Jesus Aparicio was involved in a car crash when out with friends celebrating his 18th birthday in December 2004 and, very sadly, ended up in a coma.

He subsequently awoke on August 27 this year and, he said, phoned his mother with the wonderful news – and to ask how his sporting hero, Roger Federer, had been getting on.

[REPORT: Djokovic beats Federer in New York classic]

Aparicio told his story to Tennis World and recalled the moment he “thought they were kidding me”.

“It came like a flash to my mind and I asked about Roger,” he said.

“I thought he had retired. When I knew that at 34 years, he is still playing and is number two in the world, I thought they were kidding me. When I heard that he reached 17 Slam titles, I put my hands on my face.

“I was really surprised to see him play well, Djokovic is good. I want to see his match before he retires, perhaps his 18th Slam.”

Djokovic had been a complete unknown to Aparicio, from Seville, and he now hopes that he will be able to see Federer win one more Grand Slam, starting with the Australian Open next January.


Dan Quarrell