Halle tournament director Gerry Weber is on the attack after learning of Roger Federer’s withdrawal from the Gerry Weber Open.
In a post on the tournament website, the Weber ripped into Federer for not upholding his lifetime commitment to play the Halle tournament.
“The withdrawal of Roger certainly was a shock. That came out of nowhere for us,” Weber said. “Everything was prepared for him from the private jet to the maid.”
“I am stunned,” he said. “Our plans for the past year have been nearly exclusively with Roger appearing. And he never gave us any doubts that he had health problems. I clearly expressed my disappointment to his management.”
Federer announced on Monday that he was would skip the Halle tournament to rest after losing to Rafael Nadal in the French Open final Sunday.
“I am very disappointed as its one of my absolute favorite tournaments on the ATP Tour, but my body, especially my groin, really needs a rest,” Federer said. “After talking with my team this morning, I feel that its way to risky to take a chance on aggravating it even more before Wimbledon.”
Weber says that in Federer’s absence, he will give Tuesday/Wednesday ticketholders 20% off the 2012 event.
“We know that the Gerry Weber Open is not Wimbledon. And we have to accept that,” said Weber.
“I believe we owe our spectators this gesture, even though we are not obligated to do so.”
Next year will the 20th anniversary of Halle, and Weber says he will try to sign Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the special event in addition to Federer, who he hopes to speak to during Wimbledon.
The loss of Federer leaves the marquee to Tomas Berdych, Gael Monfils and Lleyton Hewitt.
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