Renuka Vyavahare (BOMBAY TIMES; July 18, 2017)

While the world watched in awe as Roger Federer clinched his 19th Grand Slam title and 8th Wimbledon trophy on Sunday, actress Saiyami Kher was one of the very few lucky fans, who got to witness the action live on the Centre Court. Saiyami was fortunate enough to not only watch the Swiss champion play and win the cup, but also meet him post his victory.

Unable to hide her excitement over a phone call from London, the Mirzya actress spilled the beans on her maiden Wimbledon experience and her interaction with legends like Roger Federer, Stefan Edberg and former South African cricketer Shaun Pollock.

A sports player and enthusiast, she said, “I've always been jealous of Javed uncle (Akhtar) for going to the Wimbledon almost every year. Even Farhan (Akhtar) has been going there for a few years now. I've been planning this trip for the past five years and finally, I got to live my dream. I watched Roger Federer play the Quarter-final and win the final and meet him post that. It was absolutely surreal. I've been a Federer fan all my life and I must have spent all my money on buying his merchandise (laughs). Though I saw him in New York three years ago and have spoken to him before, not many get to watch him win the Wimbledon. Who would have thought two years ago that he'd achieve this feat at 35!“

Recalling her meet with the legendary tennis player, she added, “Federer is so humble. Other than his incredible sporting achievements, his humility is what stands out the most for me. You get tongue-tied when you meet someone like him. During my brief meet, I told him that I was living my dream of watching him win the Wimbledon.“

Meeting Roger Federer is a privilege only a few are blessed with, so we wondered how it all happened. “When you want something badly, it just happens. The cards fall into place. Rohan Bopanna is a friend and when I went to the player's lounge to say bye to him, I saw Federer there. I had seen him prior to the match as well, but didn't want to disturb him. After his win, I was thrilled to meet him and click the picture,“ Saiyami revealed.

The young actress, who also happens to be a cricket player, was also happy to meet South African cricketer Shaun Pollock. “It was lovely to discuss India and cricket with Pollock and I also met the legendary Stefan Edberg. His fitness level at 51 puts you to shame. He is so fit,“ she gushed.

Speaking of Wimbledon and its famous dress code, the actress explained, “The strict dress code is only for the Royal Box. I was happy to soak in the experience in my casuals.“

The Men's final saw a host of high-profile movie stars thronging the Centre Court like British actor Henry Cavill aka Superman, Hugh Grant, Bradley Cooper, Hilary Swank and Eddie Redmayne to name a few.