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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Federer flies in private jet to play roof-top Tennis

Unimaginable things do happen in life to fortunate some !!  How are you spending your lockdown days !

The Ligurian Sea is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, between the Italian Riviera (Liguria) and the island of Corsica. The sea is theorized to be named after the ancient Ligures people.  Finale Ligure   is a comune on the Gulf of Genoa in the Province of Savona in Liguria, Italy. It is considered part of the Italian Riviera.  Known for its white sand beaches and its views, Finale Ligure is located directly adjacent to the Rock of Caprazoppa, a steep limestone mountain on the southwest, and much of the town extends up hill slopes. The town has a lively commercial district. The post is about Roger Federer’s trip down there ! ~ why ?

Hotel-Tower Burj Al-Arab looks like an enormous sail, which raises 321 meters above sea level.  Residents of the city are experts in a genuinely oriental luxury: room price in Burj Al-Arab starts from 1000 USD and reach 28000 USD per night - full comfort: the hotel calls itself the "seven-star."   It  is the third tallest hotel in the world; however, 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space.   It stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge.   It has a helipad near the roof at a height of 210 m (689 ft) above ground.

A good  match can bring the viewers to the tip of their seats –  tense someone could bite-off their nails –  there can also be matches with none watching – for this one was at a dizzying height – a green roof, infact  the helipad of the luxury hotel – the competitors were World famous – Andre Agassi and Roger Federer, but the result was no important.    On February 22, 2005, the Burj al Arab hosted Andre Agassi and Roger Federer to play a match on their helipad tennis court before heading to the US$1 million Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open, which was the first round of the two-week Dubai Tennis Championships.

The 2019 Wimbledon Championships took place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom, beginning on 1st July and finishing on 14th July 2019.  The defending Gentlemen's singles champion Novak Djokovic retained his title, while the defending Ladies' singles champion Angelique Kerber lost in the second round to Lauren Davis.  This was the first edition of the tournament to feature a standard tie break in the final set when the score in the set was 12 games all.   In men's singles, the only such match was the final in which Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer, in what was also the longest final in tournament history lasting for 4 hours and 58 minutes. Djokovic became the first man since Bob Falkenburg at the 1948 Wimbledon Championships to win the title after being championship points down, having saved two when down 7–8 in the fifth set.


After months of speculation, it was confirmed that the 2020 US Open would be taking place. This was great news for tennis fans as the 2020 Wimbledon had already been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, this came along with some bad news – Roger Federer won’t be playing the event!

Roger Federer   is a Swiss professional tennis player who is now  ranked world No. 4 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).  He has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles—the most in history for 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 has won a record eight Wimbledon men's singles 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.  Federer's all-court game and versatile style of play involve exceptional footwork and shot-making.

Federer made news as amidst Covid lockdowns, he took a private jet headed to Finale Ligure, Italy, not to any hotel but to exchange a few volleys roof-top.  He surprised young girls -  Vittoria Oliveri, 13, and Carola Pessina, 11,  and played with them.   

Roger Federer joined two Italian schoolgirls for a game of tennis on the rooftop of an apartment building after they earned international fame with 12 million Twitter views with their lockdown match video. The tennis champion, 38, took a private jet to surprise friends Vittoria Oliveri, 13, and Carola Pessina, 11, at their homes in Finale Ligure, Italy.  The girls, both avid tennis players, had been unable to visit the courts during Italy's tough lockdown in April. But they had been instructed by their coach to keep practising so came up with the rooftop alternative, which soon went viral. The buildings, which are three stories up, are around 8.5 metres apart and with the girls standing four to five metres away from the edges, the improvised space proved to be a similar size to that of a true tennis court.

Federer, winner of 20 Grand Slam competitions, praised it as a 'wonderful idea' and wanted to get in on the action. He added: 'The passion does not go away just because of a lockdown. I think that their video really resonated with a lot of people and with me too.'   In the clip, after meeting Federer for the first time, Vittoria said: 'I nearly fainted. I didn't think he was real, I thought it was a mannequin.'  

After the hour-long session, and having sent a few balls flying on to the cars parked down on the street, Federer said: 'This was the first time I played tennis in a long, long time. The buildings, which are three stories up, are around 8.5 metres apart and with the girls standing four to five metres away from the edges, the improvised space proved to be a similar size to that of a true tennis court. 'They couldn't believe I was making a lot of mistakes — they were better than me sometimes. They had home court advantage.'  In February, the tennis pro had surgery on his right knee, followed by a further procedure, before declaring that he would not play for the rest of the year. At the end of the heart-warming clip Federer invited the girls to join the tennis school run by rival Rafael Nadal in Mallorca.

Amazing and too good to be true !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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