Roger Federer

An Unbelievable Rocking Interview with Roger in Dubai

It was quite a nice, cosy room at the Hard Rock Café in Dubai only open for VVIP guests who had come to watch a special AC/DC concert. And believe it or not I was ensconced there with… yes you guessed it. Roger Federer. After his loss at the Australian Open, Fed was in Dubai training hard to defend his title and in between had managed to squeeze in some time to watch AC/DC over the weekend and of course to talk to me, the caveat being no tennis questions. So here is the free-wheeling interview with Sheikh Roger Al-Federer.

Me: Roger, I have seen you play at Dubai many times but it is unbelievable that I am face to face with you and that too interviewing you. I am truly amazed to hear that you have come to watch AC/DC. I know you are a Gwen Stefani fan but Hard Rock Café & AC/DC?

Fed: (Laughing or more giggling I would say) Gwen is a very close friend but I love hard rock, always have ever since I saw John McEnroe play the guitar after winning Wimbledon. And I am a great fan of AC/DC too.

Federer Racket Guitar

Me: Wow, that’s real cool. No doubt they are a great band, any specific reason why you like them?

Fed: You know, at one time we were planning to settle in Australia which never happened. But I love Australia and these guys are like from Down Under and I love their guitarist Angus Young, the guy with the schoolboy uniform. Imagine, he is past 60 and still goes around in that uniform with the same energy. My idol absolutely. He is the reason why even at 33 I still have the same schoolboyish enthusiasm. I love their song Highway to Hell, which is where I want to send any guy across the net.

Me: Great Roger. You do have excellent taste. Any other favourites?

Fed: Of course. I love McEnroe’s originals ‘Dude, you can’t be serious’ and ‘You are the pits, douchebag’ and his covers ‘Hey Borg’ and ‘While my racket gently weeps’. John is the best left-handed guitarist after Jimi Hendrix & Paul McCartney. Thank God Rafa hasn't picked up the guitar. (And Roger giggled and giggled at his little joke – the schoolboy Roger)

I was quite amazed at Federer's interests apart from tennis, a true rock star that he is. Moving on, I continued…

Me: Roger, we have heard you are a great Hollywood fan. Who is your favourite director?

Fed: Quentin Tarantino without a doubt. That inglorious basterd makes glorious movies. Hey can you not add that quote. I have a rep to protect as a guy who never swears and I meant it as a compliment really.

Me: Don’t worry Roger. Nobody is gonna take offence. But why Quentin?

Fed: You know, back in Switzerland, they always referred to Quentin as my clone, then I heard in the US they referred to me as a Quentin clone. Larry introduced us at Indian Wells and now we are great pals. In fact Quentin has promised to make a movie with me in the lead after I retire. The script is ready for a superhero movie called ‘The Amazing Racketman’. And Novak has been signed on to play ‘The Djoker’ – the diabolical bad guy. But can’t tell you more details now. You will have to wait till 2025 at least.

Quentin Federer

Me: 2025. Really Roger. Isn't that pushing it too far?

Roger just looked at me with that famous Fedface to even think that I could have any doubts. Had to let that go.

Fed Look

But ‘The Amazing Racketman’ – what an apt name I thought. Vanquishing baddies with 200 mph thunderbolts.

I then quickly made a paradigm shift from Hollywood to Bollywood as Fed had danced with Bollywood celebrities during his recent sojourn to Delhi.

Me: Roger, I heard you had a ball dancing with Bollywood celebrities. Did you learn anything new?

Fed: ( For a moment the GOAT looked sheepish ) Yeah Yeah, but I had an awesome time dancing with the stars. I have two left feet on a dance floor but I have now learnt your Bollywood dance. In fact now, Stefan has advised me to do some of these steps after putting away a nice volley. Sure to unsettle opponents. Strategy for 2015… Serve & Volley… then Song & Dance.

Fed Dance

I couldn't help imagining Fed doing the Bhangra on the court.

Me: Roger, the Bollywood buzz is also that you are getting into production of Bollywood movies. Any truth in that?

Fed: (A bewildered look) My God. Your Bollywood grapevine is amazing. Between you and me, yes. Roped in Stan too. Rogerstan Productions is the name. You know like Hindustan, Kazhakstan etc. We already shot a lovely dream song & dance medley called ‘Maria Maria’, where the Indian hero ‘courts’ Maria Sharapova on a tennis court. That girl can surely act and dance, yaar.

Me: (I was amazed at Fed’s capacity to imbibe cultures, him calling me yaar which means mate / pal in Hindi. ) Wow. Fast work Roger. You have really got into the Bollywood groove.

Fed: (with a smile) Yeah My name is Roger Federer Khan in Mumbai.

I was amazed at Fed’s excellent sense of humour. We then moved on to another pet topic – cuisine.

Me: We have all heard that you are a huge foodie Roger. Any particular favourites?

Fed: Well I am a Dubai boy at heart now. Nothing but Shawarmas for me. I call my post-practice session as the ‘Shower & Shawarma’ routine. My dad loves it. He’s opened a joint in Basel. ‘Serving Shawarmas’ it's called.

Sheikh Roger Al-Federer

Me: That’s awesome Roger. A Swiss guy loving shawarmas!!!

Fed: You know what. Nowadays I carry a shawarma to a match as well and I take a bite during change-overs like Boris who started the banana routine. When I beat Novak in Dubai, the local Arabic newspapers headlined ‘Shawarma better than Banana’.

I couldn't help admiring this global soul that Fed is. From Hard rock to Hollywood, from Super-hero to Shawarma.

Me: Last question Roger. The band is getting ready to rock. So you must be itching to get in. You are a father of four. Not gonna ask you how does it feel etc. as many would have asked you that before. Hope you won’t find my question very intrusive but seriously how do you do it, amidst a hectic and tiring tennis schedule. (I was thinking that Roger may get pissed off but pat came the reply)

Fed: Spanish Fly. (And then winking conspiratorially) Recommended by you know who.

And the affable GOAT vanished into the night to rock with his favourite band AC/DC.

After all, Rock & Roll ain't no noise pollution and Groaning & Grunting ain't no tennis solution.

Murli Pillai

Fanatic Federer fan. Watch all his matches on TV if shown ( outside working hours ! ), and quite often drive down to Dubai from Muscat to watch him live. Apart from being an IT / Telecom sales professional, am a quiz-master, classic rock & blues fan, movie buff and a veteran tennis-ball cricketer. Love to research on Fed’s on-court & off-court doings – the Fedberg quiz an outcome of that.

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37 Comments

  1. Great interview! How lucky were you to meet Roger and interview him at the same time! The closest I got this year was a front row seat at the practice courts, so I was just a few metres away from his effortless groundstrokes on display for fans to enjoy! I also got to meet and chat with BenDou Zhang at Melbourne Park, anyone heard of him? He’s an ATP website editor, journalist of China’s top news agency and won the Best Journalist award for the ATP in 2013! He also had the privilege of interviewing Fed in private!

    1. BenDou Zhang was ex player during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1967 – 1976), the former Chinese No 1 in the period, when China was completely cut off from the rest of world tennis wise.
      Yes, he writes on tennis regularly and interviewed Roger several times in China, primarily during the WTF in Shanghai and Shanghai Master. I read all his interviews. He is a Fedfan as well 🙂 .

  2. Is this serious? Was this really an interview? On short notice? Or this is just a nice piece? I love it all the same.
    But if it was really Roger’s , then we may need to take off some words on request from him before the media springs on it.

  3. Hilarious, thanks Murli! I couldn’t help but giggled all the way through, great stuff. Thanks Jonathan as well for having it on.

  4. It doesn’t sound like Roger. I guess it’s a fake interview. You should put a disclaimer or something ’cause some people may believe it’s true.

    1. Angy, this isn’t a nanny state blog, people can make their own judgements on whether it’s real or not.

      No disclaimers required, natural selection sorts everything out in the end 🙂

  5. its just amazing to see how roger manages to adapt not only to different kinds of surfaces but also culture and languages … it was a treat to watch the guy in delhi with our b-town stars … amitabh bachhan with roger federer .. what a click! .. bet we’ll be waiting for that bollywood production ..

  6. Although I don’t think it’s a real interview I loved it anyway! Was smiling all the way till the last word 🙂
    Nice job Murli 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. For Murli…. Salaam brother Pillai!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    First I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this. And I found it very funny with your references to bollywood etc. You have definitely a very good sense of humour. Lol. Keep up the good work and thanks to Jonathan for him posting on this website. Cool man. I look forward to reading your next posting. Thanks. Serajul

  8. Hmm Murli… are you sure this is real?? Because even if I don’t know Roger personally… it doesn’t sound his kind of humor 🙂 Did you …. make this up?? If so… good job 🙂 Sorry dude, you didn’t punk me 🙂

  9. Aaahhh so wish it were a real interview rather than just a fantasy..but a great read anyway…thanks for giving us bits to keep us Fedfans going until Dubai…

  10. Read 3 times! The more I read, the more convinced it’s made up, but the more also I enjoy the great fun Murli has had. Hilarious! Thanks!

  11. Thanks all who enjoyed the “fake” interview irrespective of whether you thought it was real or not. It is an unfulfilled dream of mine to meet Fed, let alone interview him. But the interview had some realities. I have read that Fed likes AC/DC. McEnroe is a pretty proficient guitarist along with Pat Cash ( Courier is a good drummer, I have heard ). When Fed was in the process of achieving tennis stardom, the US folks used to refer to him as a Quentin clone and of course anybody who lives in the Middle East loves shawarma ( barring me of course ). As regards Bollywood, Fed has made some friends and a logical step would be production ( who knows !!! ).

    On to the 7th Dubai title now, though the field is very strong. But the courts are fast, the ambience electric and it is in a way home turf for Fed. So fingers crossed.

    1. Before Roger would take over Bollywood… how about The Fed first as the next Bond. James Bond 🙂 You know he would totally rock that right?? 🙂

      1. You bet Katyani. Roger Moore was always my favourite Bond – suave, dapper, a twinkle in the eye, wicked sense of humour – all qualities our Roger embodies and much more. Roger for Bond – On her Majesty’s second service.

      2. Our Federer as Bond 🙂 – No doubt he would be the best ever. But isn’t tennis Roger’s life, along with his family? He can act, we see this in the commercials, a thing I never enjoyed before. But to make a whole film? Believe me, this is hell on earth to all involved, you have to be committed 300%. Sure millions of us would love a Federer Bond, and maybe possible if Roger can see the fun in it, and tennis and philanthropy are involved somehow? Dreaming of it…

      3. Fed is far too cheesy to play Bond. Not even close to being suited.

        And clearly he can’t act. If that Sunrise Commercial was anyone but Fed I’m sure it would get slated.

      4. Jonathan: “Cheesy”? Do you mean smiling? Or too swiss? Admit the “sunrise” commerc in his house not the best one. But he is anyway always attracting attention, so that’s what starring (Bond) might be about? But I don’t think Roger would consider it anyway..?.

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