Roger Federer, might be the best tennis player in the world, the tennis player with the highest number of Wimbledon crowns and Grand Slams, a player with highest World Number one streak, the greatest of all times and the list goes on. However, above all, he is a compassionate human being, who is certainly given the status of ‘Tennis God’. Off the court, Federer is constantly engaging himself in doing his bit to add joy to other people’s lives. The Roger Federer Foundation is presently providing education to more three hundred thousand children in Africa and Switzerland. Apart from that, the Swiss legend has immense respect and regard for his fans.
In the year 2013, a 17-year-old, Beatriz Tinoco from Maryland in the United States, fought an appalling disease of cancer. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and later she contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation, who work for granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Tinoco also plays competitive tennis and she is an innate Roger Federer follower. “It was the first thing that came to my mind,” she said. “And the only thing.”
“Ever since I was 8 years old, and I watched the Australian Open. He just always seemed nice, classy, I don’t really know. He was always so polite and played so well.” When it comes to Federer, the young American puts an end to everything she is doing and just mediates upon the Swiss maestro by watching him play. “I stop everything I’m doing to watch Roger,” she said. “I woke up at 3 a.m. to watch him in the Australian Open.” The American girl waited for four hours at the U.S. Open to get Federer’s autograph. After witnessing her idol Roger Federer play, who is surrounded by the media most of the time, the freshman at the University of Maryland-Baltimore, Beatriz Tinoco decided to switch her major from biology and study journalism.
While training in her tennis school, the ESPN television network bounced upon her tennis court and made Tinoco’s wildest of the dreams come true. “They gave us an iPad to see something, it was the starting point of the 2012 Wimbledon final … but after Roger throws himself to the floor the video cuts off and Roger appears saying ‘Hi Beatriz, I was told you are a big fan so I invite you and your family to come and see me in Wimbledon, I’ll see you there’,” the American girl responded.
Even after reaching the SW19 district of London with her family, she was completely not sure about the rendezvous with Roger Federer due to his hard-pressed schedule. “I was watching some training and then someone says my name, I turn around and it was Roger Federer!”, the flabbergasted Tinoco said. She later conversed with Federer for more than ten minutes. “He was just supposed to say ‘hi’ and go to the courts and practice. Instead, he spends 15, 20 minutes with me.”
Tinoco also got an opportunity to hit some tennis balls on the grass courts of Wimbledon with the Swiss legend. “It was fun but I was really, really scared,” she said. “When he served, I’m going, ‘No, no, no,’ but the first one was OK and when he saw I could hit it back, he increased the speed. It was so fast, I don’t think he was expecting me to actually hit it. I think he was astonished actually. I don’t think he knew I could play tennis.” Besides that, Tinoco cut her 18th birthday cake in the presence and company of Roger Federer. The American girl, Beatriz watched Federer’s opening-round match and his 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Victor Hanescu on Wimbledon’s Centre Court.
Roger’s visit at that time felt like is he genuinely wanted to meet Beatriz Tinoco regardless of his circumstances. “You can always make time,” Federer said. “It’s all a matter of priorities, and it was one of my priorities this week. That’s why I had the time.” It was the Wimbledon where Roger Federer was gearing up to surpass the Wimbledon crown tally of Pete Sampras.