Federer urges ball kids to approach him at Aussie Open


Swiss great Roger Federer Thursday encouraged ball kids to break their golden rule and approach him for photos and autographs at next year’s Australian Open in Melbourne.

Ball boys and girls are forbidden to make personal requests to players, but in a video message sent to the 380 children who will officiate at the 2016 tournament, Federer asked them to interact with him during the Grand Slam.

“I was one of them (ball kids), I used to love chasing players down for autographs or pictures,” the 17-time major winner said.

“I’m not even sure if you’re allowed to do it, but if you’re not, you can always ask me. I’m totally cool about it.”

Tournament director Craig Tiley said being so accommodating might not be as easy as Federer thinks.

“It’s no surprise he’s willing to be approached by the kids for a ‘selfie’ — he’s incredibly generous and always makes time for his fans,” Tiley told Melbourne’s Herald Sun.

“But with more than 380 in the Australian Open Ballkid Program, it might be a little ambitious, and we will rely on their outstanding professionalism to not break any rules.”