Roger Federer continues his South American exhibition tour with a visit to Buenos Aires, where he arrived late yesterday evening.
The lateness of the hour (it was around 22:00 local time when the Swiss came out of the airport to greet the fans), the multiple delays in the time of Federer’s arrival, the rain, and the cold, did not deter hundreds of fans who came to welcome him to their country.
Of course, Diego of BATennis.com was on location, among the fans (including one screaming his love for the man with the 17 Grand Slams), and immortalised that moment:
The welcome received by Roger Federer in Argentina is similar to the one he receives everywhere in the world, but every time we see such a thing, it brings home how much this man transcends his sport.
Arguably the best tennis player in history, as shown by his many records, the Swiss is also a great ambassador of the game and his charisma and presence can compare to the legends of many a sport. A friend of mine compared him to Ali, I can compare him to Maurice Richard as well, or Pelé, sportsmen who really marked the history of a sport, beyond their achievements.
One may or may not like Roger Federer, this is a matter of preference. However, what he brought to tennis goes much further than the sport itself, and this cannot be denied.
Roger Federer is to meet the press this Tuesday, and will play two exhibition matches against Argentina’s no 1 player, Juan Martín del Potro, on Wednesday and Thursday. My guess is that the ambiance there in Tigre will be electric.
(Photos courtesy of Hans Ruhle Fotografia)