Wimbledon

“Do you have a membership card?” : When Federer was (almost) kicked out of Wimbledon


He may retire from the courts, Roger Federer remains a world-famous star where all doors open easily. Everything? Number. The 41-year-old Swiss player has had the bitter experience of this recently, and at the very place where the public has blessed him: Wimbledon. He was in London two weeks ago for a second checkup for a sore knee, and when the appointment was over he thought it would be nice to have tea at the All England Club before flying back to find his family. Serious mistake.

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“We’re going, but I had never been to Wimbledon while the tournament was going on,” he said in an interview with American television, at the entrance during the famous talk-Wednesday comedy show Daily Show. I’m driving towards the guest entrance. I say get out of the car and see the security guard to see how we get on my coach Severin Lüthi. I get there and I start: ‘Hello, I was wondering how I can get into Wimbledon: where is the door?’

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Basler doesn’t know this yet, but it’s the beginning of a startling and frankly destabilizing dialogue for the deaf for him, who has long been master of the London turf.

Security guard “Do you have a membership card?” he asks.
– Do we have… No, there isn’t any. But I’m a club member and I’m wondering where we can get in.
– Yes, but you must be a member of the club.
– I’m a member. Normally I play games when I’m here and there are a lot of people. So I enter another way. And the first time I came when the tournament was not held, so I don’t know where to go.
– On the other side… But you have to be a member of the club,” the strict interlocutor replies again.

I won this tournament 8 times, please believe me.

And Federer is increasingly surprised to continue:I look at him and I start to panic. And I’m sorry I did it because I still feel bad for doing it but I look at it and say, ‘I’ve won this tournament 8 times, please believe me. I am a club member. Where can I go?But there’s nothing to do, even this hammer argument doesn’t work. So the Swiss gets back in his car, drives around, and exits near another potential entrance.

A random person on the sidewalk said, ‘Oh, Mr. Federer, my God! I can’t believe you’re here at Wimbledon. Can we take a selfie?’ And I answer: ‘Yes! Let’s take a picture!’ The security guards there understand that, too, and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, Mr. Federer, what are you doing here? Do you have a membership card?‘” says the man with 103 titles in the circuit.

The situation therefore starts to resemble the madhouse episode on the album, in anger. The Twelve Jobs of Asterix. But to Federer’s great relief, the agent in question rushes to open the doors for him. And Basel was able to have tea with the president of the All England Club before returning to his family. “On my way out, I thought about crossing over and waving to the lady and showing my arrival, but I didn’t.“, ends his words in a funny way. He’s not offended, Roger.

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