Roger Federer and Tadashi Yanai

TOKYO — Roger Federer has traveled to Japan for the first time since he was announced as Uniqlo’s newest global ambassador in July, and said he’s looking forward to spending more time in the country. 

Having worked closely with Uniqlo’s design team to create the game wear he debuted at Wimbledon last summer, the tennis player said he’s looking forward to becoming even more involved in future collections.

“I love working on details, and also trying out new things, so that’s what we’re going to go back to the drawing board for next year, and [I look forward to] really being able to work with Christophe Lemaire and all the designers at Uniqlo to see what else, what energy we can bring to the outfits of Uniqlo, because I would like to give as much input as I am allowed to into the designs and the materials,” Federer said during a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.

“Uniqlo has an incredible amount of potential to make the best possible shirts and shorts and socks and everything they do already. But I feel comfortable, and I feel that if I look good, I play good,” said Federer who was dressed in white jeans and a gray sweater from the brand. 

He also met Tadashi Yanai, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing, for the first time in person, and has also been connecting with Uniqlo members of staff during his visit.

Yanai highlighted Federer’s social and humanitarian activities through his Roger Federer Foundation, and stressed that Uniqlo’s partnership with the athlete would also include a charitable aspect, although no details were announced. For his part, the 37-year-old Federer said the ten-year contract may help him transition to a life beyond tennis, whenever he eventually retires from the game.

Uniqlo also said it was organizing an exhibition match that Federer will play sometime next year in Japan. While details have not yet been fixed, the athlete said he is already excited about the prospect of raising awareness of tennis both in Japan and across Asia.

“The last time I played in Japan was in 2006, and I’m happy to play in front of the Japanese people again,” he said. “It should be fun, good, and let people really enjoy themselves.”

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