HalleWestfalen. Roger Federer and the GERRY WEBER OPEN - this is something very special, an exeptional relationship in the world of professional tennis. "It is one of my favourite tournaments. An oasis in which to feel good here", the eight-times winner of Germany's most important ATP-tennis event, who is also serving at the anniversary-celebration for the 25th birthday Tennis event again in HalleWestfalen. Federer is more than just a tennis player for the GERRY WEBER OPEN, he is the face of the tournament, the title figur - and also someone, who represents the ATP 500-competion widely.
The special combination is shown by the since 2010 existing neu- and unique model: Then the GERRY WEBER OPEN and Roger Federer concluded a "Lifetime Contract", which binds the Swiss to play in the tournament in HalleWestfalen up until his end of career. "Roger is the most impressing player personality in our history", tournament director Ralf Weber said, who is also keen on obligating Federer after his active time to the GERRY WEBER OPEN: "I have already spoken to Roger. He said he is open for any of our ideas." The tournament director sees the 35 year-old as an "Ambassador" in the future and said: "We would like to do Charity-Show matches with him."
Federer, who will play in the Quarterfinals against titleholder Florian Mayer on Friday (third match at the GERRY WEBER STADION), sees to all his "duties" next to ATP-matches visually relaxed and in a good mood. After the matches the man with the by-now distinctive initials "RF" signs autographs for younger and older tennis fans with a lot of patience, poses for selfies and pranks around with the tournament mascot GERRY BERRY. "It's simply fun to be here, to feel the enthusiasm and passion for tennis. That gives me much pleasure, too," the Maestro said, who this year got down to a dream start into the tennis season by getting his 18th Grand Slam-Title at the Australian Open and the success at the ATP 1000-competitions in Indian Wells and Miami.
Federer has quite a media program, too, during the GERRY WEBER OPEN, as usual the agenda is well filled. Before the first shots on the court, Federer was interviewed much and in lenth by, amoungst others, "Al Jazeera" or "Sky Sport News Deutschland". Next to interviews for a German magazine and Swiss media the super star of course also informed the journalists accredited at the GERRY WEBER OPEN about his plans and perspectives for the jubilee-tournament and for the rest of the season.
Federers twin-daughters, Charlene Riva and Myla Rose sadly cannot look over their fathers shoulder this year to watch the matches in HalleWestfalen, because of having to meet obligations at school."Before I left they said: Papa, can we not go to Halle, you could stay at home instead", Federer said smirking slightly.
Photo (Federer, Roger_Interview): In the focus of the media: Tennis-Superstar Roger Federer in an interview with "Al Jazeera". © GERRY WEBER OPEN (HalleWestfalen)
Photo (Federer, Roger+GERRY BERRY): Fun-duo: Roger Federer and mascot GERRY BERRY are good for a laugh. © GERRY WEBER OPEN (HalleWestfalen)