Roger Federer recently made a beautiful gesture towards one of his fans celebrating her 100th birthday. The Swiss sent across a hand-signed greeting card to Belgian resident Maria-Louisa De Belder on Friday to mark her special occasion. De Belder was understandably elated at receiving the card, and she expressed her gratitude to the 39-year-old for ‘making her day’.
Maria-Louisa De Belder celebrated her 100th birthday on Christmas Day, but she had to spend it within the confines of her retirement home. The centenarian has been a long-time fan of tennis and Roger Federer, and this year her family and a Belgian daily - Nieuwsblad - went the extra mile to make her birthday memorable.
After the efforts of Maria-Louisa De Belder’s grandchildren to contact Roger Federer failed, Nieuwsblad stepped in and managed to get hold of the Swiss’s father. Together, they ensured that the centenarian would receive the gift from Roger Federer on the morning of Christmas Day.
Maria-Louisa acknowledged Federer’s gesture by saying:
“This really made my day a good one. Because it's a lonely affair. I can't believe he wrote that card just for me. You know, I also met my husband at the tennis club at the time. That sport has already brought me a lot of beautiful moments.”
One of Maria-Louisa’s grandchildren - Victoria Campenhout - described the efforts they had put into catching Federer's attention.
“We made appeals via social media,” explained Campenhout. “With photos of my grandmother who was watching a Federer game in the retirement home - there are many. And we wrote to the Swiss tennis association.”
Roger Federer has made a string of beautiful gestures this year
2020 has undoubtedly been the toughest year in the career of Roger Federer so far. But the Swiss legend has taken everything in his stride, and while he's been on the sidelines he has actively tried to bring a smile to people's faces amid the pandemic.
Earlier in the year Roger Federer made a generous donation of 1 million Swiss Francs to some of the Swiss families affected by the virus. The 20-time Grand Slam champion also reached out to fellow pro Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi to help with COVID-19 relief work in Pakistan.
Then there was Federer's rooftop tennis session with two Italian girls that gained widespread attention on social media. The Swiss legend also helped the girls take up an all-expenses-paid stint at the Rafa Nadal Academy.
In July, Roger Federer made a surprise visit to a cancer-surviving Swiss nurse who had served her nation during the pandemic. Given all that Federer has done for his fans, it is no wonder the Swiss was recently voted the ATP Fans' Favorite player for a staggering 18th consecutive year.Published 27 Dec 2020, 00:37 IST