Unprecedented Access to All-Time Great during Exhibition Tour
Half-Hour Show December 17
ESPN will bring fans closer than ever to Roger Federer with Roger Federer: Everywhere is Home on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. ET and unprecedented access to the 38-year-all tennis legend during his recent five-exhibition tour of Latin America. Roger Federer: Everywhere is Home is a captivating portrait of a beloved global hero being embraced by adoring fans everywhere he goes, in a region where he had visited only once before.
ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi hosts the half-hour show, travelling through Latin America with the superstar and his entourage, and conducting multiple interviews during the very intense week-long journey in November.
The show captures many memorable moments on and off the court during that week. A clear standout was the shattering of the record for largest attendance at a single tennis match in history, when 42,517 delirious fans watched Federer tangle in an immense bull fighting stadium in Mexico City with his sparring partner for each match on the trip, young German star Sascha Zverev. Other sold-out, thoroughly festive exhibitions were played in Chile, Argentina and Ecuador. Federer and his team even received a very direct taste of the political unrest currently troubling the region when a match in Bogota, Colombia was abruptly called off just as it was starting, due to a suddenly-imposed 8 p.m. government curfew designed to control brewing street riots.
Reflecting on the journey, Federer himself was enchanted and humbled by the experience, and the overwhelming reception he received everywhere he traveled. “It was an unbelievable and amazing trip, each step along the way as the fans expressed their love of the sport and appreciation for the experience,” said the 20-time Grand Slam champion. “There were so many highlights, it was truly a magical adventure and a blast as well.”
Rinaldi added, “Before this trip, I’d interviewed Federer dozens of times, but on this trip, in planes, locker rooms and hotel suites, and through police motorcades, my understanding of him was almost completely recast. The reach of his fame, the reserves of his energy, the connection he has with fans – and the reservoirs of good will he engenders – all were unlike anything I’d ever witnessed. More than once, fans wept seeing him. At the start of the tour, we asked him why he wanted to do this, at 38 years old and after a long, exhausting season. ‘Motivation,’ was the heart of his answer.
“At the end of the tour, after his fourth straight night with less than four hours sleep, having played his last two matches at altitudes above 7,000 and 9,000 feet, respectively, he was still the most energetic on his entire team. And more motivated than when he’d started.”
Roger Federer: Everywhere is Home was produced in collaboration with TEAM8.
ESPN and Tennis
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air, providing numerous memorable moments from around the world, but it has never been as important as today, with the unprecedented position of presenting three of the sports Major events from start to finish (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open, with exclusivity at the latter two. ESPN’s next tennis is first-ball-to-last-ball coverage of the Australian Open from January 19 – February 2.