In his first round at Wimbledon, Roger Federer brought up an iconic and milestone moment in an already glittering career when he recorded his 10,000th career ace in the eighth game. Serving at 30-30 to Alexandr Dolgopolov, Federer served out wide and banged in his 10,000th ace (he had come into Wimbledon needing six aces to reach that figure). Now that iconic ball – as it is the case with most things Federer touches – will be put to charity. It made for pretty interesting story for the ball boy Haris Khan too.
“So when I was on court and Federer hit one of his many aces I didn’t know at that time that actually this ball was one he had hit his 10,000th ace with. But later on in the evening when I got home and there was a video up for Federer’s 10,000th ace. That is when I noticed that I had caught the 10,000th ace ball,” Khan told Wimbledon channel.
At this time, he was interrupted by the seven-time Wimbledon champion himself. The Swiss champion queried what was special about the ball and Haris – a little sheepishly – said, “This is your 10,000th ace ball. Once you hit it on my end, I picked it.” Federer, all smiles, asked if he could have it and the young ball boy handed it over.
Federer then suggested it would be a good idea to auction it off to charity. “I think it would be a good to auction it off to charity. Because memoribilia is a great thing and 10,000 is a great, great number,” said Federer who faces Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals.
Haris agreed with Federer and highlighted Wimbledon’s charitable history in this regard. “I think it’s a great idea. Wimbledon has always been so charitable. They resell their tickets and that money goes to charity so good to have that continue,” he said. The ball boy said the single handed backhand by Federer is his favourite shot. “It’s definitely the single handed backhand especially when it is down the line. Something, when I’m ball boy on the court, startles me.”
At that moment Federer shared his experience of being ball boy for two years. “I loved it. For me to spend time with the players and to be on the same court as them was a big thrill. I used to marvel at their rackets and their strings and how they hit shots and now he’s at that same position, I loved to hear it,” said Roger.