The day Roger Federer couldn’t stop laughing at CNN correspondent’s Spanish phrases during the Wimbledon final
RICHARDS, Calif. — Not even the most avid of tennis players would be immune to the joy a reporter can find in his work.
The first smile that greeted reporters as they approached Roger Federer in his back corner of the locker room at Wimbledon on Monday was a welcome sight for the Swiss superstar who has not been shy on the tennis court.
There was one big problem. His back.
Federer’s back was giving him a problem.
There’s a huge difference between smiling at a camera and smiling at a reporter while standing on one’s back, but Federer was ready to do both.
When he walked into the interview room with reporters from The New York Times, he walked with his left leg forward — and without his trademark sunglasses. It was a welcome change from the morning’s proceedings at a press conference in the locker room.
“This is the one day a year,” he told reporters, “where I really let my hair down.”
During the final, the 26-year-old from Fed Cup country Austria was sitting at a table of reporters trying to answer their questions about the match that ended with his Wimbledon title, while looking at an electronic keyboard.
At one point, he walked over to a set of phones so he could get his picture taken with his coach, Stefan Edberg, and girlfriend, Anik Mertens, who were sitting side by side.
“I told them something was gonna happen,” Federer explained. “I actually had my back to the camera and one of the guys started shouting at me to get out of there.”
“And I just said, ‘Sorry to everyone but my back hurts a little bit.'”
The tennis star’s back was causing him problems during the match.
He didn’t want to look at the camera during his postmatch press conference and walk around with his back to it.
Instead, with his back to the cameras, he reached out to hug Edberg and Mertens.
“I wanted to hug them, and I am pretty sure they know they were going to have to hug me,” he said. “It didn