'Thank you for slicing and dicing me up so gracefully': Somdev Devvarman's hilarious tribute to 'idol' Roger Federer

Updated on Sep 16, 2022 07:27 PM IST

Somdev Devvarman faced the Swiss great twice in his career and recited a story from the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships when Federer inadvertently ended up taking a picture of the Indian with an Italian football legend.

Devvarman faced Federer twice in his career(Getty Images)
Devvarman faced Federer twice in his career(Getty Images)

Roger Federer is known for his humility off the court as much as he was known for his ruthless consistency and love for winning Grand Slams on it. Former India tennis player Somdev Devvarman gave an example of that as he made a hilarious tribute for the Swiss great after the latter announced his retirement from professional tennis.

Federer said in a lengthy statement earlier that he would be hanging up his boots after the upcoming Laver Cup, thus bringing to an end a career in which he sent records tumbling and came to be recognised as arguably the greatest player of all time. Devvarman in his Twitter post recites a story of him facing Federer in the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships. “I played him in the first round in Dubai in 2011. Big match for me. I even needed all the security to protect me from the beating I was going to get. Here is Roger, you can clearly see the pre-match nerves he is feeling,” said Devvarman when a photo appeared in the video of Federer preparing for the match.

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“Here is the last time in the match that I had Roger flat-footed,” said Devvarman when a photo of the pair waiting for the umpire to complete the coin toss. “Honestly, though, the match wasn't that bad. See all those fans in the stands? Clearly, for me. But that slow forehand in the middle of the court, clearly not doing much damage. Here is him hopping around to hit his 350th forehand winner of the match. The crouching back hand, that wasn't helping either,” he said.

“Honestly, I served an ace or two maybe but it was mostly him hitting winners. And here is him graciously accepting that he gave me six games at the end of the match,” said Devvarman. The Indian lost the match 6-3, 6-3. Federer would go on to lose the final to his great rival Novak Djokovic in the final of the tournament by the same scoreline.

Devvarman then went on to say how Federer assumed that he and his friend wouldn't be wanting a photo with the Swiss great. “Here is where the story gets fun. A friend of mine who was with me that week wanted a picture with Roger. So we are in the players' lounge, Roger engrossed in a conversation, as he very often is. He notices me and I ask him, 'Hey Roger can I get a picture?' He says, 'Ya sure' and he takes the camera from me and clicks a picture of me with who I thought was a random dude," he says.

"So I said, that's really nice Roger can we have one with you and he graciously obliged. We went back and asked our friends who is this guy that Roger clicked a picture of and guess what, it was Fabio Cannavaro. So Roger, thank you for clicking the picture with me and Cannavaro and teaching me who he was, thank you for always being so gracious and taking that picture with us as well. Thank you for slicing and dicing me up so gracefully and for teaching me that you actually can meet your idols after all. Thank you Roger for everything," Devvarman concludes.

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