One of tennis’ greatest ever, Roger Federer is at the twilight of his illustrious career. But his value and reputation have still not taken a backseat as he remains as popular as ever. The 39-year old maestro recently crashed out of the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and was expected to be seen at the Tokyo Olympics.
But unfortunately, due to his knee injury, Federer has withdrawn from the event and his dream of winning an Olympic gold has been crushed. But this had little to no effect on his off the court popularity as fans still showed up to get a piece of him at a two-phased Christie’s auction.
Federer donated a collection of personal items for auction to raise money for the Roger Federer Foundation, which brought in an astounding $4.7 million (INR 35 crores).
The auction was divided into two phases for feasibility. The first phase included memorabilia related to Federer’s career at the 4 Grand Slams. The memorabilia included t-shirts, racquets, and shoes including the outfit and racquet from his 2007 Wimbledon and 2009 Roland Garros final wins, which raised a combined £187,500 (INR 2 crores approx).
The second phase of the auction was conducted in the form of an online sale from June 23 to July 14. The sale featured 300 lots from so many different tournaments Federer has participated in over of span of 21 years, dating back to his first-ever Olympics appearance at the Sydney 2000 Games, at the age of just 19. The highlight of the online sale was a set of three rackets used at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships, which sold for £162,500 — more than 23 times above their estimate of £7,000-10,000. The auction had aimed to raise £1million for the Roger Federer Foundation but instead achieved thrice of its target, collecting £3.4 million.
Roger Federer was extremely delighted with the proceeds from this auction. He issued a statement and said, “The prices achieved have been unbelievable. We started collecting items which accompanied me on court because we thought that perhaps one day we could do something meaningful with them. I am overwhelmed by the generosity and enthusiasm of the support from around the world.”
Following his withdrawal from the Olympics, Federer will be keen to regain fitness and aim for his 21st Grand Slam at the US Open. Recently, Novak Djokovic equalled both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Grand Slams each as he won this year’s Wimbledon. Now all eyes will be on Federer as he aims for a record-breaking 21st.