Federer Met With "Mania" During South American Tour; Reportedly Paid $2M Per Match
Tennis player Roger Federer’s exhibition tour in South America, which ended last week, was met with "mania" from fans in attendance, as it was his "first visit to South America as a professional and his first visit of any sort to the three nations on his itinerary: Brazil, Argentina and Colombia," according to Christopher Clarey of the N.Y. TIMES. Federer said, “I’ve had more fans break down here in South America than anywhere else in the world." The tour was “a long way from Wimbledon in both distance and spirit.” Federer played six matches on the tour, “including two in the temporary 20,000-seat stadium constructed in the northern Buenos Aires suburb of Tigre.” He reportedly was paid $2M for each of his six matches, which “surely made this the most lucrative exhibition tour on a per-night basis in tennis history.” But Federer “insisted that money was not his primary motivator.” Federer: “With the season shorter, you can actually do a trip to South America like this." He added, "Of course, you can always do a one-day trip, but ... I don’t think it’s worth it. I felt I needed to organize something that was really going to have an impact: for me personally, and also then for the people.” Federer on the tour also “extended his reach beyond tennis," as he met with Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and soccer legend Pelé. Former ATPer José Luis Clerc, an Argentina native, said, “The reaction of the people, everybody was crazy” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/20).