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Best wishes and Sayonara

08.10.2006 | Off Court

After my semifinal match last night, Mirka and I went to Ginza to walk around and do some shopping (window shopping of course!). Ginza is a lot like Kings Road in London or Fifth Avenue in New York with lots of expensive shops and restaurants. We had our photo taken in front of the Wako shopping centre and clock tower, which is the best known landmark for the area.

 

Mirka and I were looking at tea sets and plates to buy as souvenirs and also to use for our place. Tea ceremonies, called Sado, are a very important part of Japanese culture, particularly for women. Apparently when being offered tea at a ceremony it is said to be offered with a respectful heart and received with gratitude. I have been very impressed with the Japanese history and culture, and I am really happy that I have had the chance to learn about it while I have been here.

 

After another excellent Teppanyaki dinner last night, I went to bed early, so that I could get enough rest for the final.

 

Today the weather was beautiful again, so I prepared for my match by warming up on centre court at around 10.30AM, before coming back to the locker room and getting my feet taped. Ever since I hurt my ankle last fall, I have been taping both my ankles in order to give me some extra stability.

 

Tim and I then warmed up and chatted together in the locker room while we were waiting for the women's final to finish. We were playing with a rugby ball and he was throwing the ball so well. Like me, he played so many sports growing up and you can tell he was good at rugby as he throws a perfect ball.

 

I played a really solid match, a kind of performance that I was really hoping for. Tim played one bad game, and I took advantage of that in the first set. But then I played really well in the second set and hit some incredible passing shots, which I was really happy about. I sometimes enjoy playing opponents who come to the net quite often as it is a style that is not played as much anymore and I like having a target. This tournament has been fantastic, I had a tough match against Suzuki in the quarterfinals but the rest of the tournament I did not drop a set so I am sure Mr. Roche will be happy.

 

It has really been a great trip, and winning a tournament in my first visit to Japan is as good as it gets. Besides what Mirka had told me, I really did not know what to expect from my first trip to Japan. I wish I had some time to stay in Japan and travel a bit to see some other cities like Kyoto, but I need to go back to Switzerland tomorrow and prepare for the indoor season which will finish with the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.

 

The tournament this week has been asking players to donate clothing and sign things to auction off and raise money for UNICEF. As you all know I am a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador which I am really proud of, so I was more than happy to provide a signed shirt, some signed tennis balls and a program. After the match the tournament told me that the shirt sold for 700,000 Yen (US$6,000)! Being a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador is a good fit for me as their mission is very similar to the mission of the Roger Federer Foundation as we both try and focus all our energies and resources on helping those children who are disadvantaged or don't have a chance.

 

I am not sure of my plans yet for tonight, but we will go out for dinner in a bigger group because I have a few friends here, so we will probably have a celebration dinner which will be a lot of fun. We will definitely go out for Japanese.  I know that we will have a nice time...with Mirka probably getting her revenge at some stage! Captain Wasabi is a little drained from the match today, but as you can imagine, he is ready for anything. His entire security team has been put on full alert and will patrolling tonight so let's hope they can thwart any attack.

 

Finally I want to talk about the fans here in Tokyo. They are absolutely unreal!!! Not only did they support me greatly when I played, but they were also so happy to see me and they love taking pictures, not only when I practice, but even when I walk in and out of press. Many people know that I try to sign as many autographs as I can.  This week was no different and I tried to sign for everyone.  For those fans that I might have missed, I am sorry and I hope to see next year.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog this week, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed writing it! What I tried to do is to make it fun and let you know what is happening behind the scenes. As you can see, there sometimes is a routine that happens during a tournament week.  I must admit, that this blog has been great for me to write as it allowed me to take a step back and think about how fortunate I am to play a sport (yes, a game!) that I love so much and earn a great living doing it. Just to think that I was always just hoping to be good at tennis so I could play with my friends at home in Basel and now here I am.   I am very lucky and I certainly don't take this for granted...and I never will!

 

As I sign off for the last time with a glass of Champagne in my hand, I say to all of you..."Best wishes and Sayonara"

 

Rog

 
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10/10/2006 | 01:20 PM
hi roger how r u
its always good too see winning so many matches of u
take care
love u so much
good luck for masters cup
10/10/2006 | 10:52 AM
Wow, thank you for your blog during this week. There are so many posts at your website and mine seems too late. I'm sorry but I have to be at school. I'm very lucky finding that I only missed two of your blogs. The page impression is great! As one of your
10/10/2006 | 10:15 AM
Just one thing: You deserve all the good wishes, you have always to be in our lives with your greatness, and I love you Rogi:)

Sayanora to You and Mirka.
10/10/2006 | 09:10 AM
Hello Roger
Thank you so much for the blogs that you gave us during the past week--they were wonderful--educational,humerous,humble everything.
Your signed shirt sold for US $6,000's --that is fantastic for UNICEF.Thank you for supporting children sick
10/10/2006 | 08:21 AM
Dear Roger the great,

Thank you so much for your beautiful, entertaining and thoughtful blogs. I am very happy that you won the Japan Open and the Japanese fans supported you greatly. They are unreal because you are unreal, you are so great Roger, th
10/10/2006 | 08:09 AM
Dear Roger
I am your fan from China. Congratulations on your winning in Japan. Our Chinese fans are looking high and low for your arrival in ShangHai for the 2006 Tennis Master Cup Final this year!
10/10/2006 | 08:04 AM
hi feddy,

congratulations on your win!!
it wasn't a surprise!!
YOUR ARE THE BEST IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!
GUESS WHAT?
i can speak a little bit of german.

Hallo wie geht's?
Glückwünsche auf dem Sieg!!
Am besten von Glück für die kommenden Turniere
10/10/2006 | 05:24 AM
Hi Roger!
Congraturations on your victory!
We Japanese fans were really happy to have you here and could read your messages about Japanese Culture, food, hospitality etc. I'm grad to know you liked Japan very much! Wasabi story made me laugh.
We are lo
10/10/2006 | 05:21 AM
Does coach Roche give you tips on writing the blog, because it's fantastic! Here's a plan - blog only when you are winning. We know it's going to be often, so keep writing/winning!
10/10/2006 | 05:07 AM
roger federer: thx for your amazing show of tennis skill (this time in tokyo) & your humanity! you played some amazinh shots again this tournament.

vacation idea: altho i have visited many beautiful parts of the world, (including your fair city of base
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