Roger Federer has played a huge part in the soaring popularity of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, especially with the “match” against Andre Agassi on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab in 2005.
Those images were splashed around the globe and the 17-time grand slam champion says he still gets asked about it to this day.
“It was amazing,” Federer said recently of the event. “We went back on the helipad with Novak [Djokovic] the other day. It is just an amazing feeling being up there again. We had this picture perfect day, no sand storms, just a clear day, no winds.
“I didn’t know at the time, when we were doing this, that it was going to have such an impact. I had an idea of how we could make it better; we had a helicopter, which was going to film it all around, really show on what kind of a platform we were playing, instead of just having a picture taken of the hotel. It can really tell how high up we are and I think that also made a difference.
“Ever since, everybody talks about it and I still hear stories about people saying, ‘OK, can we play tennis there’. They are told, ‘We don’t have one [a court]’, but they go, ‘No, no, I know you do’.”
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