Federer voices Madiba concern

2013-06-24 22:00
Roger Federer (AFP)
London - Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer hailed ailing Nelson Mandela as "influential and amazing" on Monday as the anti-apartheid icon remained in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital.

"He's been very influential, an amazing personality, you know, believed in something, had to pay a big price for it," Federer said of the former South African president, who spent 27 years in apartheid jails.

"Someone you can definitely look up to and that's very important for me. Clearly there's many that come and go, but he has been there for a very long time.

"And he's very much respected and loved. So we hope he does well here now in this process."

Federer was speaking after reaching the Wimbledon second round on Monday with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 win over Romania's Victor Hanescu.

The Swiss star has been a regular visitor to South Africa over the years where he has a charitable foundation.

The country is also the birthplace of his mother, Lynnette.

In 2011, Federer was voted second to Mandela in an international survey to find the world's most respected, admired and trusted personality.

Russia's 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova also paid tribute to Mandela.

The 94-year-old was rushed to hospital with a recurrent lung infection on June 8.

"For someone with such a big name, who has touched so many people in this world, I think it's extremely sad to see him in that position," Sharapova said.

"I think it should be a celebration of what he accomplished in his life than a sadness, even though many people around the world are sad about it.

"He's extremely influential to so many people on a very positive level.

"I never had a chance in my life to meet him. But the people that have met him have said incredibly nice things about him," she said.

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  roger federer  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Novak Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, while Rafael Nadal boasts 14. Roger Federer is currently out in front with 17. When all is said and done, who wins more?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.