Record breaker and unequalled champion, Roger Federer is considered as the best tennis player of all time, so he doesn’t leave anything to chance, especially not the art of ‘savoir vivre’ which he handles, like everything else, with perfection. The ambassador for Moët & Chandon shares some of his secrets about the ‘art of hosting’ to win your next 'home' match.
YOU BECAME A PROFESSIONAL PLAYER IN 1998 AND THIS YEAR MARKS THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE 20 BRILLIANT YEARS BEHIND YOU?
I see it as something positive because it has really been a lot of fun. The years went by in a flash, I don’t know how else to put it. It feels to me like I just started playing and have only been on the Tour for 5 years. In a way, I am happy that it went by so fast, because, as they say, time flies when you are having fun, and I have felt this way for 20 years. But in some way, I wish I still had more years on the tour, and that this wasn’t in my 20th year.
DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE ACHIEVED ALL YOUR DREAMS IN TENNIS?
I have achieved many goals in tennis, but one of the most exciting things for me, even at 36 years old, is that I continue to not only love the sport, but dream about continued success.
MOËT & CHANDON WILL HOST A CELEBRATION FOR YOUR 20 YEARS OF MILESTONES AS A PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU TO CELEBRATE WITH MOËT & CHANDON?
I am very pleased that Moët & Chandon has offered to host a celebration for me, my family and my friends. It is a generous gesture that I appreciate, and I look forward to sharing this very special moment with everyone who has helped make this milestone possible, my team, my family, and my fans. Moët & Chandon has supported me as a sponsor for the past 6 years. It has been a great relationship and their support has been very meaningful to me and my family.
WHAT WILL MAKE THE CELEBRATION OF THIS 20-YEAR MILESTONE MORE SPECIAL FOR YOU?
What makes this event even more special is that Moët & Chandon has dedicated a new limited edition champagne bottle to mark my 20-year career milestone. It is a bottle wrapped in a black leather band like the tennis wrap on my rackets. It is called “Greatness since 1998,” after the year I joined the professional circuit. So it has a real tennis connection and means a lot to me! I have signed the label and my embossed signature also figures on the leather wrap. I love the strong, elegant design. Plus, the Grand Vintage Collection 1998 wine in the bottle is an amazing champagne. But beyond the personal pride I get from this event and the beautiful bottle, I am thrilled that Moët & Chandon has generously committed to donating all profits from the sale of the limited edition bottles to the Roger Federer Foundation. This donation is important because it stands for the generosity of the House, and helps us meet the goal of bringing education to 1 million underprivileged children in Southern Africa and Switzerland.
WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST SIP OF CHAMPAGNE? WHERE WERE YOU AND WITH WHOM?
I was probably on my 18th birthday celebration. Otherwise, I remember drinking champagne to help me relax when I was younger to talk to girls!
IF YOU COULD SHARE A GLASS OF MOËT & CHANDON WITH ANY THREE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, ALIVE OR FROM THE PAST, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Mohammed Ali, Nelson Mandela and Bjorn Borg.
LAST YEAR WAS AN AMAZING YEAR FOR YOU. ARE YOU GETTING BETTER WITH AGE, LIKE A GOOD VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE?
I hear that analogy a lot! I feel I played very well in 2003 when I won my first Wimbledon. I am not sure if I am getting better with age or playing better! Last year was one of my favorite years on Tour - maybe my favorite year ever - only because it was so unexpected. I feel like I have been riding a wave, like a wave you would catch all the way to the beach. I feel that I have been riding that wave all of last year. On top of that, the year was perfect with my family and my wife. That is why I loved last year so much.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? WHAT MOËT & CHANDON CHAMPAGNE WOULD YOU PAIR WITH IT?
I grew up as a vegetarian, and at home, I usually eat soups and salads. But I can also enjoy a nice steak! I love great seafood, vegetarian dishes, sushi and sashimi. I prefer light meals and simpler recipes made with organic and high-quality ingredients that I enjoy with a chilled glass of Moët & Chandon Impérial. Vibrant, fresh and delicious, I could well imagine an entire delightful meal just accompanied by it.
Record breaker and unequalled champion, Roger Federer is considered as the best tennis player of all time, so he doesn’t leave anything to chance, especially not the art of ‘savoir vivre’ which he handles, like everything else, with perfection. The ambassador for Moët & Chandon shares some of his secrets about the ‘art of hosting’ to win your next home match.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE GOOD TASTE?
I think that good taste is difficult to define, but you know it when you see it (or when you don’t see it!) It’s a certain style and elegance with a touch of glamour. I believe that you can find good taste in different places – in how you conduct yourself on the court, in fashion, around the table…it’s all in your perspective!
WHAT DOES THE (YOUR) FUTURE TASTE LIKE?
Sweet! I’m having a great time in my career and in my life right now. I’m training, playing, and taking pleasure in the process. And when I’m not playing, I’m able to step back and enjoy, spending time with my wife and kids. That’s one of the most important things to me now and that I hope to continue in the future; keeping a perspective that allows me to take it all in.
IF YOUR SPORT WAS A DRINK, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE?
Tennis is definitely like champagne! It’s lively and effervescent, exciting and elegant. And they’re both things that inspire me to constantly learn more. I’m passionate about learning from tennis every day, and always finding ways to refine my game. And I think that champagne is one of life’s great pleasures, so I like to learn about how it’s created…and taste the results, of course!
WHAT DOES THE ART OF HOSTING MEAN TO YOU?
For me, hosting means the opportunity to create and share a special moment. I like to celebrate milestone moments, successes, or even just quiet moments with family and friends. I like to celebrate with Moët & Chandon because the burst of champagne bubbles creates a joyful ambiance that honors the moment.
WHEN DO YOU FEEL THE MOST COMFORTABLE WHILE BEING ENTERTAINED?
I’m most comfortable when the person who is entertaining is comfortable. I don’t think that you need anything overly formal to entertain. Good friends, good food and drink, good music – that’s all you need to make a great atmosphere and put me at ease!
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF A GREAT EVENING? IS THERE A MAGICAL INGREDIENT?
A great evening is anytime that I’m surrounded by people I love. But if there’s a magic ingredient, it would probably be wine! When the wine comes out, the conversations start up, and everyone begins to enjoy the moment together. My appreciation for wine comes from my parents. For example, when we would visit my mother’s family in South Africa, my father would get excited about the great wines that they have there.
WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD AND DRINK?
I love to eat and drink well, but always in moderation, so I wouldn’t consider any of my pleasures to be guilty. I do love Swiss foods like raclette and fondue. You can take the boy out of Switzerland…
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL WAY OF ENJOYING FINE DINING WITH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE?
When it comes to the people I love, the best way to dine is at home. I really like going out to restaurants when I’m traveling for my work, and exploring destinations through food and drink. But there’s nothing like being relaxed at home and getting my family and friends together to enjoy a great evening.
WHEN ENTERTAINING AT HOME, WHAT IS YOUR SECRET WEAPON?
I’ll admit it, I’m not a very good cook. So my secret weapon is my choice of wines! Some of my favorites are Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1998, Grand Vintage 2004 and Grand Vintage 2006. For me, these vintages represent key moments of achievement in my career. I’m thrilled that Moët & Chandon crafted these great wines that I can serve to accompany my dinners! Also, it’s fun to impress my friends by having them discover Moët Ice Impérial, which is served over ice.