Teenage tears came flooding back to Roger Federer as he remembered his near-brush with an Australian passport.
The 31-year-old was 13 when his family seriously considered FedExpressing from Switzerland to Australia permanently, which may have had some seriously appealing ramifications for the country’s prospects at this tournament for one (let’s not get into the other 17 Grand Slam titles).
Cue today’s hypothetical local results. Hewitt: out. Millman: out. Ebden: out. Rogowska: out. Barty: out. Stosur: in. Federer: in.
“I remember that period quite vividly actually and it would have been a life changer, no doubt about it,” Federer told Australian press on Monday.
“That was serious stuff. My parents were serious. My dad went on a few business trips to Australia for three months each time and then he came back again.
“Eventually he got a good job offer from a pharmaceutical company and they were seriously debating it and he asked us if we wanted to go.”
And as it always helps to gesticulate, Federer even spoke like a 13-year-old as he recalled the moment his Aussie dreams were shattered.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s go. I'm ready to go to Australia and live there.” Then he was like, ‘No, we have too many friends here, our roots are here now and I don’t think we should go.
“I remember when he told me this, I cried. I was like, ‘No, I can't believe it.’”
The world number two suggested that he would have enjoyed playing Davis Cup with long-time rival Lleyton Hewitt, who actually teamed up for the doubles in their first Wimbledon campaigns in 1999.
He said: “It’s out of the question now, of course. But with the heritage here with Davis Cup, it would have been fun actually.”
Federer, who has won the Australian Open four times, will meet Frenchman Benoit Paire on Tuesday.
If all goes well, he could find himself up against Australian ‘bad boy’ Bernard Tomic. And what did the 20-year-old world number 43 say when asked about the prospect of facing the world number two?
“Well, if he gets that far.”