Five years ago at the US Open, a video of Roger Federer went viral. In the video, a young boy named Zizou got the chance to talk to the 20-time Grand Slam champion. And taking this opportunity, he asks Federer to continue playing for nine years so that he could have a chance to play against him one day.
Zizou’s questions for Federer are adorable. But perhaps even more adorable was the Swiss player’s response. He told Zizou that if he were ever to go on tour, he would come back to play him. And to seal it in, he even assured him with a pinky promise at the very end.
It’s hard to say no to a kid, right? We’re all a little bit guilty of making promises to children that we don’t end up keeping (or end up forgetting).
But Roger Federer is not that kind of a guy. Five years later, he has made good on his promise.
At the time the promise was made between the two tennis players, Zizou was only around six or seven years old. Now, he’s 11 years old and is currently one of the best players in the United States for his age, at the top of the under-12 category. He has also been training at the John McEnroe Academy in New York.
But even though he is not quite at Federer’s level (yet), the Swiss decided it was as good a time as any to fulfill his pinky promise from years ago.
Together with Barilla and Boomerang, an entire team set up a surprise for Zizou. They flew him into Switzerland, leading him to believe that he would be training there. But what awaited him was something he certainly wasn’t expecting.
And his reaction was priceless. Barilla captured all of it and posted a video to prove that Federer is truly a man of his word.
His reaction to the first set of surprises was already adorable enough. But when he saw his tennis idol Roger Federer come onto the court… We absolutely melted. While we love Barilla for making this video, we also want to complain about not making this a full-length film.
A few days after their meeting, he posted a photo of him and the Grand Slam champion on his Instagram with the most heartwarming message.
In his post, he thanks Federer for “the best day of my life”.
It truly is amazing to see how much of an impact that star athletes like Roger Federer can have on young hopefuls in the sport. Not to mention the amount of joy they could bring to an 11-year-old boy. It’s definitely one of the best parts of sports.
We’re rooting for you, Zizou!