In her recently published autobiography 'Ace against Odds', Indian tennis star Sania Mirza has praised Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer for being a 'thorough gentleman' and an amicable human being off the court. Mirza recalls a couple of incidents where Federer had showed immense 'warmth and care'.
"When the case was filed against me for alleged disrespect to the national flag, Roger Federer was among first to inquire about the situation and welfare when I reached Melbourne for the Australian Open.
"He (Federer) also surprised me many months later with a message of concern when Mumbai was tragically struck by terrorist attacks on November 26, 2008. I think this is what makes Roger very, very special because apart from being a legend, a genius and the greatest ever exponent of his craft, he remains warm, caring, accessible, untouched by fame, and a thorough gentleman,” Mirza wrote in her book, reported Rediff.
The 29-year-old also recollected a comical incident where a friend of hers could not recognize Federer, when he came to meet her, and Mirza introduced him as “just a nice guy who hangs around here”.
"My best friend from school, Rucha Naik, had joined me for the grass court season in England and it was fun to have her around. She was graduating with a degree in fashion marketing from the University of Lancaster. Rucha was no sports enthusiast and had very little interest or knowledge of tennis, but she was a friend, I loved and cared for. Perhaps that's why she is one of my best friends.
"I cannot forget the first time she came into the Players' Lounge at the Wimbledon. Roger Federer walked upto our table at some point and joked with me. ‘What is this guy's name and who does he think he is?’ Rucha said rather indignantly as soon as Roger had left the table.
‘Oh, he is just a nice guy who hangs around here at tournaments and plays a bit of tennis, I said wickedly’,” Sania wrote.