Twenty-time grand slam winner Roger Federer is unfortunately not at Melbourne Park for the Australian Open after retiring in September last year – and vision of what he’s been up to proves he couldn’t be any further from the tennis bubble.
The 41-year-old has instead immersed himself in the art world, with a sneak peek at a yet-to-be-released documentary showing him suspended from the ceiling wearing only his underpants and a black swimming cap.
But why, you ask?
Roger Federer, pictured with wife Mirka at a fashion event in Paris earlier this month, has made a stunning move post-retirement
Roger Federer was suspended from the ceiling in a harness wearing only his underwear as part of a new art installation highlighting the Swiss star’s figure
For an upcoming art exhibition by renowned Swiss artist and sculptor Ugo Rondinone titled ‘Cloud Six’.
Federer was put into a series of bizarre poses while hanging from the ceiling in a harness so his body could be captured as a 3D figure via a high-tech scanner.
At one point he spent hours inside a full-body mould, while he also had his entire face covered in silicone.
Most retired tennis legends would move on to the commentary circuit for the grand slams, or charge big bucks as a speaker, but Federer said he wanted to forgo those typical paths and challenge himself.
Ever the legend, he isn’t content to rest on his laurels.
Federer can also been seen wearing a swimming cap in the documentary sneak peak, where his entire body is scanned and turned into a mould
Roger Federer retired in September 2022 after winning 20 grand slam titles, including the 2017 Wimbledon championship (pictured)
The Swiss made it clear at the time he wanted to spend time with his family – which is why he didn’t travel down under to attend the Australian Open, despite being asked by organisers.
So instead, he’s taking himself well out of his comfort zone.
‘This new experience gave me the chance to push me out of my comfort zone and opened my eyes to learn the intricate processes of creating art,’ he said on a trailer of the documentary, entitled ‘Portrait of a Champion’, which was presented by investment banking giant Credit Suisse in partnership with NBCUniversal Catalyst Showcases.
‘I was surprised how much energy I got from art. I didn’t think that was going to happen to me … it’s a switch-up from my daily life. It’s peaceful.
‘I think it’s very important to do other things, not just chase a fuzzy tennis ball around.
‘I enjoy working with Ugo. Super nice guy, great artist, very wise – he’s got a heart of gold.
‘So to spend time with him and learn from his art is something I have enjoyed a lot.’
Since playing in his final tournament – a star-studded Laver Cup – in September, and leaving the court in tears, Federer has settled seamlessly into a more casual, albeit social, life.
He was recently pictured with wife Mirka alongside Vogue fashion icon Anna Wintour and Aussie director Baz Luhrmann at a fashion event in Paris.
He’s also taken in some NBA games and continued on with his immense charity work.
Those would definitely have been on the retirement bingo card, unlike hanging from a harness in his undies.
Roger Federer (left) and wife Mirka (right) at a fashion event in Paris with Vogue icon Anna Wintour (second from left) and Australian director Baz Luhrmann (second from right)
Federer was also seen taking in an NBA game between the Nets and Celtics in December last year after he retired from tennis
When asked how the process of turning into an art installation made him feel, a typically softly-spoken Federer admitted it was tough at times; but he always had the end goal in mind.
‘Of course you feel vulnerable … you know everyone is looking at you and filming you,’ Federer said, describing the process behind the art installation.
‘I’m used to it on a tennis court, but on there I’ve got my racquet, which is like my hammer from Thor, I’ve got my outfit on which is like my uniform, my favourite shoes, my headband and then I’m ready to go … and when somebody films you it’s no problem.
‘In your underwear in a harness, and hanging there, is a different situation.
‘(But) it’s part of the creative process, that’s what its going to take to get a good end result,’ said Federer.
Roger Federer, who mastered all surfaces during his 20 grand slam title-winning career, is considered by many to be the best male player of all time
The art has been installed in a Venice icon by Rondinone and his team.
Founded in 1261, Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista presents the long and rich history of the city of Venice to visitors, and now has added hanging Roger Federer moulds to its storied history.