The hero of all Switzerland and Juliette the cow
Monday 21 June 2004
Over the past 12 months, Roger Federer seems to have garnered almost as many headlines for the cow he received as a congratulatory present from his countrymen as he did for actually winning Wimbledon itself.
It is hardly surprising. Anyone who witnessed the 800kg milking cow - Juliette - walk out into the Roy Emerson Arena (the centre court at the Suisse Open in Gstaad) to greet the new Wimbledon champion just two days after his triumph, will probably never forget it.
"I thought I would just walk on court, salute the crowd, maybe say a few words, and then walk off again," said Federer, who had made his professional debut as a wild card at the same tournament six years earlier. "Then suddenly, out of nowhere, along she came!"
Since then, the Swiss star has barely attended a post-match press conference without someone asking him about his cow, whether or not he had brought her with him, and was she planning to start a family any time soon. "Look, the guy had just won Wimbledon, so whatever we gave him would seem silly, so we gave him a cow," said the Gstaad vice-tournament director, Claudio Hermenjat, clearly amused at the furore their choice of gift had provoked.
Not that Federer was complaining. "It's nice to have a cow," he said. "It's such a quiet animal, and so big."
Useful too. Juliette now lives in the hills above Gstaad, and Federer receives cheese from her on a regular basis. He has milked her twice, she has already given birth to a calf, and her public appeal continues to grow.
"Juliette is huge - everyone wants a piece of her now," confirms Hermenjat. "We have these pictures on our website that are free-of-charge for the media, and photographers have downloaded them, claimed that they own them, and sold them."
"I went on the internet and searched Juliette and Federer one day, and there was an article in an Indian newspaper about them. Roy Emerson was even getting calls from Australia with people asking what a cow was doing on his court."
So, what will they give him if he successfully defends his title? Hermenjat insists they have no plans, but Federer is already preparing himself. "They will think of something," he said with a grin.
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils