Roger Federer latest is among the most unexpected, especially for a man raised in a country known for its benign neutrality: backroom power broker.
But after leading the ATP Tour Player Council as president the last three years, Federer has become a savvy student of the laws of political governance.
"It's been a great life-school," said the tri-lingual Swiss star Sunday as he prepared to defend his season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title. "Can you say that?"
Much of Roger Federer's behind-the-scenes work this year has focused on persuading the four majors to share a larger piece of the revenue pie with players.
He has also lobbied that a larger percentage of prize money go to earlier rounds to rectify a growing income distribution gap.
That work has increasingly fallen on his shoulders, as Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, once Player Council members, left their leadership positions.
Take his pre-tournament schedule last month at the Masters event in Shanghai.
Under added security because of death threats, Roger Federer arrived on a Friday and discussed strategy with ATP player and board representatives till about 1 a.m.
He practiced the next morning, spent about 7 hours in meetings with various representatives of the Grand Slams and still attended the player party Saturday night.
On Sunday evening, he hosted three hours of meetings in his hotel room with the Player Council, ATP executive staff, and U.S. Open executives -- all before he struck a match ball.
"Roger has so many demands on his schedule and the fact that he is investing so much time into the player council and these negotiations shows his character and how much he cares for the future of the sport,"
doubles specialist and council member Eric Butorac of the USA wrote in a recent email. "I believe it is very unprecedented to have a top player so involved."
It's not just Roger Federer's time than matters. It's his clout.
"I think having someone like him on the council can be a big benefit, especially if you're going into important meetings with the Grand Slams," No. 3 Andy Murray said Saturday.
Reserved by nature, Federer has come a long way in understanding the needs and concerns of everyone from players ranked well outside the top 50 to doubles specialists.
Federer did not slip into the role of leader without some angst.
It is, like his precise shotmaking and fluid movements, a delicate balancing act. Demands can stretch on and on. The mind can become weary. Focus can waver.
Despite threats of a boycott and other hard-line tactics -- for tennis -- Roger Federer and his fellow players and ATP executives have shepherded successes.
The French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open each contributed a larger percentage of prize money to earlier rounds this season.
The Australian Open will do the same in January, and in a pre-emptive strike already announced the biggest year-over-year prize money increase in its history.
More important, Federer said, is the "productive" dialogue taking place.
"I'm happy that we've gotten to the table with the Slams and been able to explain our case," he said.
At 31, Roger Federer is brushing up against the usual threshold when age undermines skill, which means every minute and every decision he makes counts.
In that regard, time management might just be the Swiss' biggest asset. He seems to have found a formula that works.