Anyone who knows me, knows that Roger Federer is my all-time favorite tennis player. Hands down. No one else even comes close to Roger, in my mind. So imagine my surprise when I got a call from Tracy Singian of Wilson, asking me to be in a commercial with Roger Federer.
Roger Federer. ROGER FEDERER!! I couldn’t believe it. Tracy told me that Wilson had chosen 3 other juniors to be in the commercial as well. Wow. After I spoke with Tracy, I went back to my practice and I was fired up.
Finally, the day arrived. The commercial was being shot at the JW Marriott in Palm Desert. I had played on those courts lots of times in tournaments, so I was familiar with the atmosphere. I met Tracy last year when I did several videos for Wilson. I also knew Robin Fenlon, who filmed me for those videos. Both Tracy and Robin are cool and easy to work with so I knew the shoot was going to be fun.
But this was a much bigger production than last year’s shoot. When I arrived, I saw Roger through the fence, and there were lights and cameras and crew members everywhere. I went to change into my wardrobe and Tracy came over to say hi and said that there were media people there to do interviews with the juniors. Whoa. I was not prepared for that. My mom told me to stand up straight. Haha
I met Bogdan, the junior from Romania that had flown in for the shoot. I also met Ronnie, who is 4 years old. I already knew Raquel because we used to train together. All of us kids were so excited.
We warmed up a couple of courts over from where Roger was filming, and I saw him watching us. Then we got called over to meet him. I shook his hand. We did some scenes with a lot of action and Roger was having as much fun as we were. He talked to us between takes and I don’t know about the others, but I couldn’t believe how laid back and normal he was.
Then came the scene where I got to hit with Roger. I was so nervous. When the cameras started rolling, I heard Tracy tell my mom that I looked “tight.” Tracy was right. She talked to me and said to just have fun and let it go. We did a second take and I did. I felt really good about my backhand and I started to rip the ball. I was actually exchanging one-handed backhands with Roger Federer!!!!!!!!!!! The Greatest of All Time!! The ball was coming off of Roger’s racquet so cleanly. I had to focus extra hard so that I wouldn’t shank. Haha
After that scene, Roger asked me how long I had had a one-handed backhand. He was asking ME questions. How cool is that?! He told me what it was like going through juniors with a one-hander. I could definitely relate.
I think the commercial is going to be awesome.
I want to say thank you to Tracy, Robin, Mr. Muir, and the whole Wilson Team for giving me this opportunity. Everyone was so nice and they made the shoot so much fun. This was a night I will never, ever forget. It was a dream come true. I think back on it now and I still can’t believe it sometimes. I am very lucky. Life is good.
See you on the courts,