Roger Federer sings in Chinese

You have to give Roger Federer credit for one thing.

No matter what he’s asked to do, promotionally, he’s a pretty good sport about it no matter how dorky he ends up looking.

So on the 10th anniversary of the Rolex Shanghai Masters, Federer shot a video where he sings happy birthday – in Chinese – to the tournament mascot, Dashi.

Federer is the defending champion, and also won it in 2014. 

After Nikolay Davydenko won the inaugural edition in 2009, only two other players have won it: Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, both three times.

15 years ago in Hamburg: teen Rafa

It’s hard to believe that it’s been exactly 15 years since a 16-year-old Rafael Nadal beat mentor and fellow Mallorcan Carlos Moyá.

Nadal was playing in only his fourth career ATP Tour-level event,

He was ranked No. 87; Moyá was ranked No. 4.

In the very first point of the match, Nadal pulled off the inside-out forehand drop shot he used to great effect on the grass at Wimbledon.

Hamburg, which takes place next week, was a Masters 1000 event then, held in May.

These days, it’s a post-Wimbledon 500-level event and will take place next week.

Djokovic’s bid to bring back the dance

Maybe, if Novak Djokovic wins Wimbledon a few more times, he might finally get Wimbledon to bring back the tradition of the champions’ dance in a formal way.

Even though the men and women are competing on the same stage, it so often seems as though they’re playing a separate tournament.

For example, the WTA Tour holds its own, separate, pre-Wimbledon event and it seems no male players are allowed.

When the “Champions Dinner” was the “Champions Ball”, it was a staple of the celebration.

And it’s fun, isn’t it?

Garbiñe Muguruza totally would be on board

Safarova coach Steckley’s latest production

Canadian Rob Steckley not only is a talented coach, he’s also increasingly impressing as a videographer.

Steckley cut his teeth on the video side nearly a decade ago, when he was first on tour and helped countrywoman Aleksandra Wozniak get to a career-best No. 21.

Since then, he has evolved and not only produces fun videos starring current charge Lucie Safarova, but also more artistic endeavors.

These days, he’s shooting with a Sony A7iii and a DJI Mavic Pro drone after starting both shooting and editing on his iPhone.

Here’s his unique take on the magnificence that is Wimbledon.

Li Na back at Wimbledon – as a legend

Chinese star Li Na ended her professional career at Wimbledon in 2014, with a third-round loss to Barbora Strycova.

Four years – and two kids – later, she’s back.

Li is exactly five months younger than another mom, Serena Williams, who is back at the All-England Club after a two-year absence and is in the singles semifinals.

Li is playing hit-and-giggle, though, in doubles with Japan’s Ai Sugiyama.

She and Sugiyama won their first match in the legends invitational on Monday, against Tracy Austin and Anne Keothavong.

She looks fantastic. Watch the match here.

Li Na returns to Wimbledon

Retired Chinese star Li Na dropped in on the “Road to Wimbledon” event in Beijing over the winter on behalf of Rolex, both her sponsor and the Wimbledon official timekeeper.

It’s a junior event that includes both a big tournament in the U.K. and events in Asia. Winner compete in the big finals at the All-England Club in August.

Li, now 36, has a three-year old daughter named Alisa and an 18-month-old son, Sapajou.

She will play the Wimbledon Legends Invitational doubles for the first time next month with Ai Sugiyama of Japan, 41, a former doubles No. 1.

Paris men’s locker room confidential

Three conclusions to be drawn from some fascinating raw footage from inside the men’s locker room at Roland Garros Monday.

One, boys are very messy. And they’re on their phones just as much as the ladies are.

Two, Diego Schwartzman seems like an extremely popular fellow. He’s greeted and good-lucked by a lot of people before he heads out to play David to Kevin Anderson’s Goliath.

Three, even though Juan Martin del Potro and John Isner were to face each other, they sat quite companionably in the same area before the match.

Patrascu starts petition to save ITF tour

Canadian Maria Patrascu isn’t a player you’ll have heard about.

The 21-year-old has been struggling at the low levels of the pros in 2018. But last weekend, she won her first main-draw matches of the season – and went all the way to the doubles title at a $15,000 event in Cairo, Egypt.

The changes that the ITF and ATP have planned for a “transition tour” in 2019 will affect hundreds of players.

And Patrascu lays out reality in a video that accompanies a petition she has started to fight the proposed changes.

Sign it!

Steve Johnson looks back on tough year

Steve Johnson lost his father Steve Sr. in May, 2017.

A year on, the American won the clay-court event in Houston. Opponent Tennys Sandgren knew how he felt.

“I know our dads are watching in the crowd,” said Sandgren, who lost his own father some years ago.

On the ATP Tour website, Johnson writes about the year.

“I’ve panicked. There have been times when my anxiety spiralled out of control. Some weeks it is easier and I can’t explain why,” said Johnson, who was in and out of the hospital for a week after Wimbledon.

WTA promos Bouchard, as she hits ITF

Some tone-deafness on the part of the WTA Tour Twitter account this week, as it promoted Genie Bouchard  – and linked to an April photo shoot – the very week the 24-year-old Canadian takes to the ITF circuit at Cagnes-sur-Mer, France.

A year ago in Madrid, Bouchard upset Maria Sharapova in arguably one of the matches of the year for its intensity and drama. 

But that was a year ago. So it was just grist for the haters’ mill.

It might do Bouchard good to watch the video, though, before her first match in France. She was pumped.