Washington D.C: A die-hard Roger Federer fan, who came out of a 11-year-coma, was shocked when he learned that his idol is still producing top-notch performance at the age of 34.
Jesus Aparicio from Spain was critically injured in a serious car accident while celebrating his 18th birthday on December 12, 2004, which left him in a coma, just after watching Federer complete his first season of domination on the world stage. 2004 was the year when Federer was ranked world number one after having won three of the four Grand Slams of the year.
Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory during the Davis Cup World Group playoff tennis tie match between Switzerland and the Netherlands on September 20 in Geneva. Pic/AFP
The Swiss, 23 at the time, had just beaten Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets in the US Open final, his third Slam of 2004.
On August 27, 2015, Aparicio suddenly woke up and called his mother, with memories of his accident intact. He curiously asked about family, friends and current affairs and also about his Swiss hero.
“It came like a flash to my mind and I asked about Roger,” Aparicio said, according to tennisworld.org.
“I thought he had retired. When I knew that at 34 years old, he is still playing and is number two in the world, I thought they were kidding me. I could not believe it.
“When I heard that he reached 17 slam titles, I put my hands on my face. I knew Federer was very good but I never thought he could win all he has won.”
Federer reached 10 of the next 12 Grand Slam finals after Aparicio suffered his accident, and the avid Fedex supporter was able to watch the Swiss in last month's Flushing Meadows final against Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic was an unknown entity to Aparicio, but he could still appreciate his talent.
“I was astonished to see him [Federer] play well. It’s really amazing,” Aparicio said. “It was a shame he could not win but that Djokovic, he plays very well.”
“I want to see his match before he retires, perhaps his 18th slam. “It would be the dream of my life.”
Aparicio also revealed that he wants to see Federer's match before he draw curtains on his illustrious career.