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IPTL: When even Roger Federer had goosebumps...

World No 2 tennis ace overwhelmed by reception from fans in capital

New Delhi: Watching Roger Federer stepping on to the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium courts for the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) surely made the hair stand up on every spectator's body.

Roger Federer does a post-match interview yesterday. Pics/Getty Images
Roger Federer does a post-match interview yesterday. Pics/Getty Images 

But the reception he got in the capital ensured that even Federer, a man who has won 17 Grand Slams to date, had goosebumps.

Vociferous crowd
"As soon as all the flashbulbs started going off when I entered the arena, I got goosebumps. It was a cool moment in my career," the 33-year-old from Basel said yesterday.

Federer arrived in the wee hours of the morning, but showed no signs of sluggishness. In fact, he was razor sharp with his volleys as he partnered India's Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles and Rohan Bopanna in the men's doubles.

Roger Federer of Indian Aces signs autographs after his victory over Singapore Slammers' Tomas Berdych at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium yesterday.
Roger Federer of Indian Aces signs autographs after his victory over Singapore Slammers' Tomas Berdych at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium yesterday.  

"I was striking the ball well, and I lapped up the ovation from this vociferous crowd. This is an exhibition event so I was toying with the idea of playing three matches in a row, and I thought of a substitution and letting Gael Monfils play for one of the doubles, but I felt pretty good out there so I continued," stressed the Swiss ace.

"This is a fascinating part of the world and I have loved the reception I have received in India," the World No 2 added.

While Federer loved the reception he got in the country, he revealed that he was unhappy with the innovations developed for this format to make tennis more speedy and attractive.

"The no lets on serves is irritating and I don't see it being implicated on the main tour. The shot clock, whereby you lose a point if you don't serve in 20 seconds, is unreasonable."

He is also not fond of the 'no advantage' rule. With that, Federer returned to his hotel, probably to munch on his favourite chicken biryani and chalk out a plan on how to defeat World No 1 Novak Djokovic today.

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