Federer and Wimbledon, two unwavering icons

Welcome back! We’re done seeing red. From now on, until we’re back on clay, it’s going to be nothing but the green. I cannot wait for Wimbledon, which wasn’t a given at the start of my career, but gosh, I got addicted to that tennis temple. I’ll tell you more about it soon in the blog.

That’s one heavy purse

"Always Like Never Before" campaign artwork, @AELTC

"Always Like Never Before" campaign artwork, @AELTC

The All England Club saw the US Open prize money increase last year and said, “Hold My Pimm’s.” It didn’t win, but it got close and now, with an 11,9% raise, offers a £50 million bag to this year’s Wimbledon participants. The US Open, which is yet to announce its 2024 purse, gave £50,8 million ($65 million) last year. Roland-Garros and the Australian Open aren’t in the same league anymore with around £45 million. Yet, Wimbledon is daring the US Open to make a move in terms of how much money their winners are going to get in singles, that is to say, £2,7 million compared to £2,3 at the US Open last year.

In a statement received, Deborah Jevans, Chair of the All England Club, said: “With this year’s Championships only days away, I am delighted to announce a record prize money fund of £50 million, with increases for players in every round and across every event. I am particularly pleased that we have been able to increase prize money for the wheelchair and quad wheelchair competitions to £1 million for the first time.” Also, note: “The ladies’ and gentlemen’s doubles prize money fund will increase by 11.9% on 2023, while the Qualifying Competition allocation will rise by 14.9%.”

Overall, Wimbledon’s prize money has doubled in the past ten years.

What else?

  • The Community Tennis Centre at Raynes Park is now complete and has become “an official practice venue for The Championships this year”. We’re told that the site has “16 grass courts, a new Clubhouse with changing and therapy rooms, a café and multi-use function room” and that it “delivers benefits for nature with significant biodiversity enhancements, including a large pond, wildflower meadows, and more than 180 new trees.”

  • The qualifications will still be done at Roehampton, as there remains a lease agreement in place.” There will be an increase of “the daily spectator capacity to 3,500, up by 500 guests a day on last year.”

  • The Queue is getting segmented. “This year, the Queue will be split into three phases of operation: a welcome area which will house the main queue lines; a ticket purchase phase where payments will be taken; and an activation zone where official partners of The Championships will have a presence. Guests in the Queue who have purchased their Show Court tickets – or those who are waiting to be admitted later in the day – will be encouraged to make the most of the activation zone, which will reduce the amount of time they spend waiting to enter the Grounds.”

  • About these strawberries and their cream: they’re getting plastic-free and 100% biodegradable boxes.”

  • The following former players will be honored: Conchita Martinez (30th anniversary of becoming the first Spaniard to win the ladies’ singles title); Andre Agassi (won the first of his eight Grand Slam singles titles at The Championships in 1992; Chris Evert (50th anniversary of her first ladies’ singles title); and Ken Rosewall (finished runner-up in the gentlemen’s singles on four occasions between 1954 and 1974 and won the gentlemen’s doubles title twice.”

Federer never left, and Federer will never leave

There are very few sports icons who can master personal branding the way Roger Federer has been doing it for decades now. A perfect mix of not being in your face all the time but still being around often enough to stay in the collective mind. And so remaining an influence. He may have retired from tennis, but he’s still a major part of it and regularly reminds us that he’s still around. How could he not, after all the years he’s spent at the top of the game, how much he’s still a tennis icon and the ever-growing business he has built out of it?

There’s always going to be a good reason to write the words Roger Federer in the tennis news reports. His “On” company is making waves and has just signed Zendaya. Then, he gave that amazing commencement speech at Dartmouth College after receiving a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. The truth is I had to work very hard to make it look easy,” he said that day.

 I think I didn’t give Novak the respect he deserved

Roger Federer

And now we’re landing smoothly on the release of his documentary, Federer: Twelve Final Days, to be released on Amazon Prime on June 20th. The Guardian, who was able to see it already, hasn’t been impressed, but there is little doubt that the tennis world will still embrace that so-rare glimpse into a champion’s world previously kept under wrap.

Again, Roger Federer knows how to take the promotion into his own hands and how to deliver the snippets that are going to make us rush to Amazon Prime. He had waited all these years, but he finally said it: he got it wrong on Novak Djokovic. But also, let’s be real, the animosity between the two champions always brought something extra special to their encounters, so I am personally happy that Roger didn’t go soft earlier on Novak. We already had the Fedal tennis love story, so we needed the spicy rivalry. Oh, did you miss that Louis Vuitton campaign with both Federer and Nadal up a mountain, released right before Roland-Garros? Another proof of the genius move of the Fedal branding.

“I guess he was the party crasher of Rafa and Roger fans”

Roger Federer about Novak Djokovic

I think I didn’t give Novak the respect he deserved because of his technical flaws. I felt like Novak had a very extreme forehand grip, and his backhand, for me, wasn’t as fluid as it is nowadays. But then he ironed those things out super well and became an unbelievable monster of a player,” he said, as quoted by The Times. He added what was obvious from the start: Djokovic’s biggest flaw to many back in the day was just to be there. “I guess he was the party crasher of Rafa and Roger fans,” Federer said. “There was a lot of Rafa-Roger love there, so when Novak came, a lot of people probably said, ‘Look, we don’t need a third guy. We’re happy with Roger and Rafa’. (…) “I think also Novak was triggered by the relationship with the fans.”

When a sports icon retires from the sport, many people are hit by nostalgia as they fear they’ll never see that person again and aren’t sure they’ve enjoyed enough while they were still playing. But you won’t feel anything like it with Roger Federer, as you didn’t for Michael Jordan. Why? There are two reasons: Roger Federer is a part of our collective tennis consciousness, and Roger Federer will never go away the way Pete Sampras did. Federer is always here to stay because he wants to and because people refuse to let him go. That’s not for nothing he’s called a living legend.

Is nostalgia a thing for you?

You were 85,71% saying that, yes, Iga Swiatek and Carlos Alcaraz were the new generational athletes.

Are you interested in reading about former tennis champions?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Swiatek also wins the dough competition

Comedy Pop GIF by Schitt's Creek

Gif by schittscreek on Giphy

You Gotta Catch ‘Em All, tennis version. Iga Swiatek is already the World No.1 and has just won her fourth Roland-Garros, but she’s not stopping the domination there: she’s now leading both the WTA and the ATP in the “money maker” department. No man or woman has earned more money on the court so far this year than Iga Swiatek.

How much did Iga make? $6,69 million, reports Sportico. Carlos Alcaraz isn’t even coming second to Swiatek but fourth with $4,52 million. You can see the full ranking here. Sportico’s reporter Lev Akabas explains that it’s the first time since Kim Clijsters in 2003 that a female player leads both Tours. That year, Clijsters beat Roger Federer, $4,47 million to $4 million.

A trailer, a deal, and a push for sustainability

  • It’s not the start of the grass season if we don’t get to experience the power of Wimbledon’s influence. Let’s be honest: Their communication department rarely disappoints. This year again, they’ve come up with a pretty efficient trailer for the 2024 edition, “Always Like Never Before.” I still think way more space should be given to the strawberries, though…

  • The Davis Cup has a new official banking partner as the international banking group UniCredit is coming in from 2024 until the end of 2026, the ITF announced in a statement. “UniCredit’s new online banking service, buddy, will have visibility at Davis Cup ties and events for the next three years.”

  • The International Tennis Hall of Fame keeps its sustainability sponsor, 11th Hour Racing, as it has signed on to renew the partnership. “11th Hour Racing supports all aspects of the ITHF’s operations, including the Infosys Hall of Fame Open in July. This sponsorship promotes sustainable practices such as composting, carbon offsetting, eliminating single-use plastics, and using sustainable and recycled products,” the ITHF said in a statement.

    The Infosys Hall of Fame Open achieved carbon-neutral status last year and intends to keep pushing to get greener. This year, it will expand “its sustainability initiatives at this year’s tournament by introducing reusable cups at all bars and concession stands, in addition to providing canned beverages instead of plastic, educating fans on proper waste disposal and composting managed by an on-site Green Team, and tracking waste to minimize its footprint.”

Diabetes tech, a new tool to get an edge?

If you start spotting patches on athletes’ skin at the Olympics and you’re wondering what’s going on, no, they’re not being guided by AI. They’re using diabetes tech, explains Reuters. But no, the chance is that they’re not diabetic, though. So what’s going on? Well, it’s the usual race to get an edge.

What are these patches? They’re CGMs. What? Continuous Glucose Monitors. They’re attached to the skin in order to control glucose levels and were developed to help diabetic people deal better with their insulin shots. Manufacturers are already making billions of dollars per year with this technology, but they could start making even more money now that athletes are getting into the picture. The cost for an athlete to use could be up to $190 a month.

Why would athletes use these CGMs? Well, the benefits are thought to be several: determining calorie intake, training intensity, finding answers to exhaustion through workouts, assessing what energy is available or not to the body, and determining if you’re training too hard or not hard enough. It’s basically tracking one’s tank.

Every endurance sport is getting more than curious about the device. Dutch marathon runner Abdi Nageeye, who won silver in Tokyo, is already said to be using it for example. Nageeye has been sponsored by one of the makers of the device, Abbott, since 2021. Not everybody is happy about that: The UCI (cycling governing body) banned the use of the device during races in 2021, but they’ve been on their own so far. Researchers have also been unable to prove that the CGMs give a competitive advantage, but they’re also saying that usage is still early.

Swiatek takes a break

Madrid Open Tennis GIF by WTA

Gif by wta on Giphy

It’s not a big surprise, but now it’s official. After a very long and successful clay stretch, Iga Swiatek is hitting the pause button. She will not be in Berlin when the tournament starts next Monday. Due to overall physical and mental fatigue after an intense nine weeks, unfortunately, I do need to withdraw from the tournament in Berlin in order to rest and recover,” she said in a statement.

I asked her, after she won Roland-Garros, if she had learned anything about her or her game while going through all of this clay season. She said, At the beginning of eight weeks ago, when I went to Fed Cup, and then I didn't come back home for all these weeks, I was, like, ‘How am I going to survive that’? But here I am. I learned that if I enjoy life off the court, and I really enjoyed being in Madrid, Rome, and here, it helps me also to be fresh on the court.” But now it’s obviously time to enjoy life without being on the court. She reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year.

Nadal and Alcaraz to team for the gold

Bad news: Rafael Nadal won’t play at Wimbledon. Good news: it’s not because he’s injured but because he’s chasing gold, and so sparing himself a too-quick-to-be-safe change of surfaces. Yes, it’s a gold-digging era right now as the Olympics are getting closer, so one needs to make choices.

So Rafa made his choice: he’ll stay on the clay in order that the next time he leaves Roland-Garros, it’s with a shiny medal around his neck. David Ferrer, the national team coach, announced on Wednesday that Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will be paired for the Games. The other pair for Spain hasn’t been decided yet. Both Nadal and Alcaraz will also play in singles. The other members of the team are Pablo Carreno Busta, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, and Marcel Granollers. Bonus good news for the Rafa fans: if they live in Sweden or can get there, Nadal announced he’ll play in Bastad (15-21 July) to prepare for the Olympics.

If Nadal retires this year, his last match at Wimbledon would be a quarter-final win against Taylor Fritz in 2022, before he withdrew due to an abdominal injury. Nadal and Alcaraz have never played together before, and it’ll remain to be seen how the younger one is dealing with coming to clay right from the grass. But for sure, that team looks very fine on paper.

Murray might not come back to Paris

Talking about who’s in and who’s out of Paris 2024, it could be that Sir Andy Murray decides to skip the event. Beaten in the first round in Stuttgart, the two-time Olympic champion (2012, 2016) is not sure his body can handle going back to clay whereas it’s been struggling through it the past few weeks.

I’m not 100% sure what the situation is there with the doubles yet and whether or not I will play if I just get in the singles. I don’t know. My body didn’t feel great playing on the clay in the last month or so. I had quite a few issues with my back, so I don’t know if I would go just for singles. I need to wait a little bit and see on that,” he told the press after his loss in Germany. Britain could send Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski instead.

Gauff made a difference in San Diego

In 2022, Coco Gauff reached the quarter-finals in singles and won the doubles of the inaugural San Diego Open. And soon after, she won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open. Surely she didn’t guess that by doing this, she would make a massive difference back in San Diego for two well-known tennis clubs: the Peninsula Tennis Club at Robb Field and the Mountain View Sports & Racquet Club. And yet she did.

To celebrate her victory, the USTA created the U.S. Open Legacy Initiative to improve tennis courts around the country, with $3 million in grants matching Gauff’s winning prize.” What did it mean for these two clubs in Sand Diego? The USTA donated $40,250 to Peninsula and $28,750 to Mountain View. It helped to resurface new courts and improve facilities. It also prevented the Peninsula from being taken over by pickleball, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Mountain View is still able to offer scholarships.

A Berrettini collection made by BOSS

The BOSS x Berrettini capsule in Stuttgart

Matteo Berrettini has been struggling with his health for some time already, but he’s still hot property for BOSS. In Stuttgart (8-6 June), the Italian player made a winning return after last playing in Monte-Carlo. He also made a winning return off the court with that BOSS x Berrettini capsule collection, which was available to people attending the tournament in Stuttgart at a pop-up store. The special collection will also be available online and in a few BOSS stores starting June 12. The store looks like a sports bag from the outside, and we respect the commitment to the theme.


READ: The timing couldn’t be better to get through The People's Wimbledon: Memories and Memorabilia from the Lawn Tennis Championships. A great way to get into the Championships mood from the people who’ve been there before. A trip down memory lane, in words and pictures.

WATCH: As it might be Andy Murray’s last Wimbledon, I cannot stress enough how much one needs to watch Resurfacing, the documentary from Amazon Prime, with Murray’s collaboration, about hi ship injury journey.

LISTEN TO: The New York Times Audio launched, on June 2nd, a podcast called “Animal”. Reporter Sam Anderson journeys around the world and encounters an array of animals and the people who care deeply for them. Expect meditations on life, love, and wonder. Also: death, climate change, and mass extinction”, says Vulture, and I’m sold.


  • As there’s no way you’re going to leave your seat on Centre Court to charge that phone: use this.

  • We know they’re not exactly sexy, but when you want to keep those toes out during the summer and still be ready for the rain trying to crash your party, you’re going to have to put these Teva sandals on.

  • You’re on the move this summer and want to keep your devices safe: have you thought about a travel voltage converter?

  • When the party or the Pimm’s at Wimbledon have been hitting too hard, take a few sips of Liquid I.V.

  • As a clumsy person who also loves the sea, I’m telling you: protect that phone.

*If you buy something from some of these links, I may earn an affiliate commission