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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 | 01:52 PM
Dear Rog...

You are a joy to all of us. I LOVED reading your blog every day last week...What fun!

Thanks for sharing your delightful sense of humor with us and also a bit of your marvellous life. That you don't take it for granted makes us love yo
10/09/2006 | 01:46 PM
hi,roger,congratulation!i am very happy to readyour blog.u r really a good writer! will u continue to write your blog after japan open?i hope that!reading ur blog, i can see a real federer,not only a star!
10/09/2006 | 01:28 PM
congratulations rog!..good luck on your upcoming tournaments especially the Masters Shanghai..i know you can win all of them..n_n
also, i really enjoyed reading your blogs..i hope you continue writing even just onece a week or month..mirka could write he
10/09/2006 | 12:52 PM
Hi Roger,

Congratulations, your blogs were just great,
I will miss them.
Have fun and I hope you can come to Greece for your vacation.

U 'r the best,
thanx for the great tennis moments
10/09/2006 | 11:28 AM
Hola Roger.
Mil gracias por el tiempo que has dedicado esta semana a escribir a tus fans. Personalmente lo he disfrutado mucho. Me ha gustado bastante saber un poco mas de lo que sucede en el torneo y tus experiencias personales tambien.
Ademas de
10/09/2006 | 11:20 AM
Hi Roger!!

Congratulation!I was looking forward for a long time you come to my country and I'm happy you are enjoying in Japan!!!!

I hope you come to Japan next year again

Anyway thank you for coming to Japan and doing good performance for us.
10/09/2006 | 11:18 AM
Hi Roger. It has been afantastic week for both you and your fans. Blog is just superb. I am so pleased that i registered. Now you need a break. Being a doctor I know how much it takes out of you. Please don't burn out and kep it up
Yours
10/09/2006 | 10:56 AM
What can i say, your best writing so far...
You must have been writing this last blog with an open heart, because it reached mine.......
Thank you

Best wishes and good luck with the indoor season, Sayonara

Kitty
10/09/2006 | 10:53 AM
Congratulation!!! I am very happy that you and Mirka have enjoyed staying Tokyo. Please come back next year!!! Next visit, if you have enough time, please visit Kyoto. If you don't have enough time, then visit Kamakura where I live, and try "Zen" at very
10/09/2006 | 10:46 AM
Dear Roger,

Congratulations!!
Thank you very much for coming to Japan. I am so glad to hear that you had a good time in Tokyo except nightmare. This time, Icouldn't see your play in Ariake, so next time I will see your play at tennis court!!
Pleas