The 17-time Grand Slam winner will be debuting his new shoe, the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour AJ3, which will certainly look familiar to classic sneakerheads or anyone who happened to be an NBA fan in the late 1980s.
Federer’s latest model channels the Air Jordan 3, which debuted in 1988. Federer told For The Win via email through a Nike rep that he really got into basketball, soccer and tennis when he was seven years old, the same year the Jordan 3 was released. When he was looking to do a collaboration with the brand’s most legendary pitchman, those were the model of Jordans he liked the most.
Legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, who crafted a bulk of the Air Jordan shoes and has worked on some of Federer’s previous signature models, designed both the Air Jordan III and Zoom Vapor 9 Tour AJ 3 as well.
Also involved in the collaboration process? Michael Jordan himself.
The NBA Hall of Famer said that he was intrigued when he heard about Federer’s interest in wearing a Jordan tennis shoe.
“About a year ago, I heard that Roger wanted to design and wear a Jordan shoe on the court. I have followed Roger’s career and have been a big fan for some time now, ” Jordan said via a Nike rep. “I definitely thought this could be a really unique and special collaboration and when I heard that Roger wanted the shoe to be modeled after the Air Jordan 3, I was in. To me, this collaboration is not just about style. I really wanted Roger to get involved and understand what he needed from the shoe itself to perform at his best while still having the look and feel of a Jordan sneaker.”
Jordan, who posed for a selfie with Federer during a meeting Monday night in New York City, will be in attendance at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center for the on-court debut of Federer’s new shoes.