Roger Federer has revealed that a cancelled match during a tour of Mexico and South America left him emotionally wasted and in tears.
Right before a ‘dream match’ against Alexander Zverev in Colombia last month, the government imposed curfew due to demonstrations and riot. A record crowd had gathered to witness the exhibition match and Federer decided to call it off keeping in mind the safety of the fans.
The tour was part of a documentary slated to be aired on Tuesday which shows the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s journey. “We went to warm up and were having a blast on the court, but then everything started to get a bit crazy,” Federer said. “I was thinking is this the best scenario? Because people need to get home and be safe and this was honestly when I knew we shouldn’t play, it was too much stress and pressure for everybody.”
Footage from the documentary then shows a reluctant Federer walking back to the locker room and breaking into tears before being consoled by Zverev. “I had a bit of a breakdown. It was not going to be the dream match it was supposed to have been and I could feel it all falling apart at the end. When I came back [to the locker room] I was emotionally wasted,” the 38-year-old said.
Federer’s visits to South America have been few and the tour was an attempt to correct the anomaly which had pit-stops in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico. “It was an unbelievable and amazing trip, each step along the way as the fans expressed their love of the sport and appreciation for the experience. There were so many highlights, it was truly a magical adventure and a blast as well,” he said.