WIMBLEDON, England – Roger Federer has won Wimbledon eight times, which means he played the first match on Matchday 1 on Center Court for the eighth time on Monday
. The butterflies were absent when he stepped on the field with his first division side Dusan Lajovic (58th place).
"It stays a bit nerve wracking, you know, frankly," Federer, 36, said at a press conference on Sunday. "It's big business, I mean, besides the story and the mythical place that it is, you can not practice it, and when you come out there will be a degree of uncertainty for both players."
In his absence, there were numerous speculations about his clothing contract, especially after a Swiss report in June, which he considered with Uniqlo, the Japanese clothing company. Neither Federer nor his camp confirmed the report, and when he returned to tour two grass pitch events in Germany last month, he played in a Nike kit.
But when he went to Center Court on Monday, he was indeed wearing Uniqlo. Federer inspired Uniqlo's square red logo, perhaps an irritating sight, but his grass court tennis looked very familiar as he sent Lajovic, 6-1, 6-3, 6-4, in 1 hour 19 minutes
Uniqlo specializes in casual wear and does not play a major role in the sportswear industry. His small stable includes Japanese top player Kei Nishikori and golfer Adam Scott. Novak Djokovic was Uniqlo's biggest star, but he moved to Lacoste last year.
In fact, because Uniqlo does not make tennis shoes, Federer played in Nike shoes on Monday, with his RF logo, number 8 and the London skyline embossed in gold.
Nike still owns the brand for this RF logo, but Federer said it would eventually return to him. "These are my initials," he said after his match.
"We also have to deal with Uniqlo if we can eventually sell clothes for the public," he added. We hope that people will be able to start buying my stuff early next year as well, so for the moment being in the retail business as it is, he just needs a little bit of time. "
Nike has been Federer's clothing sponsor for his entire professional career and has created memorable looks, especially at Wimbledon, that have cemented his status as a fashion plate. In 2007 there was the blazer with gold accent, 2008 the cardigan and 2009 the vest and the military jacket. At the United States Open, where Vogue editor Anna Wintour was regularly seen, there were the tuxedos
The contract with Uniqlo is worth ten years and $ 300 million and will pass well on Federer's matchdays, perhaps that would have been the rage for choosing a clothing designer and retailer instead of a sportswear and equipment company.
"Uniqlo will help Mr. Federer bring tennis to new locations while exploring innovation in a number of areas including technology and design," said Tadashi Yanai, founder and chairman of Uniqlo, in a statement.
It seemed obvious that Nike was unwilling to achieve the length or value of Uniqlo's offer, especially for a player at the end of his career who spends several months of the season at home in Switzerland and not at home  Wimbledon is only Federer's seventh tournament this year, having played 12 times last season to improve his health.
He won his last Grand Slam event, the Australian Open, for his 20th major title. In February, he then took the title in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and returned to the number 1, which he has since represented with his long-time rival Rafael Nadal. (Nadal is now No. 1, but because Wimbledon uses a special grassy formula for sowing, Federer is the No. 1 seed.)