A Roger Federer fan who has awoken from a coma after 11 years has spoken of his shock to see his idol still mixing it with the best tennis players in the world, reports tennisworld.org.
When Spain’s Jesus Aparicio was celebrating his 18th birthday 11 years ago – on 12th December 2004 – Federer was 23 years old and had just ascended to the World No. 1 ranking. The Swiss ace had won three of the four Majors that year, but didn’t have any of the numerous records that he has to his name today.
Unfortunately for Aparicio, he got involved in a serious car accident on his birthday, and sustained critical injuries that put him in a coma. So severe were the bruises that the Spaniard remained in that vegetative state for as many as 11 years, waking up only in August this year.
When he regained consciousness, he asked about his family and friends as his speech slowly began to return, but he also wanted to know more about his role model, Federer.
‘It came like a flash to my mind and I asked about Roger,’ Aparicio said, according to tennisworld.org. ‘I thought he had retired. When I knew that at 34 years old, he is still playing and is number two in the world, I thought they were kidding me. I could not believe it.’
‘When I heard that he reached 17 Slam titles, I put my hands on my face. I knew Federer was very good, but I never thought he could win all he has won.’
Federer, in fact, went on to win 8 of the next 12 Majors he participated in, while Aparicio was comatose. He added a good five more even after going past his prime, and is among the best players in the world even today, having reached the last two Slam finals.
The avid Fed supporter was able to watch the Swiss in last month’s US Open final against Novak Djokovic. Djokovic was an unknown entity to Aparicio, but he could still appreciate his talent.
‘I was astonished to see him [Federer] play well. It’s really amazing,’ Aparicio said. ‘It was a shame he could not win but that Djokovic, he plays very well.’
‘I want to see his match before he retires, perhaps his 18th Slam. It would be the dream of my life.’
Jesus Aparicio has a lot to catch up on, having missed the ‘golden generation’of men’s tennis in the last decade. But his Swiss idol still remains one of the best of the best, and that’s all that matters to him right now.
-With New Age input