Roger Federer may have seen his dreams of Olympic gold dashed this week, but he can celebrate that t-shirts, racquets, and shoes from his trophy-laden tennis career proved a treasure trove at auction.
The sports legend saw every single item that went under the hammer at a two-phased Christie’s auction sold, raking in £3.4 million ($4.7 million, 3.98 million euros).
The combined proceeds from an online and a live auction — over three times more than his £1-million target — will go to the Roger Federer Foundation, which supports educational projects in southern Africa and his native Switzerland.
“I am overwhelmed by the generosity and enthusiasm of the support from around the world,” Federer said in a statement.
The auction of items from the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s career happened in two phases.
A live sale on June 23 in London focused on Federer’s career at the four Grand Slams: Wimbledon and the Australian, French and US Opens.
The subsequent online sale from June 23 to July 14 featured 300 lots from other tournaments spanning 21 years — dating back to his first Olympics appearance at the Sydney 2000 Games, aged just 19.
The items sold online found buyers from 44 countries and across six continents, Christie’s said.
The highlight of the online sale was a set of three rackets used at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships, which sold for £162,500 — more than 23 times above their estimate of £7,000-10,000.
“The prices achieved have been unbelievable,” Federer said.
“We started collecting items which accompanied me on court because we thought that perhaps one day we could do something meaningful with them,” he said.
He said he and his wife Mirka were “humbled to see that the decision we made will make a profound difference to so many children.”
The Roger Federer collection was the most important single-owner collection of sporting memorabilia ever to come to market, a Christie’s representative told AFP prior to the auction.
Federer, who turns 40 on August 8, had been hoping to secure his first Olympic singles gold medal at the upcoming Tokyo Games, but announced Tuesday he had withdrawn after a “setback” in his recovery from a knee injury.