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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 | 04:59 AM
Hi Rogi!!! congratulations once again, you are just GREAT!!!!!!!!!!, well im very happy that you won, sadly i couldn't keep up with the blog thing, my grandma had to be hospitalized so i've been at the hospital day and night with her. She's very sad too
10/10/2006 | 04:40 AM
Roger congratulations! I read in the paper this morning about the win! Another clinic with coach Federer. Show 'em how it's done!
10/10/2006 | 04:40 AM
Roger congratulations! I read in the paper this morning about the win! Another clinic with coach Federer. Show 'em how it's done!
10/10/2006 | 04:22 AM
Roger, congratulations on another fine tournament. How about next tournament, you avoid the tiebreakers and just bagelize all your opponents!
10/10/2006 | 03:10 AM
hey roger
Congratultions for another terrific final match in Japan.I am really impress how well you handle your success inspite of all the success youre getting.I am also inspired with what youre doing outside tennis..like helping out disadvantaged kid
10/10/2006 | 02:35 AM
This has been great. You should think about doing this throughout the year. Its great to hear about your adventures and all.
10/10/2006 | 02:22 AM
Well, Roger... after reading your blog I can say that Tursunov is still the king of kings in the blog field.. but you're doing a good job. I mean... you know, it's not just a regular blog that almost nobody reads. And of course pieces of what you write ar
10/10/2006 | 02:08 AM
Dear Roger,
....
Thanks for writing another great blog and your plan for the future travels
I would recommend

there are a lot of amazing places to visit and relax
nice place to relax

Well, i would recommend that you come to Qatar , or in Dubai
10/09/2006 | 11:34 PM
Lot of tnx for the blogs Rogi.. we will miss them a lot.. To know about ur days is one of the awesome things we are really thank for... we were very lucky and.. we really dont know if u r going to read to us again.. i really hope so, but u r a really busy
10/09/2006 | 11:22 PM
dear Roger, Thanks for all your great blogs..its been really good fun reading them..take care and enjoy the bonsai and all the special gifts you have found
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