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Federer pleasantly 'surprised' by Istanbul's 'huge interest' in him

ANI  |  Sydney 

17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer said that he has been overwhelmed by the welcome he received in Turkey, where the Swiss maestro arrived for the first time in his life to play the inaugural Istanbul Open.

In a bid to refine his clay court game ahead of the French Open, Federer will square off against his Finnish opponent Jarkko Nieminen in the second round of the Istanbul Open.

The world number two, who has been mobbed by fans since his arrival at the airport, said that he didn't know that he was this popular in Turkey, adding that he was pretty surprised with the huge interest, reported.

Federer further said that he had heard a lot of great things about Istanbul and had always wanted to come and visit the country.

Federer added that he hoped it was going to be a nice long week as well as lot of matches and expects to stay there as long as possible.

First Published: Wed, April 29 2015. 19:10 IST