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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Federer dad's get-out claws
Roger Federer and a ginger cat
If only Ginger was here too

Roger Federer's father has revealed he was not at Wimbledon to see his son's first Grand Slam triumph - because he had to feed the cat.

Robert Federer remained at the family home in Switzerland with Roger's pet moggie, Ginger, although he did manage to catch the action on TV.

"I had to feed the cat at home," sales manager Robert insisted.

"We had a few friends around and watched the match on television."

"Obviously I am very proud - although we are not a tennis family, we never told him to play. He just grew into it," Robert told The Sun.

"Not a tennis family" would appear to be understating it a bit. After all, what could possibly be more important than tending to the cat?

A few questions inevitably arise from this bizarre situation.

Do they not have pet-sitters in Switzerland?

What would have happened if Ginger had demanded his Whiskas on match point?

Is this the lamest excuse in the history of lame excuses?

And if Roger finds himself in the last two at SW19 this time next year, will the old man manage to drag himself over - or will he be washing his hair/cleaning the car/watching the decorating dry..?

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