A 23-year-old Roger Federer had just completed his first truly phenomenal season, winning three of the four grand slams, including thumping Lleyton Hewitt 6-0 7-6 6-0 in the US Open final.
On December 12 of that year, Jesus Aparicio — a huge Federer fan — was in a serious car accident while out celebrating his 18th birthday.
The incident left the young man from Seville in a coma he would not wake from until August 27 this year.
When he finally woke, Aparicio called out and his mother was in the bathroom of the room he was staying in. Over the coming weeks, Aparicio’s speech slowly recovered. He would ask about family, friends and current affairs — but he would also ask about his idol, Roger Federer.
“It came like a flash to my mind and I asked about Roger,” Aparicio said, according to tennisworld.org.
“I thought he had retired. When I knew that at 34 years old, he is still playing and is number two in the world, I thought they were kidding me. I could not believe it.