“I owe you big time,” he says. – Roger Federer remembers that Bjorn Borg thanked him for preserving his record and defeating Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001.

Roger Federer recently recalls receiving a thank-you from Bjorn Borg for preserving his record and defeating Pete Sampras at the 2001 Wimbledon Championships. In the fourth round, the Swiss, who was still in the early stages of his career, overcame the American tennis veteran 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 7-5 to get to his first Wimbledon quarterfinal.

“I also had a humorous tale with Björn from my victory over Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001. Sampras aimed to win Wimbledon for a record-tying sixth time in a row. When my representative said, “Hey, look, I’ve got somebody on the phone with you who wants to talk to you,” it was Björn. It was then that Björn told me, “Roger, I just wanted to let you know, thank you so much for protecting my record,” since he had won five straight times. And I thought, “Well, okay. You’re welcome, really. Though not because of you, I did it nonetheless.” 41:50

“He’s the one that opened the door for us players to be more than just tennis players,” says Roger Federer of Borg Bjorn. The Game in Africa: Arrival Press Conference of Roger Federer The Game in Africa: Arrival Press Conference of Roger Federer Federer said in the same documentary how much Bjorn means to him as a hero. He described how the Swede made tennis players become brand ambassadors and magazine cover models, elevating them above the status of mere athletes.

“Björn Borg has long been one of my heroes. I will continue to refer to him as the king at all times. It was thanks to him that we tennis players could now pursue careers beyond merely playing the game. To be able to represent a brand and appear on magazine covers, I suppose. I believe he was the one who broke through the barrier that they were made for models rather than athletes. Ironically, he retired at the age of 26, 27, which is absurdly early, and I retire at a much later age. It used to be that we hardly ever saw Björn. He declared, “So, although he was an icon, he was untouchable” (40:06).

Ever since his career began, Federer has served as an ambassador for numerous well-known businesses, including Mercedes-Benz, Credit Suisse, Rolex, and Moët & Chandon. Federer has continued to serve as a corporate ambassador after retiring. He recently appeared in an advertisement for the French fashion brand Louis Vuitton, climbing the Dolomites with Rafael Nadal, his opponent.

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