'You are the hero': Roger Federer surprises frontline crisis worker

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter
Roger Federer (pictured left) surprised frontline nurse in Christianne Calderon (pictured right) on Mother's Day. (Images: ESPN)

Christianne Calderon would have never predicted a special message from 20-time Grand Slam champ Roger Federer on Mother’s Day for all her hard work risking her life on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

Calderon was speaking to ESPN on Mother’s Day about her experience on the frontline as a critical care nurse at New York's Presbyterian Hospital.

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But she had no idea the live chat was going to feature the 20-time Grand Slam champ.

A huge tennis fan, Calderon was talking about how she uses her competitiveness to help patients during the virus crisis.

"I don't want to lose. And in the patient setting during this pandemic, winning is discharging the patient out of the ICU," she said.

"That is winning. Or taking the tube out of the ventilator. That's winning. And because I always want to win, I celebrate every little minute changes, that are positive changes, I call it a win," she described.

But Federer gave the mother-of-two an almighty shock when he suddenly joined the chat with a beaming smile.

“I am shaking,” Calderon said as Federer said hi.

‘You make the difference’: Federer

Federer then went on to deliver a heartfelt message to her and all the frontline workers during this critical period.

"People think, we the athletes, are superheroes. But we think the same about somebody like you Christianne,” he said.

“You are the hero because you actually do save lives. You actually do make that difference.”

Later, former NFL quarterback Eli Manning also made an appearance to praise Calderon and deliver a similar message.

"I'd like to be amongst the first to wish you a Happy Mother's Day. And also just sincere thank you for being on the frontline, for your work, your commitment, your selflessness and I think those three words describe what a hero is," Manning said.

New York has been devastated due to the coronavirus with the death toll standing at more than 21,000.