The aura of Roger Federer has reached such levels that his name finds a way into almost every tennis-related discussion and occurrence.
Even though the legendary Swiss is currently resting at home in Switzerland and recuperating from his knee surgery, he has frequently been mentioned during the ongoing hard-court season. Whether it is debates about the credibility of the US Open in his absence or his opposition to Novak Djokovic’s PTPA, Roger Federer’s name is ever-present.
Now, in a particularly interesting association with the Swiss, French player Gregoire Barrere has compared his life in the COVID-19 bubble at Flushing Meadows with that of Roger Federer’s normal life.
Gregoire Barrere has the ‘impression’ of being like Roger Federer at the ongoing US Open
In a recent interview with RTSsport, the Frenchman - who recently came in contact with the COVID-positive Benoit Paire - spoke about the restrictions and rules in place and mentioned how they made him feel as protected as Roger Federer.
“I live my life as Roger,” said Barrere. “I went from unknown in Grand Slam to the impression of being Federer. I have my private car, bodyguards to go to train, a bodyguard next to my coach during my match, I have the feeling of being in the shoes of a Top 5 ATP (player)."
Roger Federer is not only one of the greatest players of all time but he’s also the wealthiest, and wields enormous power on the circuit. Like other members of the Big 3, Federer too is accompanied by a large entourage wherever he shows up.
In addition to his coaches, PR/managing team and family, the Swiss also tends to have an extensive security detail at most tournaments and events. Usually there are also several staff members who are at the beck and call of Roger Federer.
Life isn't that much different at the ongoing US Open. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers (USTA) have put in place a horde of iron-fisted rules to safeguard the players and the tournament itself.
The rules get even tighter if a player or staff member finds themselves in contact with a COVID-19 patient, as in the case of Benoit Paire. Every person/player who came in contact with the Frenchman was placed under even greater care and scrutiny so as to avoid the potential spread of the virus.
As such Gregoire Barrere, who was unfortunately in contact with Paire, found himself placed under these stringent rules too. However, he seems to be enjoying the care and attention since it gives him the impression of living a lavish life like Roger Federer - something that not usually afforded to the 93rd-ranked player.Published 02 Sep 2020, 23:53 IST