For decades, Swiss sports fans have celebrated together as Roger Federer’s achievements rewrote the tennis record books throughout his legendary career. Now, the nation of more than eight million is gearing up for the biggest celebration of all in honour of the former World No. 1.
As reported in Blick, the country’s biggest national newspaper, Switzerland is pondering whether to postpone its National Day by one week – to August 8th, 2021, the same date as Federer’s 40th birthday.
The initiative began as members of Swiss Parliament voiced their support for the move on social media, where it has also gained the approval of Federer’s fervent fanbase.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Switzerland has made a grand gesture to show its affection for its champion Federer. The 39-year-old became the first living person to receive a Swiss stamp in their honour in 2007 following his Wimbledon triumph, and just last year he received his own 20-franc silver coin from Swissmint.
Born on August 8, 1981, Federer’s birthday actually predates the Swiss national holiday by 13 years. While the founding of the Swiss Confederacy has been celebrated annually on August 1 since 1899, it has only been an official holiday since 1994. By that time, a teenage Federer was already well on his way to becoming Swiss National Champion in all categories.
The rest is written in the sport’s history books, with Federer racking up accolade after accolade along with his haul of 20 Grand Slams and 83 ATP Tour titles.
Currently No. 6 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, the Swiss is taking the first steps in his return to ATP Tour action after undergoing knee surgery last year. He contested two three-set matches at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, his first tournament since January 2020.