Tennis Mensch

BQM6zgDCEAAB5PJA great story on Mashable about tennis great Roger Federer who went above and beyond the call of duty for an 18 year old fan with cancer whose one wish was to meet her hero. The entire story is longer and can be found here but this snip comes after a very full day already with Federer.

I was sitting there waiting for him and it was amazing because I saw soooo many other players. Tsonga asked to get one of the chairs in our table actually haha. I saw Murray, Nadal, Haas, Ferrer, Benneteau, Tipsarevic, Serena, Wozniacki, Radwanska, Lisicki, like, so many of them from up close. It was like heaven for a tennis fan haha. But then Roger finished his interviews and sat at out table with us. I had so many things for him to sign but I knew he was busy so I just took 4 pictures (one for each one in my family) and then 4 blank papers and my tennis bag, and gave for him to sign. He actually addressed the blank papers to each one of us, it was so perfect. In mine he wrote a bit more, and even a happy birthday!! (Did I mention it was my 18th birthday??) And then he asked me “is that it?” and I said “yes” and he was like “are you sure? Don’t be embarrassed about it.” He’s so amazing and kind. So I gave him the rest of the stuff to sign. And he was just sitting there signing and chatting with me, but his manager was telling the guys from ESPN that he needed to go eat lunch, and Roger probably knew he had to, but he would have stayed there the whole day, just talking to us. He stayed a lot more than he had to for sure. But then the people from ESPN tried kinda finishing things up so that he could leave before his manager freaked out. So he went around the table hugging my mom, my dad and my sister, and then it was my turn. He told me I had been through a lot and hugged me really hard and I just started crying so so so much in his shoulder (it was around that time that the picture from my avi was taken haha) He was like “awnn”. Then when I let go of him I was still like sobbing and I turned to him and he was kinda tearing up :’) I thanked him and then he went.

OK..I’m now a fan. I’ve been not following tennis as much as I used to and have not really been a big fan of Federer, but he won me over today. As we hear the stories of so many athletes who do horrible things and who never have time for fans or others, Federer goes the extra yard. As we hear the stories of the baseball steroid era this week, it might be good to note that Federer seems to be a decent human being. Let’s pray that he can continue to be an example for the rest of us.