Tennis star Roger Federer gets new title: Dr. Federer

Geneva: Switzerland’s University of Basel handed tennis star Roger Federer his newest title — an honorary doctorate from the institution’s faculty of medicine.

At its annual graduation ceremony, dubbed the 557th Dies Academicus, the 36-year-old Federer, holder of 19 Grand Slam singles titles, was presented with his award on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The university said this was for “increasing the international reputation of Basel and Switzerland, as well as for his function as a role model athlete, who encourages many people around the world to be physically more active and thus contributes to the promotion of health.”

In the citation Federer’s engagement with children in Africa was mentioned through his foundation which supports more than 300,000 children in southern Africa, for which he has a special affinity due to having a South African mother.

Federer was unable to take part in the ceremony in person, but expressed his appreciation with a short greeting in which he said having the honorary doctorate made him “just as happy as a Grand Slam title”.

In addition to Federer, those honoured included the president of the Swiss National Bank, Thomas Jordan, and the children’s musician Andrew Bond.