WASHINGTON, April 10, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
Eight-time Wimbledon gentlemen’s singles champion Roger Federer addressed tennis fans worldwide in a video posted on the All England Club’s website and through its social media channels Thursday afternoon.
“Play is suspended, but now we turn to a different kind of champion …” Wimbledon wrote on Twitter.
In a heartfelt speech whose reverent tone echoes throughout a 78-second video set to the soundtrack of “Where We Started” by Dayon and against historic and recent Wimbledon highlights featuring the likes of Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova, Simona Halep and Coco Gauff, the Swiss great (in an off-camera voice-over role) reads a letter from the All England Club. In it, the 38-year-old 20-time Grand Slam champion asks everyone to cheer for new heroes this summer – health care workers around the world.
Play is suspended, but we cheer for a different kind of champion.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) April 9, 2020
“Since 1877, Wimbledon fans have embraced the Championships. We have watched through multiple types of screens, at all hours of the day and night, descended from afar, even queued. My how, you have queued,” said Federer.
“This summer, sadly, we must come together by staying apart. No tents will be pitched, no records broken, no trophies engraved. But as we say thank you for your passion and support, we remind ourselves that countless champions will be crowned.
“As frontline workers across the globe compete for us, we cheer for them. For now, with play suspended, we are united in hope that tomorrow will be better than today.”
By midnight Thursday (Central European Summer Time), the video had been seen by more than 170,000 visitors on Wimbledon’s Twitter page.
Further read: Wimbledon Championships cancelled
Greats of women’s tennis take Federer challenge
Earlier this week, Roger Federer challenged his fans in his latest online #tennisathome video, hitting solo volleys against a solitary green wall. “Let’s see what you got!” Federer wrote on Twitter. While he hit more than 200 taps during the 59-second video, it showed the magnificence of the Swiss great’s hand-eye coordination. His parting shot: “Choose your hat wisely.” 🎩😉👊
Since then, Federer has received hundreds if not thousands of posted responses from both tennis fans and a handful of men’s and women’s pros. A couple worth pointing out represent the past and future greatness of women’s tennis – Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova and teen sensation Coco Gauff.
— Marion bartoli (@bartoli_marion) April 9, 2020
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 9, 2020