Roger Federer has handed the honor of carrying Switzerland's flag at tonight's opening ceremony at the Olympic Games in London to doubles partner Stanislas Wawrinka. Federer, who carried the flag for his nation in Athens and Beijing, said he was happy for his gold medal-winning doubles partner to shoulder the responsibility.
"I felt it was important to give someone else a chance," Federer said. "I told Switzerland they should choose someone else and they then chose my partner Stan, and I think it's a great honour for him because I couldn't have won Olympic gold without him and everybody knows that. That's why I think they chose the right guy."
Looking for his first singles gold medal in his fourth Olympics, Federer opens his campaign Saturday on Day 1 of the tennis event at Wimbledon against Colombian Alejandro Falla.
"I thought about it for a long time, what I should do with it when they offered it to me. First, I obviously hoped they would offer it to me and only later when I did accept it, I thought it was better for me to give it to someone else actually."
While Federer enters the event full of confidence having won his seventh Wimbledon title earlier this month, he said that the Olympics presented a different challenge to a Grand Slam tournament.
“In Wimbledon we play seven matches best of five sets; here we play five matches best of three. Only the final is best of five, so that puts the margins closer to each other, I believe. If it would have been best of three in Wimbledon, I would have lost in the third round to Julien Benneteau because I was down two sets to love, so it just goes to show that here now, obviously a bad five minutes or a bad couple of points could cost you the tournament.”
Should he reach the second round, Federer could meet Frenchman Benneteau.