For decades, Swiss sports fans together celebrated that Roger Federer’s accomplishments rewrote tennis records throughout his legendary career. Now, the nation of more than eight million people is preparing for the largest celebration ever in honor of former world No. 1.
As reported in Blick, the country’s largest national newspaper, Switzerland is considering delaying its national day by a week, until August 8, 2021, the same date Federer turns 40.
The initiative began when Swiss MPs expressed their support for the move on social media, as it also won the approval of an enthusiastic Federer fan base.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Switzerland has taken a major initiative to show its love for Federer. The 39-year-old became the first person alive to receive a Swiss stamp in his honor in 2007 after winning Wimbledon, and last year he was awarded his 20-franc Swiss mint silver coin.
Born August 8, 1981, Federer’s birthday was celebrated a week after the Swiss national holiday. But not forever. While the founding of the Swiss Confederation has been celebrated annually on August 1 since 1899, it has only been a public holiday since 1994. At that time, the teenage Federer was already on his way to becoming a national champion of Switzerland in all categories.
The rest is written in sports history books, with Federer collecting accolades after being awarded alongside a string of 20 major tournaments and 83 other titles on the ATP Tour.
Currently ranked sixth on the FedEx ATP Rankings, the Swiss is taking the first steps on his return to the ATP Tour after undergoing knee surgery last year. He played two of three group matches at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, his first tournament since January 2020.
(With information from ATP in Spanish)