rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Federer trades shots with hero Rod Laver for charity

PHOTOS: Federer trades shots with hero Rod Laver for charity

Last updated on: January 09, 2014 15:41 IST

PHOTOS: Federer trades shots with hero Rod Laver for charity

     Next

Next

Roger Federer traded shots with his hero Rod Laver on Wednesday in the stadium that bears the Australian great's name before promising that his hunger for Grand Slam titles remains as strong as ever.

Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer beamed with pride after enjoying a few rallies with 75-year-old tennis legend Rod Laver, who was dressed in traditional whites and impressed a packed crowd with his movement ahead of the Swiss ace's exhibition match with French world No 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

"Hitting with Rod Laver for me clearly is an absolute dream come true," Federer told reporters, after a crowd-pleasing 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 win over Tsonga in the fund-raising event for his charity, the Roger Federer Foundation.

"It's in his arena as well, it's named after him and he deserves it so much.

"He told me that his wrist was hurting less on the forehand so he asked me to play there a bit more often.

"While I was playing my racket was feeling extremely heavy, that means I was very nervous which I really was because you don't want to miss a shot.

"I was happy we had some rallies. What an honour it was for me and I hope that the crowd enjoyed it and I'm very thankful that he was willing to do something like this, because it's not normal in any way and that's why I really appreciate it."


Image: Roger Federer and Australian tennis legend Rod Laver shake hands after a hit during the Roger Federer charity match at Melbourne Park
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

     Next

PHOTOS: Federer trades shots with hero Rod Laver for charity

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The 32-year-old Federer has won four of his 17 major titles in Rod Laver Arena and famously burst into tears when receiving the second of his winner's trophies in 2006 from the Australian, the only man to complete two Grand Slams in calendar years.

Laver returned the admiration and said during the Melbourne launch of his autobiography in October last year that the Swiss could hit back from his disappointing 2013 by winning the year's first Grand Slam.


Image: Rod Laver plays a backhand against Roger Federer
Photographs: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Prev     Next

PHOTOS: Federer trades shots with hero Rod Laver for charity

Prev     More
Prev

More

Federer heads into the Grand Slam seeded sixth and after losing the final of the Brisbane International to fellow 32-year-old Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.

The Swiss has not set any goals for himself at Melbourne Park as he battles to return to peak form but said the tour was still keeping the competitive juices flowing.

"It's a different feeling today and the enjoyment factor I get out of playing on tour is totally different," he said. "It's a much deeper love I have today for the game and a much bigger appreciation and respect I have.

"I just remember playing on court 25 all along in my career. So now that I can play on centre court it's an absolute privilege most of the time and if they put me on Hisense (Arena) or Margaret Court (Arena), I don't care," he said of the two other showcourts at Melbourne Park.

"As long as I can play in great conditions and enjoy myself I'll keep on playing." 

 


Image: Australian tennis legends Tony Roche (left) and Rod Laver pose with Roger Federer
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Prev     More
Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.