The day Roger Federer couldn’t stop laughing at CNN correspondent’s Spanish phrases
On the morning of May 23, 2010, at the U.S. Open, Federer was on the seventh day of a three-set match when a reporter called him to the lectern.
The reporter was Juan Carlos Pardo, a correspondent for Spanish television station Univision. Pardo’s job was to interview Federer in Spanish — a skill he had mastered for a couple of years on his job as a tennis commentator.
Federer, who had already won both his singles matches without dropping a set, was in a good mood. He had not lost a set in a Grand Slam tournament in over seven years. He was not about to lose this one, too.
Pardo, a young Spanish-speaking man, told Federer how excited he was to be in the spotlight. He told Federer he spoke fluent Spanish — a skill he had acquired during his career as a tennis commentator. That would suffice, provided the reporter didn’t ask him to repeat himself, as Pardo frequently did.
The reporter then asked Federer to explain one of Pardo’s favorite words: “cara” (“hello”). Federer’s response was so laugh-out-loud funny that Pardo started laughing too. He said the word seemed to come out of nowhere — like an extra-sensory perception.
“[It’s] not anything, there’s no emotion connected to it,” Federer told Pardo. In fact, there is some emotion — his usual emotional connection, when he plays tennis. In fact, Federer told Pardo how he wanted to know him — how he wanted to hug him and thank him, tell him he was so proud of him.
The reporter had been asked to interview Federer about his new movie, “Federer: From the Inside.” At the time, the movie was in the middle of production and there was no release date, other than it would be coming