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Federer On Wimbledon Security Guard Denying Him Entry

By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, December 8, 2022

Roger Federer played transcendent tennis winning Wimbledon eight times.

Despite soaring on Centre Court for years, Federer recently got the run around trying to enter Wimbledon.

More: Federer's Plans for Fans

In his appearance on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Federer recounted how one security guard did not recognize him and denied him entry into SW19.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was in London for a doctor's appointment and second opinion on his cranky knee. After wrapping the appointment, Federer found himself "with two hours to kill" before his flight back to Switzerland.

The former world No. 1 decided to pop into Wimbledon alongside coach Severin Luthi for some tea before his flight.

Tennis Express

One problem: The security guard failed to recognize one of sport's most famous faces and repeatedly reminded the Swiss superstar entry is only for club members.

As a former Wimbledon champion, Federer is an All England Club member, but didn't have his membership card.

Consequently, RF was rebuffed.

"I have not really been at Wimbledon when the tournament's not on. So I drive up to the gate where usually guests come in," Federer told Noah. "So I quickly get out to tell my coach, Severin, who was with me, I quickly go out and speak to security lady. I got this.

"And I did not.  I'm like yes hello I'm just wondering how I can get into Wimbledon? Where's the door? Where's the gate?

"She's [like]: 'Do you have a membership card?' I'm like do I have one? Because when you win Wimbledon you become a member automatically. I honestly don't know about membership cards they're probably at home somewhere.  I'm like, no, I don't have my membership card but I am a member."

That answer drew a skeptical security response as the guard sent Federer to another entry gate.

"I'm just wondering where I can get in. And she's: 'Yeah, but you have to be a member,' " Federer said. "So I'm like this is going to be a difficult one. I tell her normally when I'm here I'm playing and there's loads of people and I come in a different way. I'm just asking again where I can get in.

"She's like other side but you have to be a member. Now I'm in a panic now and I'm so sorry I still can't believe I say it. I still feel bad about it. I look at her and I say 'I have won this tournament eight times. Please believe me I am a member and where do I get in?'  "

Still, the unvwavering guard refused RF.

Eventually, Federer went to a different gate where a random fan recognized him on the sidewalk and asked for a selfie prompting a different set of security guards to also recognize the Swiss Maestro and lead him into the Club for tea.

"I get out of the car and a random person walks on the walkway and says 'Oh Mr. Federer I can't believe you're here at Wimbledon can we take a selfie?' " Federer said. "I'm like yes, let's take a picture. The security guards standing there are like 'Oh my God Mr. Federer what are you doing here? Do you have your membership card?'

"I'm like 'No, I don't, but is it possible to get in?... 

"[Security said:] 'Of course, we'll open, the door, let me organize it.' I walk in the chairman and everyone there. I was having tea for an hour. I thought of going to the other side and giving a wave that I was in, but I didn't do it."

Retired less than three months, Roger Federer has already received the tennis fan experience at SW19. It's tough to get into Grand Slams even if you're a 20-time Grand Slam champion.

Photo credit: Getty