Roger Federer has been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and is one of just six chosen to grace a cover.
The 36-year-old, who won his 20th major title at the Australian Open in January, joins activist Tarana Burke, comedian Tiffany Haddish, actress Nicole Kidman, singer Jennifer Lopez and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as cover stars for the edition.
NBA star Kevin Durant, American football player J.J. Watt, cricketer Virat Kohli, gymnast Rachael Denhollander, Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon and Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim are the other athletes on the list.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, writes in Time: “It’s no secret that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player ever.
“As David Foster Wallace wrote, he is “one of those rare, preternatural athletes who appear to be exempt, at least in part, from certain physical laws.” He also seems exempt from the laws of ageing. At 36, he’s still winning Grand Slams with a combination of grace and grit.
“But not as many fans know about what Roger is doing off the court. Twice I’ve had the thrill of being his doubles partner to help raise money for his foundation, and we’ve become friends in the process.
“I’ve learned how sincerely Roger and his team are working to improve the life prospects for poor children—a mission that stems from his childhood visits to his mother’s home country of South Africa and seeing extreme poverty first hand.
“Roger knows that effective philanthropy, like great tennis, requires discipline and time.
“It will be a sad day for all of us fans when he hangs up his racket—but we can take comfort in knowing that he’s committed to making the world a more equitable place.”
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