Halle TD: Federer’s Withdrawal a Shock, We Had Private Jet, Maid Ready For Him

by Staff | June 8th, 2011, 9:40 am

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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36 Comments for Halle TD: Federer’s Withdrawal a Shock, We Had Private Jet, Maid Ready For Him

didi Says:

This guy is an idiot for counting on one person to carry his tournament. Every tennis has pulled out of tournaments especially after they reach the final of a GS.

Antonissimo Says:

what a prat,fed doesnt miss tournaments unless hes injured or totally burnt out,winging about it is sour grapes…

Dan Martin Says:

This is the danger of the grass court tune-ups. Most players who go deep in Paris are potential drop outs for obvious reasons. Most elite players don’t want to play the week before Wimbledon. Therefore, lots of weak draws.

Peter D Says:

Wow, the nerve! These athletes put their bodies on the line! The guy who just had to endure two grueling matches at RO has a full right to skip the next tournament to rest.

Eric Says:

This is a bit tasteless, but you guys are forgetting the huge deal that Roger AND Halle’s organizers made just one year ago about Roger’s new lifetime contract with them. I’m sure they knew he might not be appearing every single year – injuries, etc. – but it was certainly a slap in the face for him to withdraw barely 12 hours before he was due to start playing, the very next year after signing a lifetime contract with them… Of course it was always the right thing to do for Roger; he needs to rest, and R. Weber needs to chill. But understand it’s not just any old tournament he’s pulling from, it’s one where he has a contract to appear.

Kimberly Says:

Djokovic played the Davis Cup the week after US Open and Wimbledon.

Eric Says:

Djokovic also pulled from Queens. So…. :)

dari Says:

davis cup was as, if not more important, to novak as/than a slam, so of course he didn’t pull out. its not really a comparable situation.
halle, even with that freshly signed contract, was not enough of a priority for fed. and with no time to spare, ouch.
he must have REALLY needed the rest/is actually hurt. or just doesn’t give a darn and is looking out for #1, or should i say #3.
halle is obviously quite open now.
i see murray is through in 3!

andrea Says:

all players pull from tournaments and whose to say whether its for legit ‘injuries’ ‘concerns’ or what have you. they do have to look out for #1. roger has had a ridiculously amazing career, especially from a health and injury standpoint, so have to side with him on this one. he knows if he needs to pull out or not.

Eric Says:

I’d say Raonic has at least as good of a shot as anyone. Berdych looked god-awful in the first 2 sets against Bemelmans. Hewitt is the only really A+ grass player in the top half, and he’s probably not in a physical condition suitable for winning Halle… so I’d say Raonic, Berdych, Gael, Lleyton, are the top 4 contenders, and maybe Kohls and even Lu are the only other possibilities.

Kimberly Says:

so I’d say Raonic, Berdych, Gael, Lleyton, are the top 4 contenders,

Now do you understand why Gerry Weber is pissed?

M Says:

People are watching for the Maple Leaf Missile to make a resurgence, especially going into Wimbledon. Weber’ll do all right.

(And also, honestly, I don’t think the private jet or the maid service are much special to Roger. He and Rafa flew on a private jet from their Zurich exho to their Madrid exho last year … and doesn’t the man have a whole suite named after him at the Carlyle?)

RZ Says:

Considering how rarely Fed pulls from a tournament, it’s idiotic of the Gerry Weber Open director to pull this sort of hissy fit. And why on earth would he think that Federer would endanger his chances of winning Wimbledon just to play Halle?

scoreboard66 Says:

I think Fed made the right decision to pull out of Halle. Groin injuries take a long time to heal. Bellucci had a groin injury during his match with Nole at Madrid(?) and then he lost early in Rome.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

This guy is making a fool of himself. How can someone who runs a sporting event be unaware that injuries are a fact of life AND unpredictable?
What an ultra-maroon. Agree with Eric’s picks otherwise.

Anna Says:

As body parts go, the groin is pretty important for pulling one around a tennis court. What does a lifetime contract mean anyway. Does he have to play until he drops dead. Maybe he can just go on the final weekend and pat all the players on the back an then hand out the trophy. Halle will think twice before putting all their eggs in Fed’s basket. People need to realize (probably Fed too) that commitments do need to change as we age.

skeezerweezer Says:


Good stuff. I have actually pulled a groin ( I know …errr great topic!! ). It’s NOT your b@lls, but that other posters post was funny.

It can be a long recovery depending on the severity. It actually can complicate into your Hammy. Knocked me out for 3 weeks, had a limp, but groin area fully operational.( ok….TMI )

Kimberly Says:

Hahaha skeezer, your post made me laugh. I have miraculously been relatively injury free for months now, and vie been playing tennis, doing interval training and weights almost every day. Never had a groin injury thankfully, only quad, hamstring, shoulder and lower back. All minor pulls and I played anyway.

Fed is generally pretty injury free. Prob the least injuries on the tour.

Kimberly Says:

Jane this game is disastrous. Colino6 was upset. I made him go to bed as he has tennis camp all day tomorrow but he was pretty unhappy.

Thankfully the tennis camp wore him out so that last night he fell asleep at 6pm and missed the heat game.

Kimberly Says:

Maybe this sounds dumb, but why would federer need a maid to play a tennis tournament? I’m sure Mirka has a nanny that travels with them and the hotel has cleaning staff, as all hotels do?

jane Says:

Kimberly, What a major letdown. :( Deja vu of the Chicago series all over again. We were 3-0 up in that series, and they came back and forced a game seven. Since then, we have been solid in the playoffs, UNTIL, that is, the last game and the Rome hit. That has been our undoing. Well, that and their freakishly good goalie, in contrast to ours, who has sprung a leak. Sigh.

Go Heat! Hope Colin has fun at tennis camp.

Eric Says:

Fed didn’t necessarily “pull” his groin full stop, he just needs to rest it. Nothing to worry about, at least not yet. He is probably just being prudent by not playing Halle.

I am so looking forward to Wimbledon. The French is actually my favorite slam by far (which maybe is weird for a Federer fan…)… clay just seems to me like the truest tennis surface (although sadly we don’t really have any clay courts out here in CA so I’ve only played on it a few times). And, objectively, I think grass is kind of an idiotic surface — any surface that gets completely destroyed and plays unevenly by the end of the two weeks is stupid — for tennis. But, perhaps because of its rarity, it’s also the most exciting surface to watch, and Wimbledon has its own special magic, of course, as the oldest and most prestigious slam… Plus my man has a great shot to win it, he’s definitely the hands-down favorite IF he can keep his FO form going.

skeezerweezer Says:


FO was all in all a great tourney this year. lots of stuff at stake and drama and all that, it was fun :). But each GS has it’s own individual charm to me, and has it’s merits. I would say that AO and USO is a kinda repeat, and wish there was a another type of surface. I like the “variety” of surfaces, makes for great Tennis. ;). Althouhg in AO’s defense, I had a friend who has been to all the GS’s and said AO was the best…so go figger.


Waz up wit da heat? Ya gonna let a Dirkwitzki with a 102 temp bring down Wade and Lebron? Say it ain’t so!

Re; maid…trust me …he needs a maid…and if he doesn’t I will take one during my tournaments…or to be fair…a butler…Beer please!

RE; Tennis..all I can tell you as your Senior is prior to playing is stretch, stretch. Also, don’t tell other guys here, but yoga is an awesome addition to a tennis game.

BTW wanted to send you a link….www.tennisone.com…subscribe to the free newsletter… as a player you’ll love it. Please pass on Congrats again to Kaiser, any doubs match won on Clay is Huge. :)

rojerk Says:

Rojerk has got a lifetime contract with them and isn’t injured rather wants to just be better prepared for Wimbledon.

Why even sign such a contract if he’ll withdraw every other year? He was never gonna play Queens anyway given he is friends with a lot of people in Halle and it is one of his favourite tournament (let alone not wanting to play Nadull et al in a small tournament right before Wimbledon…).

As arrogant as he is he’s expecting himself to always go deep in RG, so it doesn’t make any sense. They even organized a private jet and a nanny for him. Now he’s just having some days off prancing around Zurich spending money in expensive stores, maybe the money he got thru that lifetime contract..?

Kimberly Says:

skeez, thanks for the link! Kaiser already lost the trophy to colino6. They played for it and colin06 won 60 60.

madmax Says:

Roger has NOT got a lifetime contract with Halle tournament. He signed a 5 year contract with them last year.

Secondly, Novak withdrew from Queens, completely understandable due to his fantastic season so far. I don’t know how Novak has kept going.

Rafa and Murray withdrew from Rotterdam last year too. I remember the tournament directors being miffed at Murray’s withdrawal but these things happen.

Considering Federer played lights out tennis against Novak in the SFs at RG and then had a much better Final than most expected, it’s hardly surprising he needs the rest, as does novak.

Webber should be proud that fed signed with them for the next 4 years. Even federer couldn’t have predicted what would happen at the FO. Webber should stop his assassinations of Fed’s motives. He just needs the rest.

Made me think though how tightly packed the ATP tour is for them. They hardly get any breaks during the year really and with all the intensity of mens tennis right now, I do think it does need a bit of rejigging, unlikely though that will happen.

In the three months leading up to the French Open, federer played 24 matches in six tournaments, taking part in the Dubai tournament and the non-mandatory Monte Carlo Masters in addition to Masters events at Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome. By contrast last year, he played 14 matches in five events in this period.

This should make webber realise that this year federer has played 10 more matches than 2010.


Nina Says:

I think the problem is not that he withdrew but that he did it 12 days prior to the tournament when all tickets are sold. I believe it’s important to be honest and transparent with the fans when the main/only attraction at halle is Federer, no other Tops.
Good luck next year if they manage to contract Nadal and Djoko too, but I doubt it as they are very loyal to Queens.

Richard Says:

That’s what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket and shovel tons of appearance money under the table to kiss the a*s of an elite few. Today’s top players are so spoiled it’s ridiculous and the sport is on it’s knees because of it. What a shame.

jane Says:

Nina, Nole played Halle one year, so you never know. Also I think you mean 12 hours not “12 days” in your post? ;) The latter would be plenty of notice methinks.

rojerk Says:

Novak played Halle one year, yes… But I don’t think he’s ever gonna play there anymore. Too fast and slippery. Obviously his mate Viktor told him loads of great things about the tournament given that he trains nearby, so he tried it out, but it doesn’t suit him and even though the field is stronger and bigger in Queens it’s the better choice for him.

Nina Says:

@jane… LOL, yes, I meant 12 hours. :)

madmax Says:

Nina Says:
I think the problem is not that he withdrew but that he did it 12 days prior to the tournament when all tickets are sold. I believe it’s important to be honest and transparent with the fans when the main/only attraction at halle is Federer, no other Tops.
Good luck next year if they manage to contract Nadal and Djoko too, but I doubt it as they are very loyal to Queens.

June 9th, 2011 at 11:06 am


how would federer know that he needed a rest 12 days before Halle started? Impossible to predict the future.

Federer did sign Halle for an initial 5 year contract. I later read a life time contract was signed. Apologies for misinterpreting.

Gary Says:

Would Weber rather Federer had showed up and lost the first round due to his injury? I guess then Weber would have complained that Federer didn’t give his best at the tournament. Those guys need more time between tournaments to rest and recover.

Michel Says:

5 year deal for a 29yr old tennispro is probably a lifetime deal.
And webber stil used the name of Federer to sell all those tickets or more important tv rights etc. Anyway there must be some clause that states something about Federer actually participating in the event.

leo vixen Says:

On a similar subject: Does anyone think that Nadal cared that he lost to Tsonga yesterday in Queens just after winning Roland Garros? The only difference is that Nadal showed his exhausted face, lost, and got the hell out of there. Already back in Mallorca, and no one made a fuss and no one really noticed. Same end result as Roger, just different tactics, but who could blame them? The early losers in the GS are the ones who are going to play in these small tournaments immediately after, since they have had the most rest. So this Webber guy should shut up and save face. Too bad dude, you are stuck with what you got.

dave Says:

What a scam! The Halle organizers are probably scammers!

Federer’s name alone probably attracted 20% to 40% more paying fans than they would have gotten without Federer. Every 10,000 extra fans probably bring them at least another $1 million in ticket sales.

They give back only 20% to ticket holders, so they still make more money than without Federer.

Sure Federer got an appearance fee (did he have to return some of it for not appearing?). Last year Bangkok newspapers reported the Bangkok tournamnet gave gave Nadal $1.5 million in appearance fees, so Rafa made the trip one week after the US Open.

But even after appearance fees and refund to spectators, the Halle tournament likely made a lot of money simply using Federer’s name.

Yet Ralf Weber has the nerve to whine about Federer. He’s probably annoyed that Federer spoke to Gary Weber. Or maybe Federer and Ralf secretly came up with the strategy to blame Federer in order to take the heat off the Halle organizers.

The real problem is the scheduling of tournaments so soon after the French Open. An extra week should be added to the grass season. A grass event like Halle should be upgraded to a Masters 1000 event.

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