"NetJets is definitely part of the winning formula for me on the Tennis Tour"
We recently caught up with sporting legend Roger Federer, following his win at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. An Owner since 2004, Roger talks to us about the benefits of flying with NetJets, his career highlights and that famous 'Sneaky Attack by Roger' shot...
Tell us about your NetJets history, you’ve been an Owner for a long time…
I’ve been a NetJets customer since 2004, I had fellow Tennis players who told me I should be part of the programme and become a NetJets owner. I think it was one of the best decisions I’ve made! I think it’s part of my longevity actually, that I’m still on tour – it makes travelling so much easier today. I think it does save me a whole lot of energy that could be quite crucial down the stretch of the season, in a match, maybe a few years down the road. Just things are so much simpler travelling with NetJets. It’s been a great decision to be with the NetJets family and they’ve served me so well for so many years that they are definitely part of the winning formula for me on the tennis tour.
I think NetJets excels at their service, the reliability and their safety. When I look back at a very important moment in my career, being with NetJets was a great benefit during the Beijing Olympics back in 2008. I had to fly from Cincinnati to Beijing and back to New York and the idea was to really save energy, save time… and NetJets was right at my services, they were there to help me. I went to Beijing, won the Olympic Gold, came back to New York, won the US Open and it was the first time I won that year so it was a really crucial time and NetJets was part of that. They’re very reliable and great service and we really love flying with NetJets.
What are the main benefits to you that are offered by flying with NetJets?
Flying with NetJets, I feel the benefit is that it is really simple – to order a jet, things are easy. You are leaving from a small airport, you’re private - in the cabin you are only with your family, with your friends, with your coach so you can even have meetings or whatever needs to be done, can be done in a very private matter. And you are getting from A to B very efficiently and super-fast and in the process you are saving energy which then could be important on the tennis court.
With NetJets, they are super flexible. As I don’t know whether I will be winning or losing in the tournaments so it might change very quickly. The moment match point is over there might be a change of plan and I can call NetJets and ask them if they can have a flight that day or if I can have a plane the next day. Because they have such a huge fleet, actually flexibility is really easy with NetJets.
How important to you is safety?
NetJets does an amazing job of keeping us safe. Especially now having family as well, I think it is crucial to feel comfortable when you get on the plane. But, I feel super safe, they take big precautions: before the flight, they check the routes and let us know if they can’t fly in to certain places because of fog or a short runway, so we are always very much aware of what’s happening. They communicate very well with us, so safety is great with NetJets and I really appreciate that.
Tell us about your famous ‘Sneaky attack by Roger’ shot. What it is and how do you use it?
I’m always trying to look for new ways to keep it exciting for myself and also sometimes of course for the fans. But it has to work and it has to be successful so I started to really take the ball super early from my opponents serve as a joke in practice. My coach told me ‘why don’t you try that’, because he was always telling me to take the return earlier and that I was too shy to step too far into the court. So once I said ‘you mean like this?’ and I completely exaggerated and I basically half-volleyed my opponents serve. And I started to use it not only in practice but in matches and people were like ‘Oh my god, what’s this?’. So we called it ‘Sneak attack by Roger’ i.e. the SABR. Anyway, I used it in the finals of the US Open. I’ve used it almost in every country I play in and people now to some extent expect it to happen. It’s really hard to practice because I think it’s a little bit disrespectful to the opponent but at the same time, it’s so much fun to do it! When you fail it’s terrible, when you make it its’ wonderful. So it’s pressure but it’s good fun and fans seem to enjoy it as well.
Who would be your ideal doubles partner?
Probably John McEnroe or Stefan Edberg because they were both incredible at the net, great winners and great fighters and also great doubles players. They’ve both, I think, been world number one and I never was in doubles so I could learn from them.