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Why Roger Federer plays tennis in a Parisian suburb

Why Roger Federer plays tennis in a Parisian suburb

Roger Federer played in Paris for the last time on June 5, 2021. In front of empty stands.Image: Cornerstone

Three years ago, Roger Federer left the French Open through the back door. The 42-year-old now plays tennis near the French capital, Paris, but is staying away from the tournament. For any reason?

Simone Haring, Paris/Media

His departure from Paris was not very glorious. He played his final match at the French Open on a cold, damp night in front of empty stands against German Dominik Koepfer. He will no longer appear in the 2021 round of 16 against Italian Matteo Berrettini.

Federer did not come with the aim of winning the tournament again, but rather to test his body. He played the French Open in preparation for Wimbledon, where he would play his final singles match three weeks later in the quarterfinals. In hindsight you have to say: It was out the back door.

Now, four days before the start of the French Open, Federer is back in the French capital. He first visited the opera house. Then he opened a colorful tennis court in the suburb of Courneuve, four kilometers northeast of Paris, and played tennis with the children. The court was created by sponsor Uniqlo in collaboration with the Fête le Mur Foundation, which is headed by French tennis icon Yannick Noah.

epa11360750 Tennis legend Roger Federer (center) during the opening of a tennis court in La Courneuve, near Paris, France, May 22, 2024. EPA/YOAN VALAT

Federer opens a new stadium in the Parisian suburb of Courneuve.Image: Cornerstone

He said it was a pleasure to be in Kornov. He expected to go to the Champs-Élysées or to Versailles when he returned to Paris. “But this is much better. This is where real life happens.” He himself had never played on such a colorful field.

Tennis with wife Mirka and children

There Federer gave an interview to France 2 television station. He was dressed from head to toe by shepherds. When asked if he didn't miss his tennis life, he said: “I miss the fans and the people I see once a year.” He misses training and plays three or four hours less a day when his body is no longer 100 percent engaged.

Federer said he still plays tennis regularly. With his wife Mirka, with children or with friends.

The documentary “Twelve Last Days” will be released on the streaming platform Amazon Prime on June 20. Shows Federer's final steps on the tennis stage. The work has been created by award-winning director Asif Kapadia. In return, he received exclusive access to Federer's private archive. His wife Mirka and old rivals Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray also have their say on “Twelve Last Days.”


Federer's final days as a tennis player are depicted.Image: Amazon Prime

Federer: “I didn't want a movie”

Federer himself says that initially he did not want his life or career to be turned into a movie. “But I've had a lot of support over the years. I thought, 'You know what? We're giving this to the people.' The idea came to his manager, Tony Godsick. “He said, ‘You have to film this. For you, but also for your children. What you do with the materials is up to you.”

“In the end I said: 'Okay, it's so beautiful, it's incredible, the last 12 days have been so intense. Let's do it.' The documentary will be shown in 240 countries.

Roger Federer was in Paris promoting a movie he didn't want to make himself. But the 2009 winner is still ignoring the French Open (for now). The French sports newspaper L'Equipe quoted him as saying: “One day I would like to return, as I did last year at Wimbledon.” “If you come, it must be for a reason. I don't want people to ask me: What are you doing here?

Swiss Roger Federer accepts the trophy after defeating Sweden's Robin Soderling during the men's singles final in the French Open tennis tournament held at Roland Garros.

In 2009, Federer completed his collection of Grand Slam titles in Paris.Photo: AP

At Wimbledon, Federer watched the matches as a guest of honor in the Royal Box. The occasion was the twentieth anniversary of his first Wimbledon victory. Federer left Paris on Friday. Two days before the start of the French Open. (

Tennis player with at least two Grand Slam titles (since 1968)


Tennis player with at least two Grand Slam titles (since 1968)

Novak Djokovic (2008 to 2023): 24 Grand Slam titles (10 Australian Open, 7 Wimbledon, 4 US Open, 3 French Open).

Source: Keystone/Tippo Camus

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Roger Federer cries on stage with Andrea Bocelli

Video: Watson

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