Roger Federer fan wakes from coma 11 years later stunned his idol is still on top
September 22, 2015 1:32pm
WIND the clock back to late 2004.A 23-year-old Roger Federer had just completed his first truly phenomenal season, winning three of the four grand slams, including thumping Lleyton Hewitt 6-0 7-6 6-0 in the US Open final.
On December 12 of that year, Jesus Aparicio — a huge Federer fan — was in a serious car accident while out celebrating his 18th birthday.
The incident left the young man from Seville in a coma he would not wake from until August 27 this year.
When he finally woke, Aparicio called out and his mother was in the bathroom of the room he was staying in. Over the coming weeks, Aparicio’s speech slowly recovered. He would ask about family, friends and current affairs — but he would also ask about his idol, Roger Federer.
“It came like a flash to my mind and I asked about Roger,” Aparicio said, according to tennisworld.org.
“When I heard that he reached 17 slam titles, I put my hands on my face.
“I knew Federer was very good but I never thought he could win all he has won.”
Federer was comfortably the best player in the world when Aparicio’s accident occurred, but the Swiss master’s best was yet to come — going on to reach 10 of the next 12 grand slam finals, winning eight of them on his way to a record 17.
Earlier this month, on September 13, Aparicio would watch Federer — now 11 years older than the last time he saw him — take on a total stranger to him in Novak Djokovic in the final of the US Open.
“I was astonished to see him play well. It’s really amazing,” Aparicio said.
“It was a shame he could not win but that Djokovic, he plays very well.”
“I want to see his match before he retires, perhaps his 18th slam,” Aparicio said. “It would be the dream of my life.”
According to Spanish site Punto de Break, Aparicio’s mother Rosario never gave up hope her son would one day wake.
“It was a very hard blow for everyone but we never stopped believing this day would come,” Rosario said.
“Every night I spoke in his ear and told him I was there with him.”