Roger is my co-pilot: Federer is in Waze for the perfect drive
A gentle, clean and seductive voice, with a perfect locution, has a clear goal: to show you the best way to arrive safe and sound at your destination. You start driving and Roger Federer, excitedly says: “You, me and the road ahead. Excited for the drive, one point at a time.”
The Swiss virtually sits in the co-driver’s seat to guide your actions behind the steering wheel. Like a coach or doubles partner, he tells you to put your game face on: “We’re gonna win this drive as a team, my friend. We’ve got your reflexes and soft hands for the tricky turns. I’ll guide us from the baseline.”
The former world number one added another facet to his life as a former athlete. Federer signed on as an official voice of Waze, the social app for traffic and GPS-assisted navigation that is owned by Google. In English, German or French, he gives directions so you don’t get lost while driving. “We recently added Roger Federer’s voice to the Waze platform. Users can already live the experience updating the app,” the company confirmed to CLAY.
And that experience is a drive accompanied by tennis references and memories of Federer’s career.
The journey begins.
“Alright. I’m pumped for this drive. I feel rested and ready. Like coming back from a nice vacation. You need time away from the craziness sometime, you know?”
Like the holidays he advertised in the Swiss Alps. Federer and comedian Trevor Noah starred in a cool publicity film for the Swiss government. They ride around with panoramic views on the country’s hyper-punctual trains. He also gives publicity to Lesotho, but in a different way: he visited with his wife Mirka and his two pairs of twins the region where his foundation operates. By the way, a nation of mountainous geography and hiking circuits to disconnect in the Drankensberg mountain range.
Or perhaps it would be better to start the route by car with a somewhat awkward comparison if Federer philosophizes about the similarities between tennis and cars: “I was just thinking about tennis and driving. There are eight basic shots in tennis, and six basic car manoeuvres. If you can do each of those fundamentals well. You are on your way to greatness.”
As a professional athlete, Federer didn’t get to live with the rule that permitted coaching in tennis, insert in mid-2022. Nor is the Swiss interested in coaching any player on the tour at the moment. But as a navigator he shows he is a very good one. “I’m ready to coach you along the way,” his voiceover says, and he even takes the physios’ attributes: “Don’t forget to stretch before our drive today. If you neck turns, if your wrist circles, we don’t want any injuries out there.”
Federer’s advice is precise and timely as entering and exiting the freeways, or when It comes to turn between the streets of any city in the world. As if he were telling his player from the box, before facing a triple break point in his favor: “Exit right. Don’t second guess, just go for it.”
And when it’s time to face a roundabout, that’s when co-pilot Federer gets more creative and poetic.
“Take the first exit. Like a smooth, confident first serve.”
If you have to exit on the second, the metaphor is with the second serve, looking for “accuracy”.
And in case the drive is around a roundabout of a big capital city, big enough to reach a sixth exit, Federer will remember one of his biggest achievements: “Take the sixth exit. Man, I can’t believe I won six titles in Australia!”, exclaims the Swiss, not without the stamp of the Aussie slang at the end with the expression of surprise: “Crickey!”.
Cops on the track? As a good Swiss gentleman, the road doubles partner will ask to “respect the umpires on the road”.
Red light cameras? “We don’t want that kind of papparazzi”.
“I’m going to try to get you from A to B as safely and quickly as possible. I hope you enjoy, then make sure you choose my voice and let’s have a good time together as partners,” Federer said in the recording studios where he documented the lines of the script during the behind-the-scenes that Waze posted on its social networks. The former athlete was seen very comfortable in front of the microphone. “You used to see me on the court, but now you can drive with me. Enjoy the next trip by my side,” he promoted.
The owner of eight Wimbledon trophies is having a great time away from the courts, still not visiting professional tennis events since his retirement in London on September 23rd, 2022. He is always attentive to communicate his steps to his fans through social media in order to “not be a ghost”. Federer’s year has been very busy and glamorous almost without touching racquets: invited to the Met Gala, at Disney World and Formula One.
For nine months he turned down invitations to tennis tournaments. Anyone would want him as an illustrious guest, and the Germans at the ATP 500 in Halle will be the first to have Federer breathing tennis again. They will pay tribute to him at the Westphalia event, just in time for the 30th anniversary of the championship. And Wimbledon? The All England Lawn Tennis Club will pay tribute to its top men’s champion. “We will celebrate Roger in the proper Wimbledon way,” the AELTC confirmed. Last year Federer received the loudest ovation at the 100th anniversary celebration on Centre Court, just a year after he played his last singles match as a pro, when he lost in the quarterfinals to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.
“We’ve arrived. We pulled off another incredible victory”, he says on one of the lines as he arrives at his destination. A victory like the 1251 of his career. And as he used to do, it’s time to “spray in champagne” to celebrate a perfect navigation… “Again!”.