Surprise for young fan: Roger Federer is back – and gives “Zizou” the day of his life

A promise is a promise – Roger Federer knows that too. To keep a promise, the tennis star is returning to the tennis court for the first time since leaving Wimbledon in 2021 and suffering a long-term knee injury. The reason for this: the young tennis player Izyan “Zizou” Ahmad. During a press conference at the US Open in New York in 2017, he told Federer to play “seven or eight years” longer “so that I can play against you”. Federer didn’t hesitate for long and made a promise – “a pinky promise”, as he said at the time.

The various advertising partners also know that Federer also cuts a good figure off the tennis court. The Italian food manufacturer Barilla has also been one of them since 2017. Together with the sponsor, the Swiss brought the young “Zizou” to Zurich. However, without the knowledge of the young American, who believed that he had only come to Switzerland for a few “normal training sessions”.

But the day started anything but normal. Everything was there, from staged fan selfies to their own “Zizou” fan club. When his idol Roger Federer finally stood in front of him and challenged him to a duel, the young player could hardly believe his luck. During the game, Federer was impressed by the 12-year-old’s ability. But who finally won the friendly game was not revealed in Barilla’s short film “The Promise”.

There will most likely not be a repetition of the duel. The age difference between the two is probably too big for that. In the tennis world, however, Izyan Ahmad is no longer an unknown quantity. In his age group he is already number one in the USA. The young talent trains at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) on Randall’s Island in New York City and is part of the USTA National Player Development Program.

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