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This Bengali director’s story about Roger Federer and his daughters will melt your heart

In recent days, the tennis world is in mourning after learning that Roger Federer is retiring. For fans, the nearly two-decade run has been surreal, heightened by the fact that Roger Federer the Person appears to be amazing as Roger Federer the Magician on the Pitch

Federer was, to use a popular word from Indian internet culture – pavaam. Although there is no English translation for the word, some believe it should mean naïve, but the closest would be sane. Federer was sound through and through.

Forget the smell of scandal, it’s hard to remember a time in his playing career when he wasn’t a perfect gentleman. James Blake, the former American tennis player recalled how he broke his neck in training in 2004 and then made a comeback reaching the final in Indian Wells where he lost in straight sets to Federer, like most tennis players of his generation.

However, there was something else on Blake’s mind. As he recalled: “I think everyone has realized what a good tennis player he is, but I want to tell a quick story. About two years ago I was injured in a hospital from Rome. It’s a time when everyone is focused on their tennis and paying as well as they can and I got a note in that hospital room, and it was from the number 1 player in the world , Roger Federer, who wished me the best.”

Suman Ghosh, director and professor of economics at Florida Atlantic University, told an equally heartwarming story about the down-to-earth genius.

Ghosh, who won the national award for best Bengali feature film for Podokkhep in 2008, recalled how he met Federer four years ago.

Ghosh wrote on his Facebook page: “It would be almost 4 years ago. I went to a restaurant for lunch in Miami with my family. There was a wait of about half an hour and we were happy to wandering around their beautiful courtyard when suddenly I saw the big man talking to a reporter for an interview. I just couldn’t believe Federer was in front of us. I decided to wait until the end of the interview and to take a photo of my daughters Maya and Leela (then aged 5 and 3) with him.”

What happened next was even more hilarious. His daughters were too busy playing games, which couldn’t be interrupted, even for Roger Federer.

He added: “Maya was disinterested in stopping her games with Leela and taking a picture with a stranger. Noticing the awkwardness of the moment, Federer approached her, sat down at her level and asked- Would you mind if I wanted to take a picture with you? Maya looked at him and said – NO…immediately started playing again.”

While Ghosh was extremely embarrassed, Federer said he “loved it”.

The story, however, had a happy ending as Federer, unlike Maya, was very willing to take the shot.

All of these stories just repeat what Blake tweeted after Federer’s retirement: “I’ve said this many times, as one of many examples that the bar was set so high for an athlete to iconic is also an iconic human being This bar is almost impossible to cross that you have set@Roger Federer thank you for a new normal.”

The sport is unlikely to see someone like him again.

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