Wonderful article Matt. You pretty much summed up the Federer magic. Fans flock to Fed not just because of the wins or the balletic athleticism but also because of his personal charisma and charm off court. He has also been voted ATP fan favorite for about 14 year in a row, as well as Sportsman of the Year by the other ATP players.
By the way, I flew 8,000 kilometers to watch Federer play in Indian Wells a few years ago. While actual matches were going on in adjacent stadiums to half empty seats, people were hanging onto the edges of those adjacent stadiums to try to get a glimpse of Federer’s practices! So yes, I think the decision to put Federer on Center due to his Star Power is correct.