If you missed tennis from 2004-2015, you missed one of the most important eras in the history of the game. Led by the icon Roger Federer, the game went on to achieve mainstream success with his name becoming synonymous with the sport itself.
More than that, if you are a Federer fan, it’s probably because of this decade of excellence. His immaculate reign at Wimbledon as well as a chunk of his 20 grand slam titles was won during this period. However, there is one fan of Federer who was forced to miss out on the cream of his career.
The story is equal parts sad and heartwarming. It’s about a fan called Jesus Aparicio from Spain who considered Roger Federer as his role model. Unfortunately, a tragedy took place in his life which took him away from the game as well as his idol.
Jesus Aparicio suffered a tragedy in 2004 which you wouldn’t even wish upon your worst enemy, at a time when Roger Federer had just completed his first season of total domination. He was seriously injured in a car accident while celebrating his 18th birthday.
This sent him into a coma for eleven years before he woke up in 2015. As he slowly gained his speech back, he would ask about his friends and family. However, he would also ask about his role model who was taking center stage just when Jesus Aparicio suffered the tragedy.
He was shocked to see that Federer was still playing. A bigger surprise was the fact that he had won 17 grand slam titles. An ecstatic Aparicio wanted to know more about the tennis scenario.
“It came like a flash to my mind and I asked about Roger,” Aparicio said, according to tennisworld.org.
“I thought he had retired. When I knew that at 34 years old, he is still playing and is number two in the world, I thought they were kidding me. I could not believe it.”
“When I heard that he reached 17 slam titles, I put my hands on my face. I knew Federer was very good but I never thought he could win all he has won.”
Aparicio would witness the US Open finals where Federer squared off against Novak Djokovic. The Serb was a totally unknown entity for Aparicio but he would soon know why he was being touted as a modern legend.
“I was astonished to see him [Federer] play well. It’s really amazing,” Aparicio said. “It was a shame he could not win but that Djokovic, he plays very well.”
“I want to see his match before he retires, perhaps his 18th slam. “It would be the dream of my life.”
It’s great to see such stories as a tennis fan. Sport is an emotional experience that can only be felt by those who surround themselves with its amazing and heartwarming world. These stories reinforce our faith in sports as a healing power which is a remedy for people everywhere.