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Monday, December 2, 2019

Swissmint to issue Gold & Silver commemorative 20 franc coins featuring Roger Federer

Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev's exhibition contest in Mexico City recently  broke the world record for attendance at a tennis match, with 42,517 watching at the Plaza de Toros bullring.  As reported by ESPN Mexico, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer defeated world No. 7 Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in front of the record-setting crowd, which was significantly higher than the previous record of 35,681, set when Serena Williams took on Kim Clijsters in Belgium in 2010.   

With Switzerland failing to qualify for the Davis Cup, Federer planned a lucrative tour, playing five exhibition matches in six days in Latin America, which is understood to earn him around £7.7million. The tour started in Chile where Federer met with former rival Fernando Gonzalez and he beat Zverev 6-3 4-6 6-4.

Roger Federer is a  Swiss professional tennis player, now ranked world No. 3 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).  He has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles—the most in history by a male player—and has held the world No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a record total of 310 weeks (including a record 237 consecutive weeks) and was the year-end No. 1 five times, including four consecutive. Federer, who turned professional in 1998, was continuously ranked in the top ten from Oct 2002 to Nov 2016.  Federer has won a record eight Wimbledon titles, six Australian Open titles, five US Open titles (all consecutive, a record), and one French Open title. He is one of eight men to have achieved a Career Grand Slam. Federer has reached a record 31 men's singles Grand Slam finals, including 10 consecutively from the 2005 Wimbledon Championships to the 2007 US Open. He is a true legend !

In the crowded Sowcarpet area, there is Chennai Patnam koil and nearer runs Thanga chalai (Mint Street) – an important commercial centre. The street is one of the oldest streets in Chennai and is believed to be the longest street in the city.  The congested street runs parallel to the Wall Tax Road, another historical thoroughfare in the city.  A commercial street became the Mint Street in 1840s when  the East India Company moved its coin making facility to this street. Later it was to house the Government Press too.  Chennai city’s earliest cinema theatre -  Crown Talkies, stood on this street.

Swissmint is the official mint of the Swiss Confederation. Located in the Swiss capital city Bern, it is responsible for manufacturing Swiss franc coins, both of the currency and bullion variety. Apart from making coins for the government, Swissmint also manufactures medals and commemorative coins for private customers.  Every coin originates with an artist's sketch. The engraver then uses this to create a virtual, three-dimensional image on the computer. If that corresponds to the desired result, a CNC milling machine is subsequently used to create a synthetic model with a diameter of approximately 20 cm on the basis of the data. This mainly serves to assess the result obtained. The engraver can modify this model by hand if need be, giving the relief a somewhat longer life in certain cases. The positive steel die thus produced is known as an original or reduction die. Between 8 and 14 hours may be required for reproducing all the minutiae of the model in mild steel.

Tennis great Roger Federer is to become the first living Swiss to have a coin minted in their honour, with a commemorative 20 franc (£16) silver piece bearing his image being issued in Jan 2020.   Swissmint is dedicating a commemorative coin to Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer – the first living person to receive the honour. On Sunday, Swissmint confirmed that it is celebrating Federer with a 20-franc silver coin, which will have an issue date of January 23, 2020. It plans to release a second coin with a different design – the “Roger Federer” 50-franc gold coin – in May 2020. In a statement, the government said Federer is the best-known Swiss person both on and off the court. In addition to his countless tennis records, including the most grand slam men’s singles titles, he also runs a charitable foundation for children in southern Africa and was the first Swiss UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Above all, Swissmintexternal link writes, Federer is “the perfect ambassador for Switzerland. He has a unique way of embodying likeability, down-to-earthness, success and eloquence”.

Swissmint has  confirmed that 55,000 of the coins, featuring Federer delivering a backhand, will be produced and will be available for pre-order from today (2.12.2019) until December 19.  With demand expected to be high, Swissmint said another 40,000 coins could be issued in May while a 50 franc gold coin, featuring a different design would also be produced next year.  This year's commemorative Swiss coins included the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, the Furka Pass and the roe deer.  The most recent sports-themed commemorative coin came out in 2015 and celebrated Hornussen -- a traditional Swiss sport played by farmers involving a puck and a stick.  Anticipating high demand for the coin, Swissmint has launched for the first time a pre-sale of an “uncirculated quality” of the coin. Federer fans can purchase the uncirculated coin for CHF30 ($30) from December 2-19 through the Swissmint website. Proof-quality coins will only be available from the issue date onwards.

'Thank you Switzerland and Swissmint for this incredible honour and privilege,' Federer wrote on Twitter. Before concluding – while 42,517 watched the match between Federer and Alexander  at the Plaza de Toros bullring; the recent pink test at Kolkata involving India and Bangladesh had a slightly better attendance.  The crowd presence is officially put at 42697 on a single day!


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd Dec 2019.

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