Fan StoriesRoger Federer

Why Roger Federer is Great

How a sporting legend you have never met can help you get through the tough times.

This week I received an email from a fellow Federer fan who I’ve chatted to briefly via email over the years.

In a way, it was a short fan story and at her request, I am posting it here so you guys can read it too.

Dear Jonathan,

Maybe you remember, I am a fan from Holland, for Federer, and also a fan of your website.

I had a car accident on May 24, 2018, and landed upside down in a ditch amidst two airbags and hanging in the safety-belt. The car was a good one, so I lived and had only some bruises. The cause was β€œunknown” which meant I lost my drivers licence. And that meant that one day I was an active 81-year-old, who loved to play tennis and drive all over the country (Holland), and the next day I was an old woman who could do hardly anything without help as my house is a long way from a shop.

I hated my immobility and got depressed. I got a subscription for, in order to see what my idol, Roger Federer, was doing. And, luckily, we had tickets for the Gerry Weber Open in Halle in 2019. My friend drove us there and we were there on Thursday through Sunday. You were there too, I read. You have described much better than I could how Federer performed.

But you cannot imagine what I experienced there: the atmosphere, the love of the stadium for our hero, his play, it all made it one unified happening of joy. It was impossible to stay depressed, and it lifted me up and showed me that there were still things to really enjoy and get enthusiastic for! It is now June 27 and I still feel pretty good, so it may last and help me up. I would like Roger to know this. To tell him that his strength and fighting ability can make another person stronger even in a completely different field.

Can you tell him that, or does he read your blog? Then please put this on your blog for me. Thank you, and I have admiration for your efficient comments and read everything always. Like, Holland

Hope you guys like this and it just shows the inspiration and encouragement that many people can find by watching a stranger called Roger Federer play tennis πŸ™‚

I’ve also sent the story to someone who is in contact with Team RF, as contrary to popular belief I’m 99.99% certain he doesn’t read my blog 😁. Hopefully, he will get wind of it as I’m sure both Roger and his family like to hear these things and they are one of the reasons he still plays. Hopp Suisse!


Editor of Perfect Tennis and a big fan of Roger Federer, I've spent countless hours watching and analysing his matches. Alongside playing the sport, I also enjoy writing about the tour, rackets, strings, and the technicalities of the game. Whether it's breaking down the latest tournament results or discussing the latest gear innovations, I'm always eager to share my insights with fellow tennis enthusiasts.

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  1. “The atmosphere, the love of the stadium for our hero, his play, it all made it one unified happening of joy. It was impossible to stay depressed” – I’m totally with you, recalling the Basel last year myself. Thanks for sharing your moving letter with us. Hope Roger reads it.
    Lovely gesture posting here/sending to the person, Jonathan. I’m sure Fed knows the PT!

    1. Cheers Wanda.

      Haha a full-time training regime, 4 kids and all the other stuff that comes with it πŸ˜† I don’t think I’d have time to know of a blog if I was Fed. No time to even post his own selfies, Alessandro from Team8 has to take charge!

  2. Wonderful story and thank you to both Jonathan and Like for presenting this to us.
    I do hope you recover completely and get your car and license back. I’ve travled a bit to see Federer play and even looking back several years it never fails to lift my spirits.
    Tennis TV is amazing, especially the ability to watch old matches again!

  3. Such a nice letter, confirming the feeling that tennis isn’t just tennis, but something special more in Roger Federer’s hands

    1. Thank you Jonathan, from a different perspective that’s really true. Healing power could be from that angle, but not ignore the power from above. Blessings. Vos S Fina’i.

  4. Awesome post, Jonathan. Thanks for sharing with us. I really hope Fed does see it. I am sure it will mean a lot to him too.

  5. Yes it’s a cool story. I think the only person who wouldn’t like to read it will be the Noventi CEO πŸ˜ƒ

  6. What a wonderful post. I am huge fan as well. My sons say, I stalk him which I feel I sort of do from my home! Read Everything about him. I watched all his Halle matches on TV and I am so happy that Holland lady was able to go and enjoy. He surely does something to your soul when you watch him. Just found out about your blog and loving it so far. Go roger!! And keep your spirits up dear lady from holland!

  7. Just a quick note:

    There’s a “lunch with Roger Federer” or whatever they call the series in the Financial Times today (Googling on “” and “Federer” ought to get you past the paywall), and the Daily Telegraph has some article about the tragedy that made Roger Federer, so presumably relating to Peter Carter. Haven’t looked at the front of any of the other papers yet.

  8. If this e-mail comes to Roger, he’ll be wondering which blog is that, so we might get another member here, legend himself. πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks Wanda. Still a nice boy, oh yes. – He looks so happy among the African children. It surely seems the work in the foundation might be his next (hopefully much later – and possible to follow) love –

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this post Jonathan!
    Roger has something very special about him, his mind and movement are so well articulated that his moves as gracefully as he expresses himself. I’ve never seen him play in a court so I can only imagine what Holland was feeling.
    Very touching indeed!

  10. Like, what an inspiration to us all. I so relate to your story. Many times I have seen Roger Federer as a role model to get through challenges in life. We Fed fans get it. Others have no idea what we are on about. Please, take care, Roger would be proud of you!

  11. Like, thank you so much for taking the time to write this down; & thanks to Jonathan for posting it. I appreciate hearing about the emotional lift you got from the whole experience.
    Like, you are just a year or so younger than my own mom, & she no longer drives after dark & has taken to using uber which has worked out really well for her – don’t know if you have something similar in Holland!

  12. Yes, a lovely story – thanks to Jonathan for sharing it. I find here similitudes with mine (as told in my recent Roland Garros fan story on this blog).

    There is still a mystery why a sportsman gives such inspiration to so many people practicing sport or not at all.

    His resilience, determination, courage – all wrapped in joy – coming back at the pinnacle of his sport/art with such success after an injury may be one of the reasons why we admire him so much.

  13. Such a nice story,more evidence,as if we needed it ,that Fed is far more than’just a guy playing a tennis match’.

  14. Fed needs to know these stories.
    They are legion
    I hope Like recovers her licence- and sees another live performance.

  15. Thanks for sharing such a lovely story Jonathan and the lady from Holland!

    Roger is an inspiration for me in my everyday life. His love not just for his job but everything around him. His resilience, how he conducts himself, his curiosity and interest in just everyone and everything around him, his β€˜humanness’ even, makes him so much more than an athlete. I see him as my role model in the the kind of job I do and he makes me better everyday in my workplace. Only if he could tell me how handles internal politics as well!

  16. It’s a lovely and inspiring story, thanks for sharing. Reinforce our love and admiration for Roger.

  17. He is an inspiration to everybody. The main quality that translates to my career and inspires me is never afraid of challenges and never giving up until the end.

  18. Here is Like from Holland: first to Jonathan I give enormous thanks for publishing my post: you have given me at least 30 extra boosts to my courage. And to the co-Fed-fans who reacted to the post: thank you all for giving me your comments, which all were an encouragement to not let my head down. I got my fighting spirit back from all of you, thank you! And, Thinker, I do not use Uber, but they let me drive a 45 km car (it can’t go any faster, and it can only drive on small roads where tractors are allowed to drive) so I am bit mobile again. In the future the very slow authorities are going to decide if I get my license back. I can hope now with a bit of optimism, thanks to you all!

    1. Now that you mention it, I think I have heard of these 45km cars before – so glad you have got some mobility & independence back!

    2. Like, thank you so much for sharing your heartwarming story. It is so nice to know how Roger brightens our lives and connects us all through his love for tennis.
      And I hope you get your license back soon.

  19. It’s these kind of stories that bring me back here time and again. Stories that are honest, genuine, uplifting and poignant all at the same time. Roger transcends the sport he plays. I used to think it was because of the seminal NY Times article from David Foster Wallace titled “Roger Federer as a Religious Experience,” published in 2006. I can say from my own personal experience that when I watch Roger Federer highlights…..I watch them twice. Once in the normal way as a viewer of a match…..then a second time where I focus totally on his feet, literally watching him float around the court in a manner no one else can do. That’s right, totally focused on the beauty of his footwork the entire time. It’s something I look forward to from every highlight reel. But I realized one day that while I have a fascination with his footwork, that is what not makes him special to me as an athlete. It is because I’ve gotten to know Roger Federer over the years. It is Roger Federer the great ambassador of our sport. The man who so eloquently expresses him self to the media and his fans. That’s why I respect and admire Roger Federer so much……because I know him.

  20. Heartwarming story and hope for a complete recovery to the lady who
    posted her story. Uplifting because at the moment there seems to
    be so much unrest in tennis, for me it’s quite off putting. Must say Halle
    looked great so glad that you Jonathan had a good week topped off
    with a Federer win x

  21. Hey all. Couldn’t watch the match so got a bit of a fright when I saw he dropped the first set. Was it a case of a slow start/ one bad game or a bad performance throughout (worried to hear that his opponent was injured so might have been the reason Fed won easily thereafter – so wouldn’t want to read into the score too much either way). Also, I believe that the first serve percentage was abysmal?

    1. Slow start, nerves, opponent inspired by his surroundings and blowing Roger off court with his serving – and to my mind Roger looking in the first set as though he was suffering from the horrid virus I had last week, which fouls up your brain something awful. It was only the one service game he wobbled in , after all.

  22. Roger is the best ever to play the game, a true gentleman of tennis. I like and love him very much and to top it all, since I’m a South African, it’s so nice to know that he’s also a half South African because his Mother was born in SA. He’ll be playing a match against his rival and friend Rafa in South Africa on February 2020, it’s a pity that I won’t be able to watch him live due to not having money to travel to Cape Town to watch him and Rafa live.

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