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Princess Kate and Roger Federer Face Off at Wimbledon & Train with Ball Kids

Photo credit: LTA Facebook

Wimbledon gives us an riveting new royal rivalry.

Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales vs. eight-time Wimbledon winner Roger Federer.

The result isn’t what you might expect.

Talk about a prestigious pre-launch party for The Championships—and one precise passing shot to stun the Swiss Maestro.

Watch Princess of Wales Kate face off against Swiss Maestro Federer partnering ball kids in doubles on the Wimbledon grass in a video Wimbledon posted today on its YouTube channel.

Showing strong technique, the Princess pounds a forehand pass by a chuckling Federer, who says “I think it was on the line…Amazing.”

A few observations about the match:

*The Princess is clearly a good athlete and trained tennis player; watch her load for her forehand on her back leg and whip through the full swing.

*Even in retirement, Federer remains unfailingly polite, starting proceedings with a simple “Shall we play some tennis?” request and saying “thank you” every time a ball kid feeds him a ball.

*Despite that politeness, the former world No. 1, sporting a Uniqlo sweater, stays true to his attacking core moving to net behind a backhand and challenging the Princess to produce the pass, which she does.

Shout-out to all of the ball kids featured in the Wimbledon video above for the poise they exhibited.

Imagine the nerves sharing the court with British and tennis royalty as these ball kids did yet they all did a brilliant job managing a pressure situation with “considerable aplomb” to quote ESPN analyst and Wimbledon member Jason Goodall.

The ball kids put the royal pick up artists through the Wimbledon paces, including rolling the balls to the opposite end for changeovers.

At one point, Princess Kate makes a clean left-handed catch of an errant ball out of the air, prompting Federer to point out while it’s acceptable for Australian Open ball kids to catch a ball out of the air, at Wimbledon ball kids are instructed to let the ball bounce first.

Ball girl Mollie confirms Federer’s account and praises Princess Kate for “good catch” despite the royal rule breach.

The Federer family and the royal family are long-time friends and occasional tennis partners. 

During the 2017 ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena, Roger Federer and wife Mirka took their two sets of twins—then eight-year-old daughters Myla and Charlene and three-year-old sons Leo and Lenny—on a play date to Kensington Palace. The Federers took the short trip from their hotel to Kensington Palace to spend time with their friends, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at the palace.

Wimbledon watchers know Prince William and Princess Kate are die-hard tennis fans and visitors to the Royal Box each summer. Princess Kate is an avid tennis player who has played at the LTA’s “Tennis for Kids” initiative in the past and has also worked with Federer on charitable causes to aid disadvantaged children in recent years.

Last summer, Princess Kate and Federer, on behalf of the Laver Cup, announced a charitable collaboration in aid of two organizations of which The Duchess is Patron – Action for Children and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), whose charitable arm is the LTA Tennis Foundation. The Princess also shared the court with 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu.