Roger Federer is the absolute crowd puller at the 40th edition of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Thedefending champion from Switzerland arrived on Saturday in Ahoy Rotterdam and has a busy schedule. A brief summary of the Monday of Roger Federer:
10.00: A quiet morning in his room in The Manhattan Hotel. It is calm before the storm. A busy day awaits the number two of the world.
14:00: For some weeks now, an immense racket decorates the Hofplein in the centre of Rotterdam. A photo opportunity of Roger Federer and tournament director Richard Krajicek seems only logical. On location the Swiss regularly blows in his hands to stay warm. When the photographers are ready, he quickly gets back in the car; it's a cold Monday afternoon in Rotterdam.
14.15: A short drive to the Boompjes. There are some banners on the banks of the Maas river. On behalf of the municipality of Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and sports Alderman Antoinette Laan reward Federer, as winner of last year’s edition, with a flag.
14.42: Arrival at the players entrance of Ahoy Rotterdam. Federer makes a quick visit to his dressing room and comes out with his sport clothes and bags. He takes them upstairs, because a press conference with the international press is on the programme.
15.07: "Hello everybody.” Roger Federer greets his friends of the press. He is, like always, friendly to the media: "I feel at home in Rotterdam. This is one of the best indoor tournaments in the world with a very strong field and always lots of spectators."
16.00: Court 1 is almost completely surrounded by fans. 1,600 spectators are waiting for Roger Federer, who is going to train with David Goffin. The Belgian player is right on time and waits in the back with his coach. They are not alone. There is a queue of hundreds of people, who want to see the tennis legend.
16.33: Roger Federer enters Court 1. He is followed by camera crews and photographers. Goffin and Federer are exchanging balls in a relaxed manner. A record number of photos is taken. Nice memories for the fans.
17.47: The muscles are warm after a tough workout. On his way to the players lounge Federer lets some fans take a picture with him. In the lounge the Swiss meets Frenchman Benoit Paire. Federer congratulates him with his place in the final in Montpellier. His tennis outfit goes into the laundry basket and after a refreshing shower he pulls on some classy clothes.
18.30: A short visit to the ABN AMRO lounge where he is invited as a guest of the sponsor.
18.40: His first autograph session during the tournament. On Tennis Plaza hundreds of spectators are waiting for a signature of the best player in history.
19.22: The official opening of the tournament on the centre court with Esther Vergeer and Roger Federer. An impressive video with all of Federer’s Grand Slam victories is displayed. Vergeer and Federer slam some tennis balls into the audience. The Swiss remains modest: "I hope to win some matches this week."
19.59: Roger Federer leaves the catacombs of Ahoy Rotterdam. "It was a busy day, but that’s fine with me. Otherwise I might have done nothing. I'm glad I could help promote the tournament. I’m very flexible, it's no problem for me to do everything in one day.”