Roger Federer had a memorable Tuesday night at the U.S. Open. He didn’t just wipe the floor with a poor unranked Australian fellow named Marinko “Mad Dog” Matosevic in straight sets, but he did so in a fresh pair of Jordans.
One of the greatest tennis players of all time took the court at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in New York City rocking the Jordan III-inspired Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour AJ3. The shoe, which has Federer’s initials embedded on the forefoot, is an ode to the classic Jordan IIIs that debuted in 1988, a sneaker bound to land on any sneakerhead’s top 10 list.
Not only did Federer take to the court sporting Jordans, but he did so with Michael Jordan as a guest in his courtside box. It turns out that it was the first tennis match “His Airness” has ever seen in person.
“About a year ago, I heard that Roger wanted to design and wear a Jordan shoe on the court,” Jordan told USA Today’s ForTheWin via a Nike rep. “I have followed Roger’s career and have been a big fan for some time now. I definitely thought this could be a really unique and special collaboration, and when I heard that Roger wanted the shoe to be modeled after the Air Jordan III, I was in. To me, this collaboration is not just about style. I really wanted Roger to get involved and understand what he needed from the shoe itself to perform at his best while still having the look and feel of a Jordan sneaker.”
Ok. Ok. Maybe it’s not all about style for Federer, who’s going after his 18th Grand Slam title, but even he turns into a fan boy around Jordan. The Swiss maestro opened his Instagram account with this message and photo: “It was an honor meeting one of my childhood idols today #MJ. Also, this is my first @Instagram. How’d i do?”