PITTSBURGH -- If the Nashville Predators were to win the Stanley Cup championship, would the legendary Roger Federer get invited to defenseman Roman Josi's victory party?
"I would be honored if he was there," Josi said. "I'd definitely be honored."
On the morning of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Josi, born and raised in Switzerland, was talking about two of the most famous sportsmen in his native country, tennis stars Federer and Stan Wawrinka. The Predators will play the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).
Josi confided that he gets nervous even watching Federer on TV.
"Obviously in Switzerland, he means a lot to Swiss people," Josi said. "He means a lot to me. I remember watching his Grand Slam finals with my buddies, and we just going crazy. We'd be so nervous. When he loses, I'd start almost crying. Miserable for a week."
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The European country has produced an impressive group of sports stars and Josi is quickly climbing up the list of prominent Swiss sportsmen. Josi has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 16 playoff games for the Predators.
He said he first met Federer, an 18-time Grand Slam winner, about seven years ago, he called him his hero. He also has met Wawrinka ,a three-time Grand Slam winner.
"Roger is a huge sports fan," Josi said. "He loves soccer, hockey, all the other sports. He's really interested in other sports, so it's an easy conversation with him….Honestly, it's unbelievable how humble he is for what he's accomplished."
And Josi's own tennis game?
"I'm terrible at the net," he said.