Home » When Neeraj Chopra met Roger Federer: Banter, bonhomie and mutual respect

When Neeraj Chopra met Roger Federer: Banter, bonhomie and mutual respect

When Neeraj Chopra met Roger Federer: Banter, bonhomie and mutual respect

With their fame, success and weighty legacy sitting lightly on their shoulders, it came as no surprise when Roger Federer and Neeraj Chopra gushed about each other during a recent rendezvous, which was marked by mutual respect, admiration, and stories of triumph and dedication.

India’s Olympic and world champion thrower Neeraj Chopra meets tennis legend Roger Federer in Zurich(PTI)

Switzerland Tourism set the ball rolling by uniting the 20-time Grand slam winner and the Olympic and world champion from India at Zurich’s La Reserve Eden au Lac for a casual and free-flowing conversation.

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It is not often that one gets to see two dedicated, charming, and passionate sportspersons who have done their respective countries proud with their achievements, occupying the same space.

“I am amazed by how much Neeraj has achieved personally and for his country through his grit and determination.

“It’s been great to meet him here in Zurich,” said Federer, the global ambassador for Switzerland Tourism.

Federer, known for his longevity and prowess on and off the tennis court, warmly welcomed Chopra who is also Switzerland Tourism’s Friendship Ambassador, to his home country, which was “a dream-come-true-moment” for the 26-year-old Indian.

“It’s a dream come true for me to meet Roger Federer here in Zurich. I have always admired his skill, his spirit of true sportsmanship and his ability to inspire millions around the world.

“Today, however, what inspired me the most was his humility and his easy-going charm that made me feel so comfortable in his presence.

“We had a wonderful time exchanging notes about our respective passions and life’s experiences on and off the field,” said Chopra.

While Federer presented Neeraj with an autographed tennis racquet, Chopra handed the former World No 1 a signed India jersey from the Asian Games.

Chopra — who became India’s second individual Olympic gold medallist at the pandemic-affected Tokyo Olympics in 2021 — is hoping to repeat the feat at the Paris Olympics later this year.

Since winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Games, Chopra has scripted more history by claiming a silver and an unprecedented gold medal at the World Athletics Championships.

He also retained his Jakarta Asian Games gold medal at Hangzhou last year.