Saturday 16 December 2017

'Nervous, sleepless for weeks' - fan puts €57k on Federer to win Wimbledon... and his girlfriend doesn't know

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after winning against Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych during their men's singles semi-final match on the eleventh day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 14, 2017. AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK
Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after winning against Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych during their men's singles semi-final match on the eleventh day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 14, 2017. AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK

Rozina Sabur and Patrick Sawer

WHEN Roger Federer steps out on court today he will no doubt be feeling the weight of expectation on his shoulders.

But there is one man who may just have had more sleepless nights than the former champion over the last fortnight, a life-long fan who has put a £50,000 (approximately €57,000) stake on Federer gaining his eighth Wimbledon title.

George, 36, will be holding his breath this afternoon as the Swiss number five attempts to beat Marin Cillic to become the oldest Wimbledon champion since the beginning of the open era in 1968.

And to add to his nerves as he waits to see if Federer can pull off another Wimbledon title and at the same time land George a handsome payout is the fact he has not told his girlfriend about the bet.

She's not terribly into tennis so I'm not sure she'll be best pleased," he said.

The head of a financial tech company in North London, he has asked not to have his full name revealed lest his girlfriend find out.

Switzerland’s Roger Federer. Photo: Reuters
Switzerland’s Roger Federer. Photo: Reuters

George has followed Federer across the globe watching his matches, attending around 20 tournaments to date.

He claims his betting is an occasional guilty pleasure but always borne out of thorough research, saying "I don’t do it often but when I do it, I make sure to do it properly".

"My bet on Federer came about on a boys’ night out, I’m ashamed to admit, but having watched him this season, I felt fairly confident that he could go all the way," he said.

"Having won the three biggest tournaments played this season and with the decision to focus on grass and hard court tournaments as opposed to those on clay, it appeared he was gearing up to win his eight Wimbledon trophy.

"He’s also come across so much more confident this year, than he has in a very long time. Federer wants to win.

"Although my bet makes me nervous, and has left me sleepless for weeks, out of any bets I’ve placed recently, this is the one I feel most confident in… maybe I've jinxed it now!"

George began playing tennis at the age of three, playing three to to four times a week and eventually competing at county level with aspirations of one day playing at Wimbledon.

"My passion for tennis continued until I was about 15 and I discovered girls…my tennis went downhill from there," he said.

"But my passion for the sport never vanished. I still play as often as I can. I’ve followed grand slams for the better part of my life and I’m also trying to attend as many tournaments as possible.”

This year's Wimbledon has seen a record amount of money wagered during a tennis tournament, with analysis from Bet Bonus-Code showing 59 per cent of bets placed are now on Federer winning the championship.

If his gamble pays off, George stands to win £162,000, but if he pulls it off he plans to call it a day and abandon his betting career - convinced he could not be so lucky twice.

Now he's bracing himself for the reaction of his girlfriend, who will be with him to watch the final on Centre Court today.

He added: "My girlfriend thinks I’m mad spending so much time and money watching tennis."

"Although I'm sure she'll be rather delighted with the bet, should I win, as who could be angry when winning such an amount of money?"

Asked what he planned to do with his winnings, he said: "I’ll probably have to propose to my girlfriend as otherwise she may leave me when she finds out how much money I placed on this bet."

Telegraph.co.uk

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