Being Roger Federer comes with many perks, but getting into Wimbledon isn’t one of them.
During his appearance on The Daily Show on Wednesday, recently retired tennis legend Trevor Noah told host Trevor Noah about the incident last month when he was denied entry to the All England Lawn Tennis Club, known as Wimbledon.
Despite winning eight majors during his illustrious career, the 20-time Grand Slam winner says he was initially turned away from the front door.
“It was actually two weeks ago,” the 41-year-old said, explaining that he had a few hours to kill in London after a doctor’s appointment in the city.
He invited his entourage to tea at Wimbledon and admitted that he would not have been there if the tournament had not happened.
“I usually drive to the gate where guests enter. So I go out and tell my coach who is with me: “I’ll go out and talk to the security guard. I got it,’” he recalls.
“So I went out and I was like, ‘Hey, how am I going to get into Wimbledon?’ He asked if I had my membership card. When you win at Wimbledon, you automatically become a member. To be honest, I don’t know about the membership cards, they might be at home somewhere and I’ve just been traveling so I have no idea.
“I told him, ‘No, I don’t have a membership card, but I am a member.’ “I’m wondering where I can get in,” he told the guard, but his plea fell on deaf ears.
“I’m like, ‘No, I’m a member and I usually play when I’m here.’ Now, for the first time, the tournament is not being held and I am here.”
“I look at him one last time in a panic and say, ‘I’m sorry, but I’ve won this tournament eight times, please believe me, I belong,'” he added.
After an unsuccessful attempt to enter the club, Federer decided to try another gate on the opposite side, where he was immediately recognized.
He told Noah: “The guard standing there said, ‘Oh my God, Mr. Federer, what are you doing here? Do you have a membership card? I said no, but the guard let me in and arranged everything.”
The tennis legend said he ended up having an hour of tea with the Wimbledon chairman.
“I thought about going over to the other side and waving at the other guard, but I didn’t,” he quipped.
The athlete announced his retirement from the sport earlier this year, citing difficulties with his age and injuries.