Roger Federer has received one of his more unusual honors, with the Swiss ace's name now officially gracing a street in Halle, Germany, venue for one of his frequent repeat success stories in tennis.
City fathers in the small town in the former East Germany have called the No. 3 their biggest and best ambassador after winning the grass-court Halle event five times, most recently in 2008.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner now has his name on the road leading to the tournament stadium. "It was this personal commitment to us and the fact that he is highly respected the world over that led us to consider how we could honor him," said tournament director Ralf Weber.
The 30-year-old Federer has remained true to Halle despite overtures over the years from London rival Queen's. But a brutal British tax regime on the earnings of foreign sportsmen has kept him away.
Rafael Nadal will play this year's edition along with Federer after defecting form Queen's due to the tax problems playing there creates. The Halle field will outshine anything on offer in June in London, with No. 1 Novak Djokovic completing the top three field in Germany.