Roger Federer has proved too good for LLeyton Hewitt in the new Fast 4 Tennis concept with a 4-3, 2-4, 3-4, 4-0, 4-2 victory.
Roger Federer outside the Sydney Opera House with the 3L Moet bottle auctioned for charity Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied
THERE is absolutely no question that the gentlemanly Roger Federer is one of the world's hugest stars, on and off the court.
But he admits life can get a tad too competitive when he starts hitting a ball with his beautiful tennis aficionado wife, Mirka.
"Well, she plays a very rhythmical game and me, well, me not so much,'' he laughed at a pre-game Credit Suisse sponsor event, before taking part in the FAST4 tennis series at Sydney's Qantas Credit Union stadium.
"So, I avoid playing tennis too much on holidays because you don't want that kind of competition when we are relaxing!"
You won't catch these two on a court during the off-season. Source: Supplied
As part of his association with the French Moët & Chandon champagne, for whom he is a global brand ambassador, there is an element of "giving back" involved and he did that as soon as he landed on Sydney soil.
The 17-time Swisse Grand Slam champion arrived (impressively) on a speed boat to Sydney's Opera House to sign a limited edition, 3L gold leaf bottle of the brand's Imperial, which was then auctioned off during his match against Lleyton Hewitt last night.
Proceeds of the auction will go to Tennis Cares, an initiative of Tennis Australia where Australians from all walks of life can "play, connect and achieve".
Federer was in superb form, landing in Sydney Monday morning just hours after he won his 1000th ATP match — a five-set thriller in the final of the Brisbane International.
But aside from tennis and his loves — wife Mirka and their two sets of twins — Roger is also one of the game's biggest philanthropists.
Mirka Federer: the love of Roger's life and fellow tennis guru. Picture: Supplied Source: News Limited
In 2003, he established the Roger Federer Foundation to help disadvantaged children and to promote their access to education and sports, while in 2005 he auctioned his racquet from his US Open championship to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.
He supported the victims of the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake by arranging an exhibition involving several top players from the ATP and WTA tour called Rally for Relief while he was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF in April 2006 and has appeared in UNICEF public messages to raise public awareness of AIDS.
Roger's world: helping out Tennis Cares by putting his name to auctioning a 3L bottle of Moet & Chandon as part of the Fast 4 tennis series. Source: Supplied
He arranged a collaboration with fellow top tennis players for a charity event during the 2010 Australian Open called Hit for Haiti, the proceeds of which went to Haiti earthquake victims. He has also participated in a charity exhibition during the 2010 Indian Wells Masters, which raised $1 million, and in January 2011 Federer took part in an exhibition to raise money for the victims of the Queensland floods. See, he's that kind of guy.
Federer married the former Women's Tennis Association player Mirka Vavrinec after he met her when they competed for Switzerland in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
And while Mirka retired from the tour in 2002 because of a foot injury, she has been constantly by her husband's side ever since the pair married in 2009.
Mirka gave birth to a set of identical twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, the same year and went on to have another set of twins, born in May last year. They named them Leo and Lennart (Lenny).
As the Federer goodwill train continues, all that's left to do is wish him good luck in the Australian Open.
We'll drink to that.
Family affair: Mirka Federer (rear centre) and twin daughters Myla and Charlene wave from the stands during the men's singles final of the Brisbane International. Pic: Saeed Khan Source: AFP