a life-long memory. DC is just around the corner again and of course I am one of “the legions” of Federer Fans that hope and pray he can add a DC championship for Switzerland to his resume. Wouldn’t that be just crazy exciting?!?

  6. What a wonderful surprise to have a new post! Antonio, thanks so much for writing this down – your feelings really come through in this, the excitement, the joy, the slog of getting there but how all that was forgotten when you got to see him. Your description of the way he moves is almost lyrical, and your English – in case you weren’t sure – is very, very good. I’m really glad you decided to share this with us, thanks again!

  7. What a lovely story, Antonio! This man just does it to all of us fans. I’ve never felt so enamoured by an athlete like this before. And never again.
    I see visions of Roger sitting in the Royal box at Wimbledon years from now. Even then, the focus will be on him.

  8. Thank you for the beautiful article, Antonio. It is so good to read how I exactly feel toward the Maestro through this post. You are so blessed to be given the chance to see him in action, get his authograph and even shake his hands!
    Just like what Sue said, I have never felt this way to any other athlete, even other celebrity for that matter! Call me crazy but even simple article such as this brings me to tears. Funny that I always look forward to his games yet when it is game time, I can hardly enjoy it because I am way too nervous and stressed. I always end up praying for him instead of watching! lol! I am a nut case.
    So happy to be in this page and be with the rest of the Federer family.

  9. Hi Antonio,

    What a great day you had and such a lovely post for us, thank you.

    “I wanted to grab him and hug him. I wanted to tell him how much he means to me”, I know how exactly you felt! When I saw him first time I wanted my heart out and give it to him (lol, who wants?).

    ‘Federer effect’ is phenomenal. Not many individuals give so much joy to so many people worldwide, just incredible. No other players can match with his stature no matter how hard they try. Because it’s Roger’s nature, we are talking about, not something you can artificially create. I fell in love with his tennis, didn’t care who he was initially but then his beautiful game made me want to know his persona. No surprise, ended up joining the Fed fan family!

  10. No way! Nadal pulls out of the WTF. I thought he was gonna power through that with his wrist medication!

    Guess he’s gonna power through AO with wrist + appendicitis medication πŸ˜‰

    1. I seriously thought he was going to focus on indoors this year. I guess he is targeting AO2015 then.

  11. Aww Anthonio, what a nice, moving article, it brought tears to my eyes. But I have not seen you chat here before or am I wrong? now that journey you took to get to Serbia to watch the match was really a sacrifice.
    Good to know you have now a stowed away autograph of Federer.

    I will be trying for the fourth time to get one at the World Tour Finals πŸ˜‰ , and If I don’t , I just may not take the flight back to my country, would probably sleep at the O2 for the rest of my life!!! Now, that’s the spirit πŸ™‚

    Thank you again.

    1. Hey Ajay, the Great Uncle Toni decides that Rafa will not play WTF, but he will allow Rafa to make the decision if he will have the surgery before or after Paris??? Seriously?? Best thing Rafa can do is seriously switch his coach. Does his uncle own him or something? Does he decide everything for him?

      And maybe this is why Rafa won’t play the WTF. Because he is afraid of Novak and believe it or not, he IS afraid of THIS Roger (who, if they would have met since June this year, would have beaten Rafa atleast 6 times, so the H2H would be more even):
      “The best rivalry he enjoys following on the tennis circuit? “Djokovic vs. Federer” answered Nadal, who watched his two rivals competing in the semifinals of Shanghai and who defined the match “unbelievable”.”

  12. Whenever Nadal is “injured”, it’s always a huge poor me annoucement. It just goes on and on.

    Davydenko retired today. I enjoyed watching his game. He was asked what was the biggest hi-lite of his career and he said beating Roger at the WTFs. He didn’t say, winning the whole thing….interesting.

    1. Seriously Sue…. there will come a time when that man will be figured out. Karma always comes back to you. We just have to wait till it happens. And it is so easy for Rafa to say that he is injured because of this or that. But… what if it actually happens once?? A real injury, when he doesn’t expect it and is healthy? What will he do then??
      Maybe he should talk to Delpo or Haas about how it feels to want to play tennis but that you cannot….

      And about Davy, well, isn’t it obvious?? Beating Roger made more of an impact on him than winning WTF. That’s what Roger does to you πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Sue, damn…. there goes the best tennisplayer of all time. Well, Davydenko is that right?? Isn’t he THE ONLY ONE on the whole planet who has a better H2H with Rafa than all the other players? πŸ™‚

      Yesterday I saw the hightlights of Delpo vs Rafa at Shanghai SF 2013. Man…. what Delpo had to do just to beat THAT Rafa…..

      By the way, still miss Delpo. And seriously….. where is Tipsy??

      Ps: You know this will be the 4th time Rafa will miss WTF after qualifying??

      1. I think Tipsy is having serious health issues. I think I heard he was in a wheelchair. FootΓ© heel issues.

  13. Did any of you catch what Rob Koenig said when Roger hit the superb volley, the one with two hand, against Novak? What? What did he just say?…I thought. Rob himself confirmed on Twitter.
    “Mongoose on amphetamines” hahaha, the guy comes up with something extraordinary out of nowhere sometimes, doesn’t he? I like him as a commentator.

    1. Yeah, he and jason are my favourite duo followed by Vijay Amritraj and Alan Wilkins. Can’t tolerate the American commentators. But Robby does have a list of descriptive terms that he tends to keep reusing every now and then.

    2. Yes, I like them a lot…Rob and Jason. I get to have them as commentators for most tournaments except slams. For slams I get the Americans…yuck. I hear over and over about how J McEnroe had bad behaviour….blah,blah,blah.

    1. Draw is out. Fed playing Dimitrov in Q and Stan in Semis. Dull has an easier draw and will be in the finals unless Gulbis can beat him.

      1. Raonic maybe in with a chance of beating Dull. That said, I doubt Dull will play well; probably exit to some journeyman before the final. Fed vs Dimi will be entertaining so I hope it gets to that. Did you see Dimi’s two hot shots? πŸ˜‰

        As for Fed Wawrinka, I actually think Wawrinka won’t make it to the SF. But if he does, perhaps a tough 3-setter!

      2. Hey John, I saw those 2 hotshots. Credit where credit is due, they were awesome. I especially loved the “box-moment” Jack had with Dimi. Nice to see he appreciated Dimi’s shots πŸ™‚

        Roger will win Basel. Atleast Delpo is not there to stop him. Sorry Delpo still miss you πŸ™‚

        Anyone heard about the Roger vs Dimi showdown on 10 March 2015? Dimi ended the promo with calling Roger an old man….. so funny πŸ™‚ Just wait Dimi till the old man teaches you a lesson πŸ™‚

  14. Hey guys, a question. Hopefully someone knows. Since the weekend I have been looking for the full match SF Roger vs Novak and for the Final ceremony. Where can I find it? It is not on YT and now there are even no highlights…

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