Federer Dances, Dimitrov Bonds With Cilic On The Bund
It hasn’t been all about tennis for players this week. ATPWorldTour.com provides a recap of the highlights.
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Shanghai Rolex Masters – Shanghai, China
Disney dance-offs, NBA basketballers and a ride on the Metro – it’s been part of a busy return to Shanghai for 2014 champion Roger Federer this week. The Swiss No. 2 seed and Chinese player Wu Di joined Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Goofy on court for a hit with kids on Family Day before squaring off with Mickey in a dance-off.
It wasn’t the 36 year old’s only brush with fame this week as he hung out with NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, on Sunday night before their pre-season game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Shanghai. Federer talked with the team about his love for the NBA and met the likes of Warriors stars Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
“Our team really enjoyed the pre-game visit with Roger,” said Warriors' Head Coach Steve Kerr. “Roger is one of the greatest winners in the history of sports and we thought it would be valuable for our players to hear what has kept him sharp, motivated and at the top of his game after so much success. His insight was invaluable.”
Deciding to mix his routine up a little, Federer took a Metro train to the Shanghai Rolex Masters site on Sunday, an excursion the Swiss great admitted wasn’t always possible in his day-to-day life.
“With the tournament, we looked at something I haven't done really before,” he said. “It's nice to be in a beautiful car and everything, but it's nice to go do that.”
In the player garden of the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, Federer joined forces with tennis legend Bjorn Borg to mingle with guests, answer questions and take photos. Borg was also on hand for the draw ceremony, alongside the tournament's fifth seed Dominic Thiem and Chinese player Zhang Ze.
Taylor Fritz, No. 10 in the Emirates ATP Race to Milan, enjoyed a private VIP tour of Shanghai Disney, where he took part in a meet and greet with Mickey Mouse, tested the rides and stopped by the Mickey Arcade to buy a present for his son, Jordan.
Set to the stunning night backdrop of Shanghai’s skylines, Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov took part in a game of mini tennis with kids on the Fosun Arts Center rooftop overlooking Shanghai's waterfront.
Before hitting the court, all Shanghai Rolex Masters players were invited to the Player's Party, presented by Moët & Chandon, held at CHAR bar in the city's iconic Bund district.