Federer: I didn't know my enormous popularity in Turkey

TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open’s top seed and world no 2. Roger Federer held a press conference at Istanbul Four Seasons Bosphorus Hotel earlier today.

33-year-old Swiss said that he was delighted to be in Istanbul for the first time, “As a world citizen I travel many different cities and countries. I have always heard of Istanbul and here I am now. People are so friendly with full of hospitality. I’m sure that the center court (Garanti Koza Arena) will be a packed stadium as the games start. The atmosphere, the city is marvellous. I enjoy the moment a lot and I hope I’ll stay till the end of the week. I’m here for playing tennis but I expect to visit more of the city.”

Stating that he didn't know his enormous popularity in Turkey and got surprised with the huge interest, Federer told the press that Istanbul Open would add a lot more to Turkish tennis which is on the way of development.


Record holder with 17 major singles titles, Federer has also mentioned about Turkey’s leading player Marsel Ilhan, who he may face in the second round. “Since two years I hear a lot about Marsel. He’s a very warm and funny guy. He has given me important information about Turkish tennis. And I’m sure that I’ll get to learn much more about it during the week. Marsel will face Jarkko Nieminen who’s also a close friend of mine in the opening round. I’ll be happy to meet whoever I’ll play against. But it would surely be a special moment to play against Ilhan in front of Turkish crowd.”


Asked about his clay court season expectations, Roger told that he’s trying to get adapted to clay court, and it would be the best for him to play as many matches as he can on this surface. Dreaming his 85th overall singles title in Istanbul, Federer sees Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the favorites for the French Open title.

Roger Federer will open his Istanbul campaign against the winner of Marsel Ilhan-Jarkko Nieminen encounter in the second round on Wednesday.

Date: 27th April 2015, Source: Istanbul Open


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