New $410 million look, same result for Roger
THERE's perfection. And then there's Roger Federer.
When Federer sauntered onto centre court to open Wimbledon's 132nd Championships, he did so as top seed, defending champion and owner of a new clothing contract reputedly worth $410 million.
The freshly-minted 10-year deal with Uniqlo is touted to cost the Japanese manufacturer $41 million annually until Federer turns 47 - with a clause which allows the Swiss to pocket the bounty whether he plays or not.
As he does in virtually all facets, Federer excels on an unmatched scale.
Rumours over a split from Nike after a 24-year connection had swirled for months.
Federer, 36, deftly avoided confirmation or denial, wearing a business jacket to his pre-tournament interview to avoid discussion over sponsorship arrangements.
With signature timing and impact, Federer waited for the ideal moment to uncork the truth - when he walked onto the most famous tennis arena in the world clad in Uniqlo.
Gone was the famous Nike 'swoosh' - apart from those on his shoes - with the only sticking point being the future custody of the RF logo Federer so prizes.
He hopes a compromise can be struck with his former backer to release the emblem, insisting there are "deep roots" with Nike while firmly pointing out "they are my initials, they are mine."
The ageless Swiss has long occupied a parallel universe, seemingly immune to the ravages - and controversies - which impact mere mortals.
The first man in Open era to contest 20 consecutive Wimbledons, Federer marked the transition by sweeping into the second round in a style befitting his pristine clobber.
Serb Dusan Lajovic became the Swiss' 92nd All England Club scalp.
Leaving the court, Federer donated one of his new headbands to a spectator.
For obvious reasons, Federer was feeling generous.
"Yes, they want a watch, a car, a racquet, a shirt, they can have it all at this point," he said, smiling.
By day's end, with his wife Mirka and the couple's four children in tow, Federer was left to reflect on another productive day at the office,
Five seeds - including his Halle conqueror Borna Coric and Grigor Dimitrov - had tumbled from the maestro's quarter of the draw.
By anybody's standards, it was a perfect day.
By Federer's, it was standard. Standard perfection.