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Federer reappears on a tennis court for the first time in more than a year… in a commercial for his sponsor
On the occasion of Federer’s 41st birthday today, the Italian pasta brand Barilla released a 3-minute video entitled “The Promise” in which the Swiss plays tennis with a fan. Federer has not been seen with his racket in hand on a court since the quarter-final of Wimbledon last year
Will Roger Federer be able to play tennis competitively again on the circuit at the age of 41? And to return to an elite level?
Less than two months before his scheduled return to the courts at the Laver Cup (September 23 to 25), the Swiss reappeared playing tennis in a video entitled “The Promise” on Monday. It was broadcast by one of his sponsors, the Italian pasta brand Barilla, on the 41st birthday of the Swiss legend, who was born on August 8, 1981.
Federer vs… Izyan Ahmad known as “Zizou”
In the video, there are very few clues about his chances of doing well against Felix Auger-Aliassime or Taylor Fritz in at the Laver Cup in London. For the purposes of this astute marketing move, Federer is only seen hitting the ball with one of his 12-year-old fans.
Nicknamed “Zizou”, the fan in question is Izyan Ahmad. Ahmad had made himself go viral during the 2017 US Open, by asking Roger Federer to play for another “eight or nine years” on the circuit so that he could face off against his idol. Ahmad is now one of the best u-12s in the United States and trains at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy on Randall Island in New York.
In response to Ahmad’s question, Federer had “promised” that he would play on, but, in order to confirm the firmness of his promise, he added that it was a “pinky promise”, as if to say that it was not at all certain to see him hanging out on the circuit at 45 years old.
The Swiss is expected to play in Basel and… Wimbledon?
Five years after that press conference, Federer and his sponsor have honored the promise away from the cameras of the ATP Tour but under that of a film crew mandated to shoot a film like a candid camera. In the video, Zizou is recognized as a star for a few minutes before Federer’s arrival.
Shot in Zurich (Switzerland) at an undetermined date, the video shows an amused Federer. The Swiss has two events on his schedule for now: the Laver Cup and the ATP 500 in Basel (October 22 to 30). He has also indicated in his recent statements that he intends to play on the circuit in 2023 and that he wants to return to Wimbledon at least one more time.