While July is the time of year that many players like to use as a break between Wimbledon and the US Open, world number three Roger Federer has found a somewhat different activity to fill his time off.
The Swiss has achieved some heady levels in a career that has seen him win 17 Grand Slam titles, but this week he reached a new height of 11,333 feet on a Swiss glacier.
It is arguably the most picturesque setting that the former world number one has played in, and his first piece of action since losing to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final earlier in July was an exhibition match against Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn.
The match was played on the Jungfraujoch mountain - the third-highest mountain of the Bernese Alps - and tied in with a family holiday that Federer has been taking hiking in the mountains, while he was also there to open a new shop for chocolate makers Lindt.
The mountains hold a high amount of meaning to the 32-year-old, who holidayed there as a child.
“These mountains are special to me,” said Federer.
“I remember my grandmother first brought me here about 25 years ago.”
Vonn, who won an Olympic gold medal in the downhill event in Vancouver in 2010, tweeted last year that she would happily play Federer in a tennis match in the region if he was to take a break there.
A metre of snow had been cleared to make a tennis court on the Aletsch Glacier, but it turned out to be one of the more simple exercises that Federer will be carrying out before returning to action at the Montreal Masters in August, particularly as his American opponent was forced to play in a leg brace due to injury.
There was a passionate crowd that turned out to watch events unfold, and a line of chefs in white toques lined up behind the baseline to watch the match, and they handed out chocolates to spectators.
The two athletes played out a tie-break before they gave up on playing, and Federer admitted after the exhibition that he is not finished succeeding yet.
“I think I still have it in me to win another Grand Slam,” he said.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion has moved up five places in the world rankings since February, and won singles titles in Dubai in March and Halle in June.
His form in the ATP Masters 1000 Series has been encouraging, as he has reached the final in Indian Wells and Monte Carlo this year, and he will go to Montreal next month looking to win the Canadian Masters for the first time since 2006.
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