It's the tennis match heard 'round the world! Phenom Roger Federer is in Seattle this weekend for his Match 4 Africa event, where he will be playing a singles match against John Isner AND a doubles match with Bill Gates against Isner and a yet-to-be-named celebrity partner.
In prepping for weekend, we had the chance to chat with Federer via phone last week. The star was fresh off a training day in Dubai, and let us in on why Seattle and Bill Gates, his fashion icon status and his long-enduring love for the game.
Here are five things we didn't know about Roger Federer:
What motivates him is actually pretty simple.
"I love the game, truly" he said. It was his dream as a little kid to play at Wimbledon, and now he still tries to remember being that 8-year-old boy, sitting on the carpet in his living room watching the tournament.
"I'm so lucky to be in this privileged position to always play on center court, it’s mostly sold out, always good atmosphere," said Federer. "I feel like I’m returning home when I come onto the court, but then at the same time it’s so nice to come to a new, place, a different place, doing different thing. I think playing in Seattle is one of those moments."
He honestly doesn't know whether he'll play the French Open yet.
"I think there's a good chance I'm playing," he said. "But I think I'm doing to decide probably mid-May." Right now he is taking a break to spend quality time with his family.
"So, when the last point is finally played, and everything crashes down on your you’re tired!" he said. "But you can’t really be tired because now you’re running around with the kids, and the wife, and everything is so much fun, but I have to take a bit of a break right now."
Federer says that he's practicing on the hard courts in Dubai at the moment, and then on the clay. "I'll only switch to clay if I really feel that the body is really, the mind is ready," he said. "I want to play the French and tear is up over there, but if I don't feel that way then I'll rather skip the French."
He cares about fashion.
I felt a little silly asking him about his style, but come on! The guy always looks good in all the photos we see, and word on the street is that Vogue's Anna Wintour is one of his closest friends.
"Look, I was GQ's Most Stylish Man of the Year last year so I know what you're talking about!" laughs the pro when I ask. "I've been very fortunate to have my wife and Anna in my life - they've advised me well over the years." But even though we see all the paparazzi photos, he says that's not the majority of the time.
"Honestly, very often I'm not in the spotlight," he said. "I'm away with my kids and everything, and I can really dress down and dress how I want to." This just means when he has the opportunity to go out with friends at night, he likes to dress sharp.
He'll be at the Met Ball this year.
Along those same fashion icon lines...he'll be at the Met Ball this May 1. "I'm really looking forward to that as well, that's going to be quite exciting to see what the other people are going to wear!"
And what about what he is going to wear? "I like to dress for the occasion," said Federer. "Dressing up really nice and looking crisp. I actually really enjoy that part."
He drinks four coffees a day, plain.
"I always vary between espressos and cappuccinos," he said. "No sugar, no nothing." He hates when the coffee gets cold, but he's a huge coffee drinker so he drinks about four cups a day.