Roger Federer is considered by many as the greatest men’s tennis player of all-time, one seven Wimbledon championships and 79 overall career titles.
But what really separates Federer from the pack of tennis legends -- as it should be -- is his prowess in celebrity charity ball hockey games.
Witness this Brett Hull-like snipe from the right circle on Sunday at the Rogers Cup, as time ticked down on the imaginary clock we’re sure they were using:
Wow, what a shot! Like a 110 MPH ace in the U.S. Open! Or, given the time and space Federer was given, what any beer leaguer could duplicate when facing a goalie like Jim Cuddy, the 58-year-old vocalist for Blue Rodeo..
The game, held at Rexall Centre’s Centre Court, included such NHL stars as Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel, Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza and fragile free-agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, whom we believe finished the game without a significant injury, against all odds. (One can never be too careful in a post-Steve Mason’s pinky world.)
Here’s something we didn’t know: Federer is a major puckhead, having grown up in Switzerland collecting hockey jerseys and playing ball hockey.
Here’s more from the tennis great on his hockey love:
“I can't skate at all, actually. I can't stop. I have to go in circles," he said. "I used to play some uni-hockey in Europe – plastic ball with holes in it, plastic sticks, much lighter."
Federer said he used to play ball hockey to prepare for tennis matches. Which obviously means that hockey is the key to his historic career success.
Rafael Nadal? No hockey, two Wimbledon titles. Roger Federer? Hockey, seven Wimbledon titles. There are no coincidences in life, people.