Tennis great Roger Federer joins Coldplay on stage in Zurich to play the shaker

Roger Federer
(Image credit: Marco Steinbrenner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

His forehand is the stuff of legend, but at a recent Coldplay gig in Zurich, recently retired tennis great Roger Federer took a swing with a shaker rather than a racquet.

Coldplay’s seemingly never-ending Music Of The Spheres tour has featured a wide variety of guest performers, but Federer is one of the most unlikely. His moment in the spotlight came during a performance of Don’t Panic, a track from the band’s debut album Parachutes, and singer Chris Martin was keen for the tennis icon to make the most of it.

Introducing him as an “original band member,” Martin later encouraged Federer to take a “shaker solo”, and he was happy to oblige. There was a special tribute from drummer turned keyboard player Will Champion, too, as he closed the song with the adapted line “Cos everybody here got Roger to lean on.”

While Federer appeared to do just fine on the shaker - on Instagram, he quipped that his moment with Coldplay was the "Adventure of a Lifetime" - but when asked last year to compare him to a specific musical instrument, former rival Novak Djokovic picked a violin (he also said that he’d be a saxophone and Rafael Nadal, the other member of the so-called ‘Big 3’, would be an “electric guitar or drums”). Whether the Swiss great will turn up to Coldplay’s next tour with bow in hand remains to be seen. 

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Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.