Lausanne: Roger Federer is a legend for the world, but for the people of his country, the tennis ace’s status is even higher than that.
To celebrate the tennis great’s achievements, Federer’s home country, Switzerland, is pondering postponing the National Day by a week — to August 8, 2021 — the day Federer turns 40. And, the people taking the lead are the Swiss parliamentarians.
The nation is keen to honour the legend and former world No. 1 by giving a gift, which no country in the world would have given its sporting hero.
It all started in the Swiss Parliament where several lawmakers launched an initiative on social media to honour Federer in its own unique way. Soon, the move gained momentum among his legion of fans and very soon it became the talking point of the nation of more than eight million.
This is not the first time the European country is planning to shower affection and gratitude on the tennis great. Switzerland made a grand gesture in Federer’s honour when he became the first living person to receive a Swiss stamp after the 2007 Wimbledon triumph. And in 2020, when the world was reeling under the Covid-19 pandemic, Federer received his own 20-franc silver coin from Swissmint.
Now the 39-year-old player in the twilight of his career, Federer’s achievement might again be recognised one more time with the National Day being postponed by a week.
While the founding of the Swiss Confederacy is celebrated on August 1, this year it could be moved to August 8, to coincide with the eight-time Wimbledon champion’s birthday.
Even as the move gains momentum, Federer, currently world No. 6 on ATP, is busy charting his return to ATP Tour action after a knee surgery. And, then he also plans to take a shot at Olympic glory in Tokyo.