Thanks to THE FEDERER FORUM ON MTF who found most of these quotes.
This is an ongoing post that will chronicle how Roger Federer is NOT a douchebag, contrary to popular (and by popular, I mean internet) belief. I’ve seen a lot of lists naming all the times that ~RF~ has been arrogant, prissy, douchey, etc. And yeah, he can exhibit those qualities, but at the end of the day he’s still a nice guy (a great guy, in fact!).
And so, without further ado, I present my evidence.
Quotes from Roger’s colleagues. While some may say that this is the result of the Federer PR machine at work, I doubt they have this much sway over this many people. Maria Sharapova is a good example of how having a “machine” won’t keep other players from running their mouths. I’d also point out that these people are the ones who see Federer 24/7 rather than just reading his pressers or watching him on TV or randomly speculating over the internet. But what do they know, right?
He’s probably the most talented person to ever carry a racquet around—the shots that he can come up with, the way he’s kind of become a totally complete player. But I think off the court, it’s huge. There have been a lot of good champions, but he’s just classy. He is never high and mighty in the locker room or anything like that. — Andy Roddick
I have to say, a really nice moment today was walking onto the practice court and walking past a sitting Roger Federer, who was on the court right next to me. I walked by him and he said hi, which he does all the time. He is so sweet and I put my hand out and congratulated him on winning the French Open. He responded with thanks very much. I have played on this tour for 20 years and I have to say, he is without question one of the nicest and most genuinely classy guys you could ever meet. — Rennae Stubbs
Everybody says that, when he was young, he was unable to control on a court. It’s bloody true. I saw him often, in that age. In my eyes, his adult serenity now is a unique transformation in the history of sport. Everybody also says that he’s a very approachable person. Once again I confirm: he at once puts you at ease. One can only feel near to him. Everything’s easy with him. During last Roland Garros, I wanted to make a pleasure for a friend and give him a memory from Roger after my match against him. He at once gave me his t-shirt from the match. He’s like that, Roger. — Paul-Henri Mathieu
The most pleasant player on a human level? No doubt at all. Roger Federer. He’s elegant on and off the court, a fine ambassador for tennis. — Fabrice Santoro
But I mixed with him a little bit when I was working with Gael (Monfils) in the juniors. One day, in Roma, we met him, he was wearing a tracksuit with a big number 2. I told him, ‘This is not the right number’ and he answered laughingly, “It is, on clay, it’s the right number.” — Olivier Delaitre
Maybe we should rename [Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award], say ‘Roger, here it’s your turn.’ He’s just a tremendous guy and has done so much for the game. And you know the great thing about (the award) is that it’s voted by the players. — Stefan Edberg
Roger in the locker room is I think pretty unique in terms of players of his stature. I have several friends who are still playing on tour full time. They talk about Roger minutes before he’s playing a grand slam semi final. They’ll still be there playing doubles, and he’ll be listening to their ipods and asking them what their favorite new songs are. And this is literally minutes before he’s going out to play a prime time semi final grand slam match. . .Roger just has this very light energy around him. He’s not a tortured artist by any means. He’s someone who loves being around the courts. Loves hanging around tennis, loves talking tennis, loves being in this world. And it’s this very special lightness of being that I think the other players marvel at because he doesn’t show any mercy when he plays. But he knows how to make people feel comfortable around him. And for many, many years there were champions whose M.O. was to make everybody else uncomfortable. So it’s a very different energy that he brings to the table. — Jim Courier
I remember as if it was yesterday the day when he beat Sampras in Wimbledon. I was playing the junior tournament. With my mates, we were like crazy in the dormitory. It was great because he had beaten the ‘great Sampras’ playing serve-volley and return-volley. Now, when he enters the locker room, there’s like a silence. There you feel that the boss has just come in. But in the meantime, Roger doesn’t ‘give it.’ He’s cool and he loves teasing us nicely. — Jo-Wilifred Tsonga
Quite many people find Roger too ‘smooth.’ For me it’s the exact opposite, my picture is one of a very clowny guy, very much teasing but nice. When he was with Peter Lundgren, they made a huge mess in the locker-room! They spoke loud, willingly, boxed against each other, provoked people …It was a competition who would be the silliest. When you had to concentrate in your own match, you’d better go elsewhere…This year in Madrid, a quarter of an hour before his semifinal against Del Potro, I was eating quietly in the players’ lounge. Roger saw me and immediately started to tease me. A half-smile, he imitated my forehand, started to walk his bottom staying back, because I’m arched, etc. He still has an impish look, mischievousness deep inside him. — Arnaud Di Pasquale (beat Federer in the bronze medal match in Sydney Olympics 2000)
LOL, I bet people will twist this guy’s words and say “OMG, ROGER WAS MOCKING A CRIPPLE”
When Roger came in the juniors, everybody wanted to play against him. It meant a nearly certain victory. In the beginning he grumbled all the time. In German. As he also spoke French, one day I told him, ‘Shout in French, at least I’ll have a laugh.’ One day, he beat me 6-3 6-2. After the match I told him, “How is it that you don’t win more often? You still have a very easy game. It’s simple for you, it’s serve and forehand and it’s done.” Three years ago, I met him in the players’ lounge in Roland Garros, in the morning before his final against Nadal. He remembered my words and told me, “You told me serve and forehand, I will try.” He always has a great contact with us, the French. He always asks our news. It’s still nice, considering what he became. — Julien Jeanpierre (second in the world junior rankings in 1998 behind Federer)
When I played against him in the Australian Open 2008, I had sprained my finger during practice in the morning, and 10 minutes before coming on court, I was putting a pocket of ice on it, he tells me laughingly, “It starts quite badly for you.” He’s a lover of the game, he’s always very informed about what happens in tennis, he watches matches on TV, it’s his best protection by the way. During Wimbledon, he was watching the match between Cilic and Querrey and asked me what I thought about it, I was surprised that he was interested in that match to that point. — Fabrice Santoro
This year, one hour before the final in Roland Garros, I was in the locker-room with doctor Montalvan. I met Roger who was preparing there, and we spoke for 10 minutes. Frankly, I found him bloody relaxed. He asked me how I was and I gave him news about my shoulder. He took time to listen to my answers and wished me good luck. He was very natural, very relaxed … his attitude was in sharp contrast with this of Söderling. — Sebastian Grosjean
I have tremendous admiration for Roger Federer. Like so many other former champions, I was delighted to see him finally win the French Open last weekend to complete his set of majors. There is so much to respect: his focus, his competitiveness, his athletic ability. He is a credit to our sport, a true champion. — Margaret Court
Q: You’re going to face Federer in the semifinal. Quite a few players and tennis fans would like Roger to win this tournament because it’s the only Grand Slam he hasn’t won yet. Do you also feel that way, if you were to face him in the next round?
Juan Martin Del Potro: We feel the pression of the fans, everybody want Roger to win this tournament. But if I can’t do ‑‑ if I can’t win this tournament, I want to see next Sunday Roger with the trophy.
Q: Who would you love to play mixed doubles with?
Marion Bartoli: Roger Federer. He always says hi. He’s really friendly. I love him but I would get really nervous if I had to play with him.
Who’s your sporting idol?
E. Dementieva: Roger Federer.
Who would be your ideal partner for mixed doubles?
E. Dementieva: Roger Federer. I’ve played against him before in an exhibition match in Hong Kong.
SPOX: Federer is your big role model, right?
Andreas Beck: Absolutely. First of all I find his playing game brilliant. He has the best and most variable game on the tour, he can do everything. But even more important it is for me that he is such a kind and friendly guy. He is so grounded and does so many good things with his foundation and is very helpful. He isn’t just an extraordinary athlete, but also an extraordinary person. I wish him that he is going to win his 6th Wimbledon title this year.
Q. Do you sense or do the players kind of talk about even the sense of a different persona about Roger now at all?
JAMES BLAKE: You know, I’ve always felt Roger is a very laid-back guy, about as nice as can be in the locker room. I don’t think it’s changed. You know, it’s really a refreshing thing to see the top guys in our sport being such nice guys. Roger, you see Rafa in the rocker room, you see Andy, both Andys, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick. I really don’t know if there was ever a time — obviously I’ve never been involved in any other era of the sport — but I don’t know of any sport or any era where you’ve got those kind of personalities, those kind of, you know, talents being that great of guys. I think we’re lucky in that regard. But I don’t think Roger has changed at all.
Also, after Blake came back from his neck injury in 2004, he played against Roger in the 2006 Indian Wells final and he mentioned that Roger was the only person on the tour who had called him up to see how he was. It’s mentioned in both his autobiography and also in this video. (at 1:00)
Roger is a good friend and he has allowed me to stay at his apartment here. I hope I can compensate this gesture by going as far as possible in the main draw [at Dubai]. — Michael Lammer
Jankovic said she could not understand why Federer felt the need to hit out at women’s tennis while his great rival Rafa Nadal, who took over from the Swiss as world number one, was so “humble”.
“Why should he even care? I don’t like putting my nose in other’s business.
“I mean, one thing I like about Nadal is that he is such a great champion, he is so humble, always has kind words for everybody, he is a role model for everybody,” said Jankovic.
“Federer is a great champion, I don’t want to get in a fight with him but why does he care, I really don’t understand. Why does he need to do that?”
I put this in here because every argument needs to address the counterargument. An argument on why Roger is a superdouche is because he’s always “sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.” He’s had comments regarding Murray, Djokovic, the women’s game, etc. The guy genuinely loves tennis. He’s not like Marat Safin who couldn’t care less about the game; Roger loves the game and he enjoys talking about it ALL THE TIME. He’s like a poster on MTF. I guess people expect him to have a professional “distance” from his game and not speak bluntly about things, but that’s really not his style. He is blunt. He will say things that aren’t diplomatic. I’m not saying that he hasn’t been arrogant. HE HAS. The guy is HUMAN. Who wouldn’t be a little arrogant? But, I digress. (Btdubs, Jelena, Andy Murray also recently gave his input on the women’s game and dude was #2 for like three weeks.)
It was an emotional moment, and I think this also lifts up sport, to see a great champion like Federer expressing his emotions. It shows his human side. But in these moments, when you see a rival, who is also a comrade, feeling like this, you enjoy the victory a little bit less. — Rafael Nadal
Yeah, most people are condemning Roger saying that he took away from Rafa’s victory. But I don’t think that’s what he meant here. I think he meant that seeing a comrade hurt like that sucked. End of story.
When we see each other at a tournaments we always have a nice chat. He’s great guy. He always, you know, gives me sometimes a nice advice. It’s great, because he achieved so much. — Ana Ivanovic
Well, it’s just we know each other for how many years? Since ’94. We didn’t play in the juniors, but we saw each other. We had some great matches. I was close a couple times. We grew up together. He started a little bit later than me. I respect him as a tennis player, as a person. He’s just very close ‑‑ let’s put it this way: very close colleague of mine. — Marat Safin
I got on well with Carlos Moya, the Spaniard. And, even though everybody got on badly with him, I got on very well with Hewitt. Also with Federer. In my opinion, the two best of the circuit, on a human level, are Guga Kuerten and Federer. Guga is fantastic, always perfect with everybody. And Federer is tops. He has everything, he is a star and a real good guy. We talk a lot. About all sorts of things, about football, about life. For example, in Paris he booked the Crillon Hotel (the best in town) for me, so we could be together. His girlfriend made the booking for me. — Gaston Gaudio
The other thing with Federer is, he’s so nice. He always—OK, maybe not always—talks to me when we’re at an event. Last spring I had ovarian cyst surgery, and he was so sweet to me when he saw me, asking me how everything was. – Ashley Harkleroad
One thing I remember clearly from the interview: Roger Federer was in the locker room, watching the scoreboard, and he noticed Ilhan’s name. Discovering that he was the first player from Turkey ever in a major, Federer introduced himself and wished Ilhan good luck. Ilhan told me it was a highlight of his [2009 US Open] experience. – Tennis World
Federer y Nadal antes de su semifinal en Roland Garros (2005)
Basel (Switzerland) – Two sharp but discrete knocks on the door of room 449 in a luxury hotel in Basel. Rafael Nadal, world number two, opens the door. “Hola, Rafa!” Roger Federer says to him. “Eh…! Hola, how are you?” replies Nadal, almost unable to believe that it is the world number one that is there.
Federer, recovering from an injury and on his first day without crutches, had decided to pay a surprise visit to his young rival, the man with whom he shares the domination of world tennis. Nadal had arrived in Basel an hour earlier to dine with the organisers of the local tournament, from which he had to retire because of tendinitis in his knees.
“Roger phoned me and asked me where Rafa was staying,” explained Vittorio Selmi, the ATP tour manager. When I told him which hotel, he said right off: ‘I’m on my way there’. “
Federer lives in Basel, which made the meeting easier, although there are not many sports where the number one has such an open frank relationship with his closest rival. The Swiss is the indisputable leader but Nadal, after a marvellous season, has equalled his eleven titles in 2005.
The Spaniard had just won the Masters Series Madrid on Sunday night, one of the most important victories in his career, when his phone vibrated signalling that he had a SMS. “Hola, hombre! Rafa, bueno tenis y Madrid! Muchos contento Rogelio por te”. The message in a mixture of Spanish and Italian had been written by Federer to congratulate the Spaniard for his triumph in Madrid. Nadal is in the habit of calling Federer “número uno” or Rogelio, and the Swiss has obviously taken the nickname well.
Contact was resumed on Monday night. They were not able to talk for more than twenty minutes because Nadal had tournament obligations to complete. But Federer had time to ask him about how things had gone the previous week in Madrid. “It was very hard, I thought I was going to lose for most of the match,” the Spaniard confessed to the Swiss in more than acceptable English.
Federer took off his shoe and showed Nadal the state of his ankle, still very swollen after the torn ligaments he suffered ten days ago. There was one topic that could not be forgotten – football! Federer once again lamented the fact that he had not been able to play in Madrid and had had to postpone his long awaited meeting with his childhood idol the Frenchman Zinedine Zidane.
“Are you going to go to Shanghai?” Nadal asked. Federer smiled: “I’m doing all I can. Next week I’ll start to run a little, and then I’ll try to play some tennis.” “There is a glimmer of hope,” said Selmi, thinking of the Masters Cup that begins November 13.
There was no time for any more. Nadal dashed off to the dinner – where he left a great impression speaking English much more fluently than he does in his press conferences – and Federer stayed and dined at the hotel. It was midnight when they met again, one on the way to bed and the other on the way home. They greeted one another again and once again wished each other good luck: the number one and the number two want to continue their conversation in Shanghai. – translated via MTF
Fernando González, Chile’s highest-ranked tennis player, has told news media in his home country that he might not play next week at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., in order to help raise money to help his nation’s earthquake victims.
“What I want is to help, and I’m looking at the possibility of not going to play at Indian Wells and to stay in Chile to help,” Gonzalez said. “I have several ideas and in a couple of weeks I’ll try to do something to generate resources. I want to send a message of hope to all of Chile. What does not kill strengthens. I have received many messages from my colleagues, including Roger Federer, who is very concerned about what happened in Chile. I hope that we pull through this.” – via USAToday
Sent in by niloofar (thanks!)
Q. What did you say to him when you shook hands?ANDY RODDICK: I just said, “Congratulations.” There’s not much else to say. I have loads of respect for him, as a person as well. I told him, I’ve told him before, “I’d love to hate you, but you’re really nice.”Q. On that note, there’s just so much gushing and gushing over him. Can you think of one negative thing to say about Roger Federer?ANDY RODDICK: Well, he cut his hair. That’s all we had going for us before. There’s not much to say other than, you know, if I said anything else, it would be out of jealousy or out of me wanting to win or out of spite. 
He is the best man in the game, on and off the court, and he has a great personality. — Ivan Ljubicic
The most impressive aspect of Roger Federer’s ascendancy to the top of the tennis world is the way he carries himself as a champion. It’s quite unusual. He just lets his racquet do the talking. There’s no entourage at his beck and call. He doesn’t have a bunch of coaches and trainers micromanaging everything he does…Every time I speak to Roger, I sense no ego on his part. He asks me questions about how I prepared for big matches—Roger has a clear appreciation for the history of tennis. (Plus, these days, I should be the one peppering him with questions. He’s the big star!) When you’re talking to Roger, he makes you feel important—whether you’re a fan, an opposing player or an old geezer like me. — Rod Laver
I wouldn’t have thought Federer would know a player like me, but before I was even on the council he’d always say hello. And he’s always checking people’s results; he even knows results from Futures and Challengers. It’s really impressive. He must get on the computer and check out everyone’s results every week. – Peter Luczak
Querrey heard from Roddick and Blake after the accident, but he was most excited about an e-mail from Federer wishing him well.
“That was the greatest,” he said, smiling. “I was so happy. It made my day. It was almost worth it.” – ESPN
1 June 2010, after his quarterfinal loss to Robin Soderling (article was written day after event on June 2)
Roger Federer, example for all
Por Roberto Nappo
Despite losing an extremely important match to the Swede Soderling, Federer still went to receive the award for having finished 2009 as world number one during the traditional dinner of champions. It was a tough defeat to the Swede Robin Soderling, whom the Swiss star had beaten the last 12 times they had met.
By losing in the quarterfinals, and if the Spaniard Rafael Nadal wins the tournament, Federer will drop down from his place as number one in the world.
Because he had to go through doping tests, he was two hours late to his post-match press conference. And as is his custom, he was very clear in his speech and defined how impressive his opponent’s task was, but also admitted that he was disappointed up to a point: “I don’t think I played a bad game, so the loss is easier to digest, and moreover Soderling played great tennis.”
Dinner of champions
Every year during Roland Garros, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) organizes a dinner honoring the tennis players in all categories that have ended the year world number one, including players under 18.
The award ceremony’s host apologized that Federer was not present – yes, his parents were there – saying that the world number one’s feelings were understandable after such a difficult day.
The Williams sisters, number one in doubles, and Serena, also number one in singles, did not come, with the younger sister apologizing by video.
But half an hour later, there was a huge surprise for all the guests when Roger Federer appeared unannounced. Everyone stood up, and the applause lasted for several minutes.
Once again the young Swiss of 28 years has given proof of his extraordinary personality. His decision, after everything he had been through, moved us all in a very special way.
International French Radio approached Roger’s parents to congratulate their son whose person had surpassed his grand tennis prowess. And the mother of the great athlete told us: “Tennis has given much to my son, he has to, somehow, give back something to tennis.”
And boy, the tennis stars of the past were all present, as well as the ITF authorities from 100 countries of the world, journalists and special guests who all understood the message that Roger Federer left to us on a significant day that was at the same time painful for him.
Federer builds his image despite defeat
In a tennis world where the competition is fierce, the material prizes enormous, and the quest for glory often makes people forget the basic principles of moral and conduct, this gesture of a 16 Grand Slam winner does more than build his image.
When the majority of athletes, after losing a match, would withdraw immediately, not speaking with anyone and only fulfilling their press conference obligation, this father of twins, after losing to a Swede who literally peppered the balls playing in an extraordinary manner and losing the crown he had conquered in 2009, had the strength and necessary presence to go to a special event for the sport called tennis.
“I am awarding them for their accomplishments in 2009, there was no reason not to attend, everyone here has one way or another done something for our beloved sport, and I did not want to let them down,” said Roger Federer.
Guga Kuerten was honored
At the same event Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, 3-time champion of Roland Garros, was recognized with the Philippe Chatrier award which is the highest award given by the ITF for exceptional contributions to tennis. Among previous recipients are Martina Navratilova, Rod Laver, John McEnroe, Margaret Court, and Billie Jean King.
After receiving such a great distinction, Kuerten especially thanked Federer for coming and said to him: “Roger, if you were my idol before, now you are even more.”
And the funny thing is that when Federer was absent, they had taken the photograph of the champions present, who had joined Gustavo Kuerten. Well, after the unexpected arrival of Federer, they took a new photograph. – rfi español, rough translation by me
This page could go on and on and on and on because people who know this guy actually like him, so I’ll stop here.
One of the nicest things that I’ve heard Roger do has been throw pizza parties for the ball kids in Basel. He’s done it every year since 2006 when he won his first title there.
Watch any number of interviews with this guy. When he says something he finds funny, he ends up giggling for like 10 minutes. Seriously, this guy is way too dorky to be evil.
One of my faaaaaavorite things he’s ever done. In 2006, he wrote a blog for the ATP World Tour when he was playing in Tokyo. I will quote the funny parts here because the guy is extremely prolific. Pictures can be found at the full page here.
Monday, October 2, 2006
Right off the bat, he starts off acting like a dork. Of course, he would think it is ~cool~ and ~hip~ to use Japanese because he’s in Japan. (It’s not.) (Ever.)
The other night I played a joke on Mirka and put a lot of wasabi (the very strong green paste) underneath a piece of her sashimi…she still has fire coming out of her nose and has promised to get me back!
If I was Mirka I would have kicked his ass too. YOU DON’T MESS WITH WASABI
Sayonara and write to you tomorrow!
Please check out my web site: www.rogerfederer.com
I don’t know why I find this so funny. Maybe because he’s pimping out his website like some loser who just discovered 4chan.
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
You’d think the novelty would have worn off, but no, he just keeps on going.
Like probably everyone else, the first place where I go after getting up is the bathroom.
Um, okay. Interesting.
This is quite an experience here in Japan as they have the best toilets in the world. You could sit on the toilet for hours! The seat is warm, there is a water spray…
Mirka did not come to dinner last night so I brought her back some take away sushi. She was afraid to eat it as she thought ‘Captain Wasabi’ would hit again but I never play the same joke twice. And she hasn’t had her revenge yet, so I need to watch out…
A. He is referring to himself in the third person and as Captain Wasabi.
B. He is an elitist about practical jokes.
LOL, cheap bastard
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Last night we had the sponsor reception and welcome party at the official hotel here in Tokyo. Together with other players I went on stage to break a barrel of sake, which is supposed to bring good luck. I thought of giving it such a hard wack that I would destroy the barrel but at the very last moment I thought to myself ‘Roger maybe you shouldn’t be doing this’ and I behaved appropriately by giving it the right force.
He is so strange.
I will be funnier again tomorrow as I am quite tired from the match and Dmitry is looking over my shoulder and making me very nervous…
Thursday, October 5, 2006
The trouble started when I woke up in the middle of the night, I must have had a nightmare. I jumped out of bed and stood up screaming in a state of shock, I did not know where I was and I ran back and hit the corner of the bed which is solid wood and sharp. Luckily Mirka was there, she woke up because of all the noise that I made, turned on the light on, grabbed me and told me to relax. Apparently I screamed out loud the same thing as I said on court against Tursunov in Toronto (a four letter word that someone might associate with doing on a Toto toilet).
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However, after his first service game where he hit three bombs (meaning aces) in a row,
Look at him, all hip with the tennis lingo.
Friday, October 6, 2006
As many of you know, in Japan they call their currency YEN. Maybe I was a bit tired last night but when the waiter brought the check after dinner and it said 17,000 I freaked for a second. I thought how was it possible that my dinner cost $17,000….did I order the most expensive glass of wine in the world? Did I eat some rare delicacy in the tasting menu? Then I realized the price was in Yen and I relaxed.
Yesterday I told you I thought I had the dream because of the Sake bomber, but I seriously doubt it was the Sake bomber, I am pretty sure now after reconsidering that it was because of Mirka keeping me on my toes trying to seek her revenge on Captain Wasabi. I have heard rumblings of many players (and fans) giving Mirka ideas of how to pay me back. I realize that no matter what happens in the remaining matches, I will be leaving Japan soon, so Captain Wasabi has put his defences on high alert and I will now pay more attention to what I eat. One of the fans tipped me off that perhaps she was going to try and mix a lot of wasabi into a scoop of green tea ice cream…I will now make her taste it first if we order it for dessert.
I have always been a James Bond junkie….tell me how cool that guy is????
Sunday, October 8, 2006
I know that we will have a nice time…with Mirka probably getting her revenge at some stage! Captain Wasabi is a little drained from the match today, but as you can imagine, he is ready for anything. His entire security team has been put on full alert and will be patrolling tonight so let’s hope they can thwart any attack.
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