Federer loved Montreal as much as Montreal loved him

Federer loved Montreal as much as Montreal loved him


Strangely, Roger Federer did not win any of his 103 titles in Montreal, but the Swiss enjoyed each of his visits to the Quebec metropolis, where he found respectful people.&nbsp ;

The director of the National Bank Open, Eugène Lapierre, confirms that the praise which the great champion has received throughout his career is deserved. 

M. Lapierre rubbed shoulders with him on several occasions, in the context of the tournament during which Federer lost twice in the final (he did however win the title in Toronto, in 2004 and 2006). 

< p>“The last time he came here [in 2017] he asked me if he could do a public training. He knew that, since he was arriving a few days before the tournament, people would like to see him in action,” he says. 

We don't refuse such a great offer. The director and his team therefore set to work in order to offer Federer – and the fans – what he wanted.

That is to say training in front of spectators on the central, a few days before the launch of the competition. 

“He is very nice, really really very nice,” says Mr. Lapierre. He was very aware of his image and the importance he had for fans. » 

Very respectful citizens

If Federer won the hearts of Montrealers, as he did all over the planet, the metropolis had also conquered its own. 

Eugène Lapierre explains that the Swiss was happy to be able to go out for dinner at the restaurant with his wife, Mirka, and their children without being too much disturbed by the amateurs. 

“When I learned that he was going to like that supper, I spoke to him about it. He replied: “Yes, you have very good restaurants.” And I asked him if he was being disturbed. He told me: “No, people are very respectful in Montreal! smiles Mr. Lapierre. 

“It goes with our reputation”, he also rejoices. 

And with that of Federer, one might add.&nbsp ;

► Roger Federer lost in the final in Montreal on two occasions: in 2007, against a young Novak Djokovic, then 10 years later, in his last appearance, against the German Alexander Zverev.

Tribute to a hero

“Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish that day never happened. She is sad for me, personally, and for sport everywhere. It has been a pleasure, but also an honor and a privilege to share all these years with you, to experience incredible moments on and off the court. We still have many more moments to share together […]. For now, I wish you all the best with your wife, Mirka, your children, your family and enjoy what lies ahead. I'll see you in London. »

– Spaniard Rafael Nadal, world number 3 and great rival of Switzerland

“Cheers, Roger. Thank you for all the memories we share, my friend. It has been an honor to share time and experiences on the most prestigious grounds in our sport. Don't become a stranger [to the tennis world]. »

– American Andy Roddick, former world number 1 now retired< /p>

“Roger Federer is the champion of champions. It has the most complete game of its generation. He has melted the hearts of sports fans around the world with his speed on the court and his powerful tennis sense. He has a historic career, blessed with moments that will never fade from our memories. »

– American Billie Jean King, Grand Slam champion and founder of the WTA< /strong>

“I LOVE YOU, Roger. Thank you for everything you have done for tennis and for me. The world of tennis will never be the same without you. »

– Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro, champion of the US Open at the expense of Roger Federer

“Some of 'Fed' numbers will be so unbeatable it's laughable (23 straight Grand Slam semi-finals, for example), but his impact on tennis is even greater than what he has accomplished on the court. Thanks for everything, RF. »

– American John Isner, former top 10 member and currently 42nd in the world< /strong>