In anticipation of Roger Federer’s long-awaited return to the tour, ATP lately spoke with two ‘superfans’ about their bond with the Swiss. A type of superfans is India’s Sunita Sugita, who has been supporting Federer since 2003 and has additionally watched over 100 matches of the 20-time Main champion.
Sunita Sugita hails from Kolkata, one among India’s most populous cities. Kolkata additionally boasts of a wealthy tennis heritage, having produced gamers like former Davis Cup runner-up Jaidip Mukerjea and one of many biggest doubles gamers of all time, Leander Paes.
Whereas talking with ATPtour.com, Sugita listed out the explanations that drew her to Roger Federer. Based on her, the Swiss legend is a magnetic and heat one that treats his followers like they had been his household.
“There’s something so particular and charming about him,” Sugita mentioned. “His recreation is there in fact, the grace with which he performs. Once you meet him, there’s something that pulls you to him. You simply get drawn to him, the best way he treats us, he makes you are feeling like you’re part of his prolonged household.”
Sugita revealed that she first watched her idol in motion through the 2008 version of Wimbledon. However her most particular encounter with Roger Federer occurred in 2012 at Basel, the place the 39-year-old shocked her by remembering her identify.
“I actually couldn’t cease shaking the primary time I noticed him on Centre Court docket (at Wimbledon),” Sugita went on. “I nearly collapsed when he referred to as me by my identify (in Basel). I don’t bear in mind what I mentioned to him. I used to be speechless. He remembered my identify!”
Roger Federer is my ardour and my idol: Sunita Sugita
Going across the globe to observe tennis tournaments is a really costly affair, however one that’s price each penny for Sunita Sugita. The Indian not directly admitted to having spent extensively on her travels to observe Roger Federer, however asserted that it was cash effectively spent.
“I can’t calculate all of it,” Sugita mentioned. “However it’s all the time price it. Roger is my ardour, he’s my idol. I’m going to spend all my cash on him.”
For Sugita, it issues little if Roger Federer does not finish his profession with probably the most Slams or even when he fails so as to add to his present tally of 20. Federer will all the time maintain a particular place in her coronary heart, no matter his tennis feats.
“He has given us the whole lot he has,” Sugita added. “It’s not nearly numbers, there’s a lot extra to Roger than the quantity 20 [Majors]. I don’t wish to cry when he retires, I wish to have a good time him.”
Sunita Sugita additionally believes that Roger Federer’s harm and subsequent rehabilitation interval had been a blessing in disguise, as they ensured that he wasn’t pressured to journey and expose himself to the dreaded coronavirus.
“I didn’t need him travelling at a time like this as a result of I don’t need him to catch coronavirus,” Sugita mentioned. “It was a reduction to know that I didn’t have to fret [about Roger getting sick] for the remainder of the 12 months.”
Throughout the lockdown interval, Sugita additionally had a chance to evaluate and cherish all her recollections with Roger Federer.
“I’ll dwell with all of the moments and recollections I’ve shared with him,” she added. “That’s what I realised within the lockdown. I’m so glad I’ve had an opportunity to observe my dream and my ardour.”