Roger Federer: Players Should Be Not Able To Dictate Who Does And Doesn’t Umpire Their Matches
by Tom Gainey | May 27th, 2015, 1:09 pm

Following a straight set win over Marcel Granollers, Roger Federer commented on Rafael Nadal’s request to have Carlos Bernardes banned from umpiring the Spaniard’s matches.

Federer said it’s fine to put the request in, but even the very top players should not be receiving any special treatment in that regard.

“We have played almost a thousand matches, Rafa as well,’ Federer said. “So clearly with some umpires you are better off with some and some not. Then it’s okay also if umpires don’t have the best day. We understand that; it’s the same for us, you know. We are not in the best mood every day, as well.

“It goes back to the same thing that everybody is requesting things when they want to play. I want to play Tuesday, I want to play Monday, I want to play Sunday. The players understand that not every request can be granted. So at the end of the day, you can make a request, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. I think that’s okay.

“I think everybody should be treated the same way.”

Federer pointed out that if everybody started requestion specific umpires, what a circus that would become.

Federer’s countryman Stan Wawrinka also spoke about this issue, admitted that he’s also put a request in.

“I have already made such request over a short period of time for direct problems and issues I had with the umpire,” Wawrinka said not indicating whether the request had been granted. “So when a player makes such a request, it should be granted only if the umpire has made mistakes or faults. If it’s just because you don’t like the person, this request should not be accepted.”

Next for Federer is a third round match Friday against Damir Dzumhur.

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27 Comments for Roger Federer: Players Should Be Not Able To Dictate Who Does And Doesn’t Umpire Their Matches

Tennis Vagabond Says:

The headline is at odds with the actual quotes provided.

Roger actually says IT’S OK TO MAKE REQUESTS but that not all can be granted and players should be treated equally.

If there is a quote to support the headline it should be included, otherwise the headline is inappropriate.

elina Says:

Federer is right again. As he says it is ok to put the request in.

Nadal requests umpires to avoid temporarily and Roger requests days to play (as I said earlier).

Well said Roger!

Ben Pronin Says:

We need a clown for this circus!!

Deborah Taylor Says:

I bow to no one in my love for Roger Federer but this should not be an issue. If a player wants to complain about an umpire, they should be able to and there should be a process for doing that. If the complaints are found to have merit, the umpire should be disciplined/retrained, whatever. At no time should a player have the ability to suggest who should or should not umpire their matches. That is insane.

sienna Says:

Roger just being polite towards Rafa(natics)

Giles Says:

Ben. Lol. I remember that quote very well.

Okiegal Says:

Gael my #1 pick for the clown in this circus!

Okiegal Says:

All the hoopla surrounding this thread is about WHO made the request…..nothing more, nothing less!

Eric Says:

It’s a short, slippery slope from Rafa making a simple request like this to absolute anarchy! I mean, if Rafa can just say, “hey, this guy, he can’t be my umpire anymore,” what’s to stop Djokovic from saying “Serbian players get three serves” or Monfils from asking the ATP to require players to leap over the net during changeovers, or Federer from requesting that Rafa be barred from his tournaments?? It’ll be bedlam, I say, madness! MADNESS!

amadeus Says:

dramadal 2015

NK Says:

“Nadal requests umpires to avoid temporarily and Roger requests days to play (as I said earlier.”

Elina, do you have an actual incident of Federer requesting an extra day? More than any other player, Federer has never made an issue of the schedule or the surface. As he says, sometimes in works out in your favor, sometimes it does not.

Remember blue Madrid? Nadal complained to high heavens about the court, but Federer calmly played and won the title.

Provide a pattern of specific behavior as absolute proof please before you comment.

skeezer Says:

Its interesting over the years reading the rule abusing and other antics like this. Will there be an *asterick* on Nadals records/career?

elina Says:

Nk he says it above lol.

The asterisk will read that his achievements were attained during the golden era when the three greatest players of all time were simultaneously winning slams of course.

skeezer Says:

^ right. Uh uh…whatever you say.

Michael Says:

Roger has been candid and is not afraid to call spade a spade and has been forthright that the top players should not enjoy leverage to manipulate and vitiate the rules and frame works to their advantage. There should be a sense of equality and fairness in the game and players should be treated on par or atleast there should be an altruistic motive that drives the game and the Authorities should be conscious of it. Tossing up of umpires due to player’s interference would send a wrong message to the playing fraternity and might distort the fairness of the contest itself. So, enough is enough and from now on, ATP should turn a new leaf and bring a greater sense of purpose and direction by restoring the integrity of the Sport which is much greater than its popularity itself.

Aston Says:

These reporters are a joke.

Federer and Wawrinka in their quotes are supporting Rafa by saying that it is legitimate to ask ATP but it is the ATP’s decision to allow it. That’s exactly what Rafa did. And Wawrinka explicitly states that he has requested it many times.

Rafa made a request (reporters change the wording to “demanded”) and ATP accepted it. ATP openly stated that it is common practice and both umpires and players do it. It is not one sided.

Aston Says:


“Remember blue Madrid? Nadal complained to high heavens about the court, but Federer calmly played and won the title.”

Oh yes I do. He did not complain because it suited him. He has been complaining about Wimbledon slowing down courts and what not for years.

All players and umpires make requests like this as ATP have openly stated. Wawrinka explicitly said in his statement that he has requested this many times. And Federer statement is implicit as he is not denying it outright like Djokovic did.

elina Says:

Aston, well said on both counts.

The media like to cheery pick player statements and take them out of context to give stories the slant they want to generate the maximum conflict.

That is why I prefer to read the full transcripts myself for the proper context.

No wonder players have to be guarded about what they say and then are routinely criticized for being boring.

Here is also what Roger said regarding Nadal’s request (but was left out because it didn’t fit the story):

“In his situation there are maybe enough umpires out there that it’s not such a big problem for the ATP or the umpire or the player,” Federer said.

“The players understand that not every request can be granted. you can make a request, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. I think that’s okay.”

Well done Roger! Right again.

Peter Stewart Says:

The issue is clear. If a top player is able to request who umpires them, they will make sure they are assigned umpires uncritical of their style of play. Nadal is a textbook example. It just so happens this umpire called Nadal on his egregious time between points. If it is insinuated that if you are an umpire and correctly call out Nadal on his time violations, that you will no longer be working as much, that’s a HUGE problem.

elina Says:

There is nothing to say he will no longer be working as much. Bernardes can simply trade matches with a more respectful umpire.

Besides, there are 127 matches in the mens draw at RG and Nadal will only be playing in seven of them.

Jack Lewis Says:

A umpire less respectful of the rules (aka his job).

elina Says:

Wasn’t aware the rules encompassed laughing at a player while he changes clothing on court Jack Lewis.

Perhaps it came with the time violation rule change a few years ago.

skeezer Says:

elina still here trying to defend all the posters who are criticizing Nadal. A lonely life. mew.

Bernardes is umpiring at FO, today as a matter of fact. Apparently other players don’t have a problem.

Eric Says:

Please. This is a bunch of hot air and using insignificant nonsense to criticize players you don’t like.

I don’t think the ATP should grant requests of this potentially favoritism-laden type, if only because tennis as a professional sport is already heavily weighted toward those at the top. But it’s hardly a major affront to the game. If the ATP were serious about the time violation rule, all umpires would consistently enforce it. But the ATP is not serious about it and so they don’t, which means that in the end Rafa would have to adjust his game to suit the umpire. Whether you think the time rule should be rigorously enforced or not, it seems clearly undesirable for players to need to adapt to who is sitting in the chair.

Giles Says:

skeezer. Read your post at 2.05 pm. Are you sure you have the wording of your post right? Is elina trying to defend all the posters who are criticising Nadal or is elina trying to defend Nadal from all the criticism directed at him? I think it is the latter.

elina Says:

We are but two lonely souls then dear skeezer you and I.

Me defending the ATP’s decision to accommodate player requests such as Nadal’s and you defending Kyrgios’ need to validate himself to others.

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