Federer becomes UNICEF goodwill ambassador
UNITED NATIONS -- Roger Federer is the newest goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, joining the campaign to draw attention to the world's neediest children.
The top-ranked Swiss star received a standing ovation Monday at the headquarters of the U.N. children's agency.
"We are given a chance to visit so many different countries and cultures and interact with people from all walks of life," Federer said. "It is our responsibility to connect with the real world beyond our sport, to use our fortune to make a difference in the lives of those who most need it."
Federer won the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Fla., on Sunday. He was asked why he felt it important to appear in New York so soon after a demanding tournament.
"The schedule is hectic, but why? It's because I won the tournament," Federer said. "If I would have lost earlier, I would have had an easy schedule. So it's a great problem to have that I have this busy schedule."
In 2003, Federer launched the Roger Federer Foundation, which promotes tennis worldwide and provides schooling and meals for poor children in South Africa, where his mother was raised. He said a recent trip where he visited children with AIDS convinced him of the role he could play with UNICEF.
"Seeing the happiness and the sadness so close together served as a stern reminder of our responsibility to these children," Federer said.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
MORE TENNIS HEADLINES
- Murray out of French Open due to back injury
- Fognini, Stakhovsky, Mathieu advance at Nice
- Davydenko loses in 1st round in Duesseldorf
- Bartoli, Paszek ousted in Strasbourg 1st round