It is quite mind boggling of a thought if we get to know one of the greatest professional athletes, the one who has been attending press conferences and giving interviews in English for over two decades and winning Grand slams in English speaking countries, is not good enough in the language. It certainly is the mother tongue for many and the preferred language for millions of others.
And yet the Language could easily be alien to millions of people around the globe or millions still are not good enough in it. But no one, even in their dreams could ever imagine that one of these people is none other than one of the greatest athletes the modern sport world has seen, Roger Federer. The reason this has come up is because Roger Federer, 20-time Grand Slam champion, said his “English is not good enough” in an absolutely adorable moment on court during Wimbledon 2021.
The moment came during the presentation of the first round match between eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and Adrian Mannarino. Though Adrian gave the former Wimbledon champion some scary moments, he was forced to retire when the game was evenly poised at 6-4 6-7(3) 3-6 6-2 with both gentlemen winning two sets apiece.
During the presentation the broadcaster asked the swiss, “Roger, is it true what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder?” To this, Federer replied: “Sorry, I didn’t understand it. I heard something and then my mind went blank”.
The crowd roared before the question was repeated.To add more amusement to the English crowd, Federer laughingly said “I don’t understand that saying. My English is not good enough.” He, along with everyone inside the stadium burst out in laughter. So the broadcaster restructured his question in plainer words and this time the winner of 20 grand slams answered.
Federer said, “Good reminder, my English is not very good. I think we’re all very happy, all the players, including all the fans and the organizers and everybody that we get a chance to be back on tour, especially here at Wimbledon. It would’ve been worst to have this tournament with no fans. This would have been an absolute killer, so it’s such a privilege to play here.”