TMZ Reports Federer Named in Gambling Lawsuit

by Staff | October 13th, 2010, 10:01 pm

Celebrity gossip website is reporting today that Roger Federer has allegedly been named in a lawsuit filed against the Swiss’ management company, IMG. ADHEREL

According to documents obtained by TMZ, Federer and Tiger Woods are part of a suit filed by Agate Printing against IMG who represents both players.

TMZ writes, “tennis star Roger Federer gave Forstmann (IMG’s owner) inside information about a tennis match in which Federer competed. The suit claims in one case Forstmann raised his bet from $10,000 to $40,000 after receiving the inside info from Federer. We’re told the match in question was the 2006 French Open final. Ironically, Federer lost to Rafael Nadal.”

TMZ received a response from Ted Forstmann’s representative, Michael Sitrick, denying the claims. “The allegations in James Agate’s complaint are beyond false, they are preposterous,” Sitrick told the website. Sitirick added that Agate filed a similar suit in 2008 but the case was dismissed.

his thing is bunk! IMG is now going after the publishing company for filing suit.

UPDATE #1: IMG Fires Back

UPDATE #2: Federer responds
“If it were a different player, I would hope that it’s obviously not true, but because it involves my name, somewhere out there, I know it’s 100% not true. So I’m pretty relaxed about this because I’m hoping complete honesty for the sport, leave the game better off [inaudible] when I play when I arrive to the sport even though it was already a great type of form I had, and the last thing I would do is harm the sport and create a negative light on our sport, so it’s disappointing that someone’s throwing my name around, I would never do such a thing, the fans know that and the people who know me know that, so I have nothing to hide and I’m sorry for those who think there’s something to this story.”

UPDATE #3: More documents surface

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52 Comments for TMZ Reports Federer Named in Gambling Lawsuit

NachoF Says:

No one in the whole world is going to believe any of this bullshit.. seriously.. take it out of the site completely

Kimberly Says:

Agreed, remove it, it’s tasteless

Ben Pronin Says:

Haha, that’s pretty funny.

skeezerweezer Says:


mem Says:

this is a horrible accusation and as far as i’m concerned it’s gossip until proven otherwise, but my guess is, for a lot of people it would be pretty easy to believe had it been about nadal. isn’t that right skeezer?

Ben Pronin Says:

Federer was 23 at the time, right? If he told someone that he would definitely win that match, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest. Fed’s always been a cocky guy, easily proven by his latest interview, so he probably was bragging about it or something. If he said he would purposely lose, I’d find that hard to believe, though. But I would find it even harder to believe that Nadal would purposely throw a match. Federer’s uneven play adds at least minimal suspicion that he isn’t above throwing matches but Nadal hasn’t lost before the quarters of a tournament since 1473.

Either way this is pretty funny.

jane Says:

This is a joke isn’t it? I went to the website and it looked “gossipy’ in nature; I wouldn’t trust it.

Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, you’re not familiar with TMZ? It’s everything that’s wrong with the U.S. and then some.

grendel Says:

mem – Jackson and Johnson….

pigirl1 Says:

anyone seriously believe Federer will throw away a French Open Final to Nadal for the sake of some random Forstmann? lol

John Says:

Who is this Ben Pronin mug? making a fool of yourself here.

federer and nadal are both totally above reproach yet you are talking of them as if theyre into betting. You idiot. If some greedy clown from IMG is into betting its not Federers fault.

mjt308 Says:

“Federer’s uneven play adds at least minimal suspicion that he isn’t above throwing matches…”

Ben, can you please substantiate that with some examples? If not, then you are no better than TMZ.

Colin Says:

“Everything that’s wrong with the US”?
Ah, if only that were true, the world would be a better and safer place, and lots of people now dead would be alive – many of them Americans.

Fruitcake Says:

The idea that a 24 year old Roger Federer would throw away the chance of the Calendar Grand Slam in 2006 by losing the FO final when he was odds-on to get the CGS that year is frankly beyond ludicrous. No doubt Fed’s uneven play of late is due to getting old (for a tennis player) as Ben Pronin probably knows!

Vulcan Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

Fed’s always been a cocky guy, easily proven by his latest interview,

I missed this one but I would be very much interested to know precisely what statements Federer has made that lead you to refer to him as “cocky” – From what I’ve ever seen he started out as humble and evolved to assertive but I can’t off of the top of my head think of any times when he was cocky. Particularly statements in the distant past…the guy never struck me as cocky.

Ben Pronin Says:

We can sit here and continue this outrageous assumption that tennis players are angels and saints and can do no wrong or we can remember that they’re human and make mistakes like the rest of us.

I also highly doubt Federer would have thrown that FO final. But who would’ve thought Tiger Woods would have 16 mistresses? This is a rumor and I take it as much. But if it turns out to be true I know the whole tennis world will go up in flames and I don’t think that’s cool. It happens.

Vulcan, is Federer not arrogant? Maybe my definitions are off but, to me, arrogant = cocky.

mjt308, I never said Federer throws matches or that I think he throws matches. But who would’ve thought that Agassi would have thrown numerous matches throughout his career? Again, tennis players aren’t saints who can do no wrong, they’re people. Federer is getting older and maintaining a high level of consistency is difficult. However, if it were to turn out that he has purposely tanked, I wouldn’t be surprised. Not that I’d be surprised if he’s never done it, either. It happens.

Vulcan Says:


No I don’t think he is. He certainly doesn’t understate things as much as he used to but I’ve never seen him as overconfident or condescending to anybody…even today. Also, above you said “always” suggesting that he has always been so…this is even more preposterous to me…one of the things I have always admired most about Federer is his quiet confidence which never seems to exceed his ability. This, in addition to his humble respect for the game, his opponents (whatever their ranking), the media and pretty much everybody he comes into contact with that is visible to the public eye.
You mentioned an interview so I was just curious to see if you could rattle off some reasons/statements that have caused you to see him that way.

Dieter Garbade Says:

aren´t you guys busy at all?

skeezerweezer Says:

It is funny how posters up here criticize Tennis X, which all Tennis X is doing is mentioning the write up and supposed research some other site did. It’s tennis news, good or bad, and they do a good job of staying on top of it. You’re here aren’t you? Be careful of the hand that feeds you.

Tennis X gives credit to TMZ several times in the write up. If you REALLY notice they only posted a reference, not claimed it was original. I give them credit for digging up all news, worthy or not ( Tennis X ). It makes discussion and YOU are posting or reading about it, one way or another. So who is the fool?

If your reading this then you read the article, and you just gave tennis x a hit to sell more advertising.

So yes they are Tennis X, smart and clever.

My opinion on the article? Not that it matters……….well go check out and you have your answer. LOL

Ben Pronin Says:

His comments about dominating again and dominating anyone and whatnot, I think that’s cocky.

I’ve always liked that particular thing about Federer. Yes he can walk around with his head held high and not say a word, which is awesome. But then there are the times when he does say something, and it’s also awesome. I’ve never had a problem with Federer’s arrogance, and I do think he’s somewhat arrogant. But he’s earned it, imo. But I can imagine him bragging about “definitely winning the French Open final” back when he was 23. However, I don’t think he purposely lost the match. I can’t imagine that. Especially since I remember how he busted his ass to break back in the 4th set (I’ll never forget that point at 30-30 he played to get the break point). If it turned out that he did lose that match on purpose? Well, it happens. It would suck, though.

grendel Says:

Vulcan, there’s a lot of people who have always seen Federer as extremely arrogant.He once said something like “I think people watching me are watching greatness”. This got some people VERY agitated, and on the face of it, it doesn’t sound too good. I tried to make the defence at the time that he was simply saying what he knew other were saying and that he happened to agree with it. It’s a tricky one this. In my eyes, there is something preposterous and false about people who are clearly great (in any given field) but who pretend to be unaware of it, would never mention it (why should they – they know that plenty of others will), and meanwhile, these modest little dears, happily bask (ever so quietly) in the glory.

On the other hand, people who consistently flaunt their ability in your face are obviously an absolute pain in the neck – although they can provide some unconscious comedy.

Striking a balance is not easy. Nadal recently referred to himself as becoming a legend, and I think he did it with some grace myself – and I’m glad he was open about it. He hasn’t found that easy.

Has Federer got the balance right? Probably not, who has? But I think he gets reasonably close. I have always maintained (not that it matters in the least what I maintain, but what I mean is I have held this view for some years, it seems obvious to me) that Federer has absolutely no doubts about his own greatness as a tennis player, is “cocky” in that respect if you like (it was Sean Randall who first used that word about him so far as I know), whilst being naturally modest and unassuming off the court.

I think that’s not a bad mix.

grendel Says:

“His comments about dominating again and dominating anyone and whatnot, I think that’s cocky.”

You know, I’m not sure about that Ben. I suspect there’s an element of wishful thinking about it. It’s like he’s wanting to convince himself. He knows if he has the slightest doubt in his mind, he’s got no chance against the others in the top 4, not when they’re on song.

He’s a man who wants to prolong his career right at the very top, none of this swanning elegantly off into the sunset business. This is an incredibly bold and frankly improbable ambition. We’re so used to Federer and his achievements, it’s easy to miss what a daunting goal Federer is setting himself, with Nadal and Djokovic in particular already alltime greats and right at the peaks of their careers.

So Federer is taking a great gamble. Can’t see it coming off myself, but I honour him for it.

b.t.w., if by “tanking” we mean not always giving of your absolute best when disheartened etc, there can be few if any players entirely free of guilt.

Anna Says:

I think your as close as anyone can be in your assessment of both Roger and Rafa. They’re two different personalities from two different cultures (I’m not talking night and day) who exhibit the best of said culture. Am I wrong? I don’t think you’ll get any of the Spaniards to talk about how wonderful they are. When Rafa was asked about how he fit into tennis history he said, “well, I never thought I was but I guess I gonna be”. All that said with a huge grin on his face that made you think it had to happen before he would let himself go to that happy place.

I think I’m realistic when it comes to human nature, frailties and such, but I do not believe that either Roger or Rafa would ever throw a match. Not then, not now, not ever!!!

Sean Randall Says:

This thing is bunk! IMG is now going after the publishing company for filing suit.

And Federer’s response today:

“If it were a different player, I would hope that it’s obviously not true, but because it involves my name, somewhere out there, I know it’s 100% not true. So I’m pretty relaxed about this because I’m hoping complete honesty for the sport, leave the game better off [inaudible] when I play when I arrive to the sport even though it was already a great type of form I had, and the last thing I would do is harm the sport and create a negative light on our sport, so it’s disappointing that someone’s throwing my name around, I would never do such a thing, the fans know that and the people who know me know that, so I have nothing to hide and I’m sorry for those who think there’s something to this story.”

skeezerweezer Says:

Anna & grendal,

Well done ;)

skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Sean! Fed’s statement was RIGHT ON!

Ben Pronin Says:

Epic response by Federer.

jane Says:

grendel “I suspect there’s an element of wishful thinking about it. It’s like he’s wanting to convince himself. He knows if he has the slightest doubt in his mind, he’s got no chance against the others in the top 4,”

While I sense the pessimist in you – (come on – Melzer, who’s 31, just beat the number 1 world player; Ljub, who’s 31, just beat the numbner 4 player last week – and this is Fed we’re talking about, and he’s only 29; he could rise again) – mainly I’d go along with you on your take on the dominance talk. I noticed recently that Fed referred to being mentally strong/fresh, and that seemed new to me somehow, because in the past he seemed to come by that mental strength like second nature. Maybe now, with the lapses we discussed yesterday, etc, it’s more tough for him to keep that mental strength up. This confident talk would be helpful in that regard – keep the belief alive and all, and make it known publicly that you believe.

skeezerweezer Says:


I agree also with your thought about Fed keeping that mental strength up.

It is awesome that a poster can freely discuss another player whilst it have nothing to do in context with there fav.

Your fav (s) are still in and looking good so far, so I hope the discussions lean towards players that are in, rather than players that are not.

Wish there were more like you:)

Fot Says:

Yes – that’s a great response from Roger. And this TMZ is nothing but a bunch of gossip folks trying to make any type of ‘news’ to get ratings.

bobby Says:

Anna, Melzer is 29 not 31.

gwenzor Says:

I hope to heck Roger stays away from Tiger, I noticed at the US open this year they quit saying “Tiger this, and Tiger that” when talking about RF. Otherwise this is stupid, when you have earned the amount of money and notoriety Roger has received, there is always someone there with a hand out. 2006, how long do you have to wait to go after someones cash.

Anna Says:


I have no idea what your talking about. I haven’t said “Boo” about Meltzer. Although I’m surprised he went out to Monaco yesterday.

Theresa Says:

Its about time Federer was investigated. Its very odd to me that many “top class” players, kick the stuffing out of many opponents, then go down without a wimper to Federer. And dont tell me its because “he’s the greatest” cos the blood is in the water for him… Personally I think there is some pay offs somewhere to Federers opponents and if true, it will be great to see “his royal arrogance” taken down a few pegs !

RZ Says:

This story makes me laugh. Obviously a lot of BS. But let’s have fun with it. What is the possible insider-info that Fed allegedly shared?

Reasons to be against him:
– Everyone in the world has a hard time beating Rafa on clay.
– Rafa doesn’t lose at Roland Garros.
– Rafa might be the best claycourt player ever.
– I have a lousy record against Rafa.

Reasons to bet for him:
– I’m the #1 player in the world.
– You’d have a better pay-off if you bet on me and I end up winning since the odds heavily favor Rafa.

Eliza Says:

Theresa – you should be careful you are not sued for libellous comments together with the perpetrator of this ridiculous rumour. What a low life you appear be.
Astonishing how there are mealy mouthed whingers who hate to see someone having huge success. Green eyed monster me thinks.
As for Federer the idea that he is dishonest to this degree, to risk his reputation and love of the sport for a few measly pounds is so ridiculous as to be laughable.
Roger – my advice to you would be – forget about it and concentrate solely on the job in hand.

TennisLove Says:

I’m sure Fed said something like “Why let someone like Davedenko, who is not nearly as successful or wealthy or has as great a head of hair as I, have all the betting fun?!”.
The story is such a joke you can ONLY have fun with it.

Mark Says:

Why do you Federer haters come out of the closet and say so. I have read more articles bashing Federer at Bleacher report than any other place. This nonsense you printed proves my point. Commooooon admit it you people hate Federer and adore Nadal

Ashleigh Says:

The haters here are unbelievable… TMZ is total trash, and I am appalled that BR felt it even dignified repeating such gutter gossip! And Roger is not in the business of “throwing” matches! Have any of you seen his bank account lately? He has more money than he knows what to do with, he doesn’t need to “gain” bucks from anywhere ever again! He plays because he loves it and because he’s great at it…

And at the 2006 FO, he was 24, not 23 as some jackass keeps saying, and he wanted that win so badly! There is NO WAY he would’ve thrown that!

As to him being supposedly arrogant — are you guys on drugs? He has confidence, why shouldn’t he be confident? But he has always been so gracious of and to his opponents, he gives of his time to children and fans and reporters, he is so well-liked and well-respected for NOT being an arrogant, cocky braggart, that HIS OWN ATP PEERS have voted him the Best Sportmanship of The Year Award for like 8 years in a row!!! How does THAT happen if he’s just an arrogant ass to everyone?! It never would happen, and if his own peers think he’s a class act not just on the court, but also in his speech, then idiots who hate him should just shut up!

I notice that most of us who like and admire and appreciate Roger Federer also like and admire and appreciate Rafa Nadal, but the same can’t be said about Nadal’s fans. I notice that their love of Rafa only seems to fuel their hatred of Roger… Very sad, because Roger & Rafa like & respect each-other, and Roger’s fans like & respect Rafa, too… It’s too bad Rafa’s fans don’t have the class to show the same respect for Roger in return…

zola Says:

This is such a joke. TMZ must think Federer was so desperate to earn $40 K that he gave inside information on “A MATCH”!…..

Not that we don’t have people (even here) who love to throw mud at players. But this has to stop. ATP and the players should take these allegations seriously and immediately take TMZ and anyone involved in spreading rumors like that to the courts and make them pay heavy fines.

Pedro Says:

You guys should hire some better copy editors: the phrase “named in a lawsuit” usually implies the person has been named as a co-respondent, at a minimum. As it stands, nothing in any of the documentation cited by TMZ or in any of the subsequent media pieces suggests the plaintiffs do any more than mention Federer’s name in passing: they could be understood to insinuate there may be impropriety, but make no overt mention of actual improper, or even unethical, conduct on his part.

My best guess, from my acquaintance with these things, is that the mention was shoehorned in there to embarrass and pressure Forstmann – as seems to be the case with the rest of the filing, for that matter. To allow yourselves to be used to further these sleazy, malicious, possibly slanderous, rumors is, at best, extremely shoddy reporting. Given the embellishment your headline constitutes, it’s probably a good deal lower than that.

Sean Randall Says:

Turns out Forstmann allegedly bet on Federer against Nadal and lost, lost big! 96K!

Now the company suing IMG has phone records, voicemails and more.

Whether Federer is really involved or not (I seriously doubt it), this story doesn’t seem to want to die.

Kimberly Says:

Sean, it makes no sense. As a worse clay court player fed could only control whether he lost the match, not whether he won it. If the bet was for him, could he indicate nadal was hurt? He went to a palm reader? Garbage.

Sean Randall Says:

Kimberly, agreed. It doesn’t add up.

Pedro Says:

If Federer had told Forstmann to bet on Nadal, *and* the bet had paid off, there would be a story worth discussing. As it is, the conversation would run something like

“That Forstmann dude sure is a lousy gambler, ya?”

“Ya, dude. Totally, like, lousy.”

Exeunt stage left, pursued by Nadal fans. Curtain drops. Actual tennis match ensues.

Or so we can hope.

Kimberly Says:

Maybe fed did a little smack talk to pep himself up, I’ve got this guy figured out etc. What is he supposed to say, I have no chance it is going to be yet another beat down? He cant win if he doesnt believe he can win. Perhaps fortsmann was encouraged by his optimism and raised his bet. This doesn’t qualify as inside info.

Pedro Says:

“Sean Randall Says:

Kimberly, agreed. It doesn’t add up.”

Well, no, it absolutely does add up, or at least it adds up to a couple of possible scenarios: a) Forstmann gambles big because he’s aware Federer feels confident, and loses; he then ditches the printing company that placed the losing bet in an attempt to avoid payment; or, b) Forstmann fires printer; printer fabricates story in attempt to pressure him into reinstating the contract – or get revenge.

Or some combination of all or some of those elements.

What it does *not* add up to is the possibility of improper conduct by Federer. That would require Federer throwing the match, in which case Forstmann would have bet on Nadal and won; or, given ATP rules, that Federer made the bet himself, in whatever direction. Neither of which has been so much as hinted at.

As things stand, if Federer had spent four weeks, four months, or four years, locked in a room with Forstmann, laying out the reasons Forstmann should bet on him, there would *still* be no hint of illegal, improper, or even immoral conduct. Players are allowed to talk themselves up all they wish, though they sometimes may want to consider not doing so.

Even Forstmann would have no cause for legal action against Federer: promisory estoppel requires consideration.

Kimberly Says:

If the match was Roland garros 2008 and forstmann bet on nadal against fed one might be slightly curious, as Feds dismal performance could indicate the match was thrown. But these facts make no sense and it’s laughable.

jojostruys Says:

Some people here say that Nadal fans (in this thread) are fed haters. would you guys please at least mention names and proofs that they are Nadal fans because i can easily point out fed fans who are obviously Nadal haters, with evidence!

Ben Pronin Says:

“Maybe fed did a little smack talk to pep himself up, I’ve got this guy figured out etc.”

That’s exactly what I’m saying!

I’m the jackass who keeps saying Federer was 23 and that’s my bad, mixed up the numbers a little. But I’m not a fed hater, not by a long shot. I’m just saying stuff happens. Do I think Federer is guilty, no, not even a little. Federer just doesn’t seem like the type. But we’ve seen an amazingly surprising scandal break out about almost every other top athlete of the past decade, so why not Federer?

madmax Says:

The guy suing IMG is a nut who has already had one lawsuit dismissed. IMG has even produced a letter from the guy basically stating he has emotional problems. Other reports say he has stalked Forstmann. There seems to be little basis for this lawsuit.

Also, the bet supposedly made on the match was for $60,000..
Does anyone in their right mind think Federer is throwing a grand slam or giving inside information to help the head of this giant agent corporation who is worth millions win a $60,000 bet?!
Never mind that Federer fought like hell in that match to win it and almost came back from being down.

This is a non story as evidenced by TMZ being the main outlet for it. I’m pretty disgusted actually that anyone could even print something like this – any proper tennis journalist would be ashamed to run this kind of story.

Ben, if Federer didnt have the confidence that he now has, you think he would be a top athlete? You think any of your american base ball players would have been as successful? Come on Ben. Federer is no less, nor more ‘arrogant’ than any top athlete who believes in himself – to be anything else would go against the psychology of being able to compete with the best.

This is a dirt journalism at its best.

Jessie Says:

It’s not the fact that Roger is arrogant, because he is, it’s about insider information. One can easily tell someone something, and that person buys, sells, or bets on the outcome that they have been told and whether the person makes money on the deal or loses, it is still considered insider info and the person who told and the person who bet, bought or sold are guilty. This could be very serious for Roger and IMG.

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