WIMBLEDON - The tournament doesn't even start for three days, but Roger Federer's been busy at Wimbledon.
First up Friday was a spirited practice with Tomas Berdych, where Federer had trouble getting his first serve in, and even dropped – GASP! – an F-bomb after a sweet passing shot from his Czech practice partner.
There were a few people on the side of the court, definitely friends of friends, who got an audience with the seven-time champion and had their photos taken with him after the practice.
You know Federer, and the other tennis superstars, have been doing this sort of stuff every day for a decade. Still, it's an astonishing thing to listen to him make small talk with complete strangers, asking them if they play tennis and where, actually sounding interested.
You know those fans will never forget it.
Federer then sprinted past a few other autograph-seekers, saying he had to be somewhere, showered and headed over to the new ballkids' complex, which is located under Court 15 (the court, and adjacent Court 14, were not in use at last year's tournament because of the construction going on underneath).
Then – and this is a terrific use of the new social-media tool, Periscope – he took fans along on his personal tour of the All-England Club.
You can still see it by clicking below, until about 2 p.m. Saturday, London time.
Along for the tour was an excellent straight man, chief executive Richard Lewis, who fills everyone in on a few little tidbits of history.
Federer attempted to answer a few of the questions that popped up on the screen; you can see from the sample above that it's not riveting stuff.
His answer to "who's your favourite opponent?" was, "Anyone I beat."
He knew who doubles specialist Rajeev Ram and Lucie Safarova were, as he ran into them during the Tour.
Notable tidbit: Federer doesn't take ice baths.
"I’m old-school. I take hot baths. (Ice baths) hurt too much," he said.
After the tour, Federer went back out on the practice courts and hit with up-and-coming young American Taylor Harry Fritz. He's had a good cross-section of practice partners the last few days: Nick Kyrgios, Lleyton Hewitt, Berdych and Fritz.