Roger Federer on Friday became past of the Twitter generation, gaining in excess of 170,000 followers within half a day of sending his first tweet.
The second seed at the French Open was a relative latecomer to the social media scene, but looks likely to quickly catch up with Serb Novak Djokovic, who can boast more than 1.8 million followers.
Federer said that he approached the Twitterverse with caution but is now happy to try it out.
“It’s early stages, clearly, so we’ll see how much I’ll do,” Federer said as he prepared for the clay-court major which he won in 2009, interrupting the string of success of rival Rafael Nadal. “It’s really connecting with the fans on a different platform than what I’ve done in the past.
“I wanted to see, just myself, how does it really work for the other players and other athletes and other people around the world.” Federer has been communicating on a modest basis on Facebook and through his website and charity foundation. Adding the popular Twitter platform seemed only logical.
“I wasn’t sure in the beginning, to be honest. For me to enter that right away was not the right thing to do. I wanted to first wait and see and only do it when I felt very comfortable and not get pushed into it by someone.
“At the end of the day, it’s got to be something I needed to feel comfortable with, and I did get many comments from many fans and followers that they would love to see me on Twitter.
“I said, ‘Okay, I’m happy to give it a try and have some fun with it.’ “At the end of the day, that’s why I’m doing it. We’ll see how it goes. We will see how much I will do in the future.”