Federer supports Olympic bid for squash
Tennis star Roger Federer has taken a swing for sister racquet sport squash as he announced his support for the sport's bid to become part of the 2020 Olympics.
Federer met late on Friday in Rotterdam with his women's squash equivalent, Malaysian Nicole David, a six-time world champion and key mover in the campaign to get her sport added to the Olympic line-up for 2020.
Federer gave his public support to that effort as he received a squash racquet during a brief meeting with David. "I used to play squash with my dad a lot," he said. "It would be amazing to get squash into the Olympics."
The world No 2 gave his influential seal of approval to the effort, spearheaded by David. The announcement at the Rotterdam World Tennis event came just a few days after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) eliminated wrestling from the Games.
"It's a wonderful sport. I think squash deserves to be in the Olympics, they run a great tour with great personalities. I'd be very happy for them personally," said Federer.
Malaysia's David, based part-time in Amsterdam, was thrilled to get one of the world's best-known sportsmen on board. "It's tremendous to have Roger Federer supporting our campaign. It's a dream come true for squash.
"He loves the game and was brought up playing squash," she continued. "He wants to see another racquet sport be part of the Olympics Games. He's giving his own time to support the bid. Him making this effort is such a bonus for the squash big picture. This could have a real impact."
Squash supporters led by David will present their case to the IOC in St Petersburg in September when the body will decide what sport or sports it will put forward for inclusion in the 2020 Games.
"We still have a lot of work to keep momentum going. Having Roger Federer supporting it is a huge plus for us. Squash deserves a chance to be part of the Games."