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Roger Federer to become first living person featured on Swiss coins

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 2 Dec 2019
  • Roger Federer to become first living person featured on Swiss coins
  • 20-franc silver piece bearing Federer's image to be released in January
Roger Federer (PA Images)

Roger Federer will be featured on a new Swiss coin in 2020.

Tennis legend Roger Federer is to become the first living person to be featured on a Swiss coin.

A commemorative 20-franc silver piece bearing Federer's image will be released in January by the Swiss federal mint, Swissmint. 

The image on the coin will depict Federer winding up to deliver his trademark single-handed backhand.

The 38-year-old Federer is arguably the most well-known living Swiss person, having won a record 20 Grand Slam titles and held the world no. 1 ranking for a record 310 weeks. He is only the second man after Jimmy Connors to have won more than 100 ATP Tour titles.

Currently ranked world no. 3, Federer's achievements in 2019 included reaching the final of Wimbledon, where he held two championship points against Novak Djokovic before ultimately losing in five sets, and winning four titles, including a tenth title at the 500-level Swiss Indoors Basel where he once served as a ball boy.

'As well as being probably Switzerland's most successful individual sportsman, he is also the perfect ambassador for Switzerland,' a press release read in part.

The 55,000 coins will be issued from 23 January 2020. Swissmint also plans to release a 50-franc gold coin in July 2020, at which time a further 40,000 units of the silver 20-franc coin could be issued depending on demand.

'Thank you Switzerland and Swissmint for this incredible honour and privilege,' Federer wrote on Twitter.

Federer has received many accolades over his career, including winning the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award a record five times and the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year a record four times. In 2012, the German city of Halle - home of the grass-court tournament which Federer has won a record ten times - named a street after him.

More Swissmint art
Federer has been honoured many times by his home country. He has won the Swiss Sports Personality of the Year a record seven times. In 2007, Swiss Post released a Roger Federer stamp in his hometown of Basel, depicting Federer holding the Wimbledon trophy; he was the first living person to be featured on a Swiss stamp. (He has also appeared on stamps in Austria, issued in 2010, and Malawi in 2012.) 

The road leading to the national tennis centre in Biel-Bienne, where Federer trained as junior, was named 'Alleé Roger Federer' in 2016. He was awarded an honourary doctorate by the University of Basel in 2017, in recognition of the role he has played in promoting the international reputation of Switzerland and Basel, and his work with children in Africa through the Roger Federer Foundation and his support for the South-African Swiss charity IMBEWU. More idiosyncratically, Federer has at least twice been presented with a cow by the Swiss Open in Gstaad - a cow named Juliette in 2003 after he won his first Wimbledon title, and a second cow named Desiree in 2013.

'Roger Federer's sporting achievements, his charitable commitments, his easy-going nature and his accessibility to his fans have prompted Swissmint to dedicate this 20-franc silver coin to him, the first time it has done so with a living person,' the Swissmint press release reproduced on Federer's website read in part.

Federer recently played a lucrative series of exhibition matches in South America with Alexander Zverev. He is next scheduled to compete at the 2020 Australian Open, which begins on 20 January, after declining to represent Switzerland at the ATP Cup.

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Roger Federer to become first living person featured on Swiss coins

Roger Federer will be featured on a commemorative 20-franc silver piece, making him the first living person to be celebrated on a coin in Switzerland

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