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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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10/09/2006 | 10:40 PM
Congratulations Roger! I am disappointed that I couldn't get to see any of your games since you left the US. None of these matches are televised here.
About your vacation: my husband and I went to St. John island a couple of years ago. It is absolut
10/09/2006 | 10:24 PM
Heya Rog!
i m so happy that you took the very first title there in Japan!!!...and at the other side i am soooo sad that we will not be having that much fun anymore!bcoz you'll now stop writing!!
its been a greatttttttt week reading your great ,entertain
10/09/2006 | 09:35 PM
Dear Roger,
Thank you for all the blogs that you posted, it was fantastic to read them. Congrats on your winning. Wish you all the best!
10/09/2006 | 08:09 PM
Thanks for your blogs, they were realy fun to read and it was a nice thing that you did for your fans, we appriciate it. Congratulations on your win, glad you had a great time in Japan and hope you best luck in your coming tournments.
with respect,
Reem
10/09/2006 | 07:56 PM
oh i'm so sad that this blog is ended!will you do another one for the next tournament??please!it's so cool the possibility to read what you do during the day and listen your emotions after the matches directly from you!!thank you, really.
love forever, a
10/09/2006 | 07:37 PM
grt love it every time
10/09/2006 | 07:11 PM
hi Rog
sorry for writing so late. anyway congratulations i new that yu were going to win and thanx for yo blog hope u are going to write another one soon at your next tournament.
luv u.
10/09/2006 | 06:33 PM
Yes Roger winning the Open in ur first appearance is as good as it gets!=D!And yeah!we loved your blog!funny,entertaining and sooo Roger-y!thnks for taking out time to write to us!we enjoyed it alot!Congrats on ur wonderful win and a great season so far!u
10/09/2006 | 06:23 PM
This is such a great blog Roger - honestly its really so nice to hear from you and we hope to hear from you more often in the future. If anything else your words truly show us just how genuine, honestly and heart warming your personality is.......so nice
10/09/2006 | 04:40 PM
Hey Rog
Congrats again. Thank you for all the blogs that you posted, it was so great to be there with you on this trip. It was amazing. I bet all you fans were just so excited to read about you, thank you for all your writing.
Glad that you enjoyed y
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