Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer hailed ailing Nelson Mandela as "influential and amazing" on Monday as the anti-apartheid icon remained in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital
"He's been very influential, an amazing personality, you know, believed in something, had to pay a big price for it," said Federer.
"Someone you can definitely look up to and that's very important for me. Clearly there's many that come and go, but he has been there for a very long time.
"And he's very much respected and loved. So we hope he does well here now in this process."
Federer was speaking after reaching the Wimbledon second round on Monday with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 win over Romania's Victor Hanescu.
The Swiss star has been a regular visitor to South Africa over the years where he has a charitable foundation.
The country is also the birthplace of his mother, Lynnette.
In 2011, Federer was voted second to Mandela in an international survey to find the world's most respected, admired and trusted personality.