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roger federer surprise

Photos by franz88 (licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) and Doha Stadium Plus (licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Roger Federer gave a young tennis player the surprise of a lifetime.

Most kids who play a sport have a favorite player they look up to, but most kids don’t get the chance to meet their idol face to face, much less have the gumption to challenge them to a competition.

In 2017, a 6-year-old boy named Izyan Ahmad (better known by his nickname, Zizou) had the opportunity to talk to tennis great Roger Federer at a press conference at the U.S. Open. Zizou asked the tennis great the cutest question: “Hi, Mr. Federer. Can you please continue to play for eight, nine years so that I can play you when I go pro?” Federer said yes. “Is that a promise?” Zizou prodded. “Pinky promise,” Roger responded with a huge grin.

It was a sweet encounter, but one most wouldn’t expect to go beyond a cute viral moment.

Fast forward to 2022. Zizou is now 11 years old and has ranked as the No. 1 player under age 12 in the U.S in both singles and doubles. He serves as Eastern ambassador for the U.S. Tennis Association and is clearly on his way to a successful tennis career.

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