Just like the incredible story of this fan of Roger Federer who, after waking up from an 11-year coma, first asked about his idol, tennis gathers numerous excessive proof of love, between a fan and his favourite tennis player.
1/ Wawrinka in the skin
April 2013. Under the sun of Monte Carlo, Stanislas Wawrinka appeared not only in top shape but also with a new tattoo on the left arm. "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." A quote from the novel "Worstward Ho" written by Samuel Beckett in 1983. A philosophy of life followed to the letter by one of his fans, who had the same tattoo done last year. He explained on Twitter: "I had a bet with my friends that if Stan won the Australian Open (2014, ed.), I would get the same tattoo than him... I don't regret it. My only mistake is to have done it on the wrong arm since I did it on the right arm and not on the left one."
2/ Marry me
Rafael Nadal and Steffi Graf have something else in common than scratching their ear before serving: both have already received a marriage proposal from a fan at the middle of a game. In 2010, during his match against Lukas Lacko at the Australian Open, the Spaniard answered with a simple smile. In 1996, while her semi-final of Wimbledon against Kimiko Date Krumm was starting to elude her, the German player proved that she had a great sense of humour. Context: "Steffi, will you marry me?" said a spectator before her serve. The entire stadium started laughing. Graff caught the ball, made it bounce, and turned to her secret lover: "How much money do you have?" Proof in image.
3/ « Anna Kournikova, save me! »
William Lepeska, 40, homeless, isn’t a very secret fan. After harassing the former Spice Girl Melanie Brown for five years, he tried in 2005 to catch the attention of his new icon: Anna Kournikova. His battle plan? He swam to the oceanfront mansion of the player in Florida. Once ashore, completely naked, he started screaming: "Anna, save me!" A faint hope given that the latter had sent sexually explicit letters to the same address. And published comparable posts on his website. Before the judge, William Lepeska said, "I thought that maybe Anna had a sincere friendship for me." To the point of getting tattooed her name tattooed on his arm...
4/ Full time fan
May 2012. Jeremy Chardy was facing the Taiwanese Lu Yen-hsun in the first round of Roland Garros. Accompanied by his number 1 fan, wearing a yellow T-shirt. Present, but mostly noisy. At least, he had the merit of making the opponent of the French laugh, and even talk about him at the end of the match: "He comes to all my matches and screams my name all the time. He sings during the change of sides! But I don't know him..."
5/ Kiss me, Rafa!
"To me it wasn't a problem. The guy was very nice. He said, 'I love you" and he kissed me." Rafael Nadal, too, was very nice that day. While he had just defeated Gael Monfils in the second round of the US Open 2009 and was changing his shirt, a 23 years old Spanish fan, Noam Aorta, from Queens, jumped over the fence separating the stands from the court and ran toward Nadal to hug him and kiss him on the cheek. Problem: in the US, you don’t mess with safety. At the time, the loving fan faced a heavy fine and even jail.