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.

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Dan Quarrell