Video: Roger Federer has fun Q & A session with his youngest fans at Indian Wells!
What’s the story?
Roger Federer, who holds the record for spending 302 weeks at the No. 1 position in the ATP rankings, has been behind the microphone in numerous press conferences. But in his 20-year career, he would have never been taken by a bigger – or cuter – surprise.
The Swiss ace was received by a room full of young, tiny kids-turned-reporters who posed questions to their much-loved idol. In the interview room at the BNP Paribas Open, the spotlight was on the young children interrogating Federer with the most unusual questions which were met by peals of laughter.
In case you didn’t know...
Roger Federer’s epic five-set win over long-time nemesis Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open won him an 18th Grand Slam trophy, which came as quite a surprise as experts had written him off.
Riding on momentum, and barring a minor hiccup at Dubai last month, Federer has been playing strongly, showing his form of old. The BNP Paribas Open, which commenced last week, has him all geared up and ready to roar once again.
The Swiss is chasing his fifth Indian Wells title, and first since 2012. He was a back-to-back finalist in his most recent appearances in the desert, in 2014 and 2015. A title here would be the 90th title of his career.
The heart of the matter
On Friday, more than 50 second-graders from the nearby Gerald R. Ford Elementary School experienced a field trip like no other, when they converged for the first-ever kids-only press conference at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Every student got the opportunity to pose a question to their idol and Federer, ever the sport, willingly fulfilled all their minute queries.
Addressing the roomful of kids, he asked if they play tennis, which was responded with many hands shooting up in unison. The first question that a kid asked which set the ball rolling was: “What is your coolest move?” Slightly amused by the question, he asked what moves they were referring to – the ones on the dance floor or on the tennis court – before revealing his love for the shot played from between his legs.
Another question from a girl was his choice of breakfast. He humoured them by saying that he mostly had to scavenge on the leftovers of his kids, and that there were days when he had porridge, too.
The fun element of the conference quickly escalated as Federer challenged the kids to show him two push-ups. He then got down and did what he called a ‘group push-up’ to conclude the session, having ensured that the kids had the most surreal moment of their life.
Federer has begun the Indian Wells Masters on a strong note, having defeated Stephane Robert in the Round of 64 match. He is en route to face Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, with American Steve Johnson up next.
Pleasantly surprised by the star-struck kids, Federer answered each of their questions and inquired about them, too. The jovial Swiss ace showed his funny side as he patiently answered their questions and made it a day to remember for the kids.
No doubt the young middle-schoolers will cherish the memory for years to come.