Roger Federer and Basel tournament director Roger Brennwalds remain at odds over the business arrangement (or lack there of) the two have made for the Swiss Open this October. Federer has long played his hometown event (winning 5 times in 13 appearances), but this year wavered on his participation until finally agreeing a few months ago.
While Federer is now confirmed to play, he isn’t happy about the situation and not pleased the tournament director has taken their private financial issues public and mocked the Swiss legend in front of the press.
“I announced that I’m playing the tournament some weeks ago, months ago maybe,” Federer said. “Because I always said I was going to play the tournament. That was, for me, the most important thing, is that I had an opportunity to play in front of my home city where I grew up, my home fans.
“I’ve had a great time there always, and I don’t want that to change just because of some business situation that couldn’t get solved, you know. So I wanted to diffuse the situation and announce that I’m going to play without getting paid and just enjoy myself over there. So that, for me, is the most important thing above everything.”
Just last week as Federer and Basel were still in contract talks the Brennwald made remarks that Federer does not answer his phone calls. And in front of the press he called Federer to prove that point (Federer didn’t answer). A stunt that no doubt Federer did not appreciate.
Brennwalds has since vigorously apologized to Federer, telling the 17-time Slam winner, “Sorry Roger, I’m only human,” but Roger doesn’t sound at peace.
“It doesn’t matter,” Federer responded yesterday when asked if Brennwald offered an apology. “I don’t discuss those things in the press like he does. For me, it’s really important to keep these things outside of everything. I did the utmost, and that’s all I need to know. And nobody, the fans in particular and myself, we don’t get hurt in the process.”
If Federer is playing Basel for free as he says, did the tournament use some or all of that money budgeted toward player appearances (Federer) to land Rafael Nadal? And if so is there any money left for Federer or will Roger really play without getting paid?
One thing is for sure Brennwalds in certainly on the hot seat!
Basel runs October 19-27.
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