In an interview with Tages Anzeiger, Roger Federer discusses how overwhelmed certain Brazilian fans have been when meeting him on his current exhibition tour of the country.
“I met more fans that collapsed in tears than elsewhere,” he said. “It was amazing how many were shaking, had great joy and began to cry, so I take to practically take them in [my arms] and had to say: ‘It’s okay, it’s okay.’ I’m sure they are glad to see me, it’s probably a certain euphoria…I have to constantly remind myself again about where I come from, and tell myself who I am. I also like the normal life still - back to reality, family, friends, just quiet, please. And then, sure, sometimes I dip into the other incredible life I have.”
Federer did not put Davis Cup or his hometown tournament in Basel on his 2013 schedule, which has caused a stir in certain circles of Switzerland.
“I’m not be afraid to make unpopular decisions,” he said. “I plan long term and hope to [play] Davis Cup maybe in two, three, four years. But no one thinks, because everyone is so [overtaken] by the moment. And they do not understand what I’ve been through everything. In some countries [Davis Cup] is not important and for others it’s very important. Such decisions I don’t make from my gut, but weigh them over months. Now I came to the conclusion that for me it was probably the only right decision is (not playing against the Czech Republic in early February). I could have played [Davis Cup] but then I would only have [scheduled] four or five Masters 1000 tournaments instead of eight or nine.”
Federer’s biographer, Rene Stauffer, conducted the interview, and believes that the 17-time Grand Slam champion will eventually work something out with the Basel tournament and play it in 2013. Federer says there have been communications issues with the tournament, and the decision does not rest on how much of an appearance fee he will be paid.
I’m aware that from both sides the good will is there and that it will also come out well in the end,” said Federer. “Ultimately, however, it was presented as if I do not know everything and my home tournament was no longer important. That is absolutely not true.”
Federer, who is said to earn over $50 million a year off court and is estimated to being paid around $12 million for his tour of Brazil, believes he is not being overexposed. He recently signed a new contract with Moët & Chandon.
“It is important that I’m not omnipresent, especially in Switzerland,” Federer said. “I don’t want to have Federer-overkill and therefore I say: less is more.”