I don’t usually pick favorites in the sporting world besides my beloved New York Yankees (the baseball team I grew up with).

But, I must admit that when it comes to the ATP Tour, I am most partial to Swiss tennis star Roger Federer over all other players.

Beyond being the greatest tennis player of the modern era (17 Grand Slams including 4 Australian Opens, 1 French Open, 7 Wimbledon, and 5 US Open; and holding the world No. 1 ranking for 302 weeks), he’s simply a joy to watch.

Federer has dominated competitors over the course of his near 20-year career with his all-around court excellence, economical movement, anticipation and graceful form.

Some have described his style of play as “fluid artistry on the court”, a “religious experience” and “like a fairy… gliding all over the terrain [with] beauty.”

Whatever it is that he does well or how he does it, I love to watch him contend, even after all these years since he first burst onto the scene in the late ‘90s.

I also enjoy Federer’s personality which I think almost transcends his performance.

He is known to be consistently gracious, classy, modest and has a “perfect gentleman” reputation.

Other players have said that he treats everyone as “equals” on and off the court, “doesn’t gloat” in victory, and goes out of his way to give more time to sponsors and fans than expected.

According to a blog article by ATP Player Council president Eric Butorac (and Federer’s friend), Roger is truly genuine and does not put on a show “for the public”.

In fact, Butorac said Roger is “even nicer” than everyone says he is.

Apart from his ability and selflessness, I also admire Federer’s love for the game.

He will turn 36 this year, an age unheard of for tennis players even in this day and age of modern fitness and nutrition.

And, while he isn’t the same player he was at his peak and has endured injuries that have held him back at times (including half of the 2016 season), he keeps playing on the ATP Tour because he has a “love affair” with tennis.

Well, Mr. Federer, we tennis fans have a love affair with you, too.

On behalf of your many devoted followers, we cherish the rare commodity you are as a professional athlete: super talented, real, and passionate for the sport.

We’re happy to have you back playing in 2017, Roger.

And, hopefully way beyond…


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