Roger Federer Tries To Clear Up Basel Commotion, For Now He’ll Play For Free
by Tom Gainey | May 6th, 2013, 10:37 am

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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31 Comments for Roger Federer Tries To Clear Up Basel Commotion, For Now He’ll Play For Free

Steve 27 Says:

Money damages relationships!

Giles Says:

Won’t be surprised if fed pulls out of the tourney nearer the time.

Humble Rafa Says:

What way to extract more money?

I will pay for free, not really.

The Arrogant One also had issue with the guy running the Gerry Webber Open.

Your Humble Highness thinks a certain person is too greedy. Love for money trumps love for the game.

Learn from Humble. #modelcitizen

Alex Says:


I don’t promote alcohol or gambling. Poker stars is the biggest rip off ever!

And who is there main man?


nadalista Says:

Drama, drama, drama! Not cutting it on court so what’s a GOAT to do? Why, create drama off it, of course…..

Giles Says:

^^^ Oh, so Champagne is a non-alcoholic drink??

Giles Says:

My last post for @Alex

RZ Says:

On the one hand, Brennwalds seems like a big idiot for making a big deal that Federer does not answer his phone calls. Of course he doesn’t answer his phone! He’s probably on the practice court, or on a plane, or shooting some promos, or playing with his twins, or doing a zillion things more important than talking on the phone. My schedule is nowhere as busy as Fed’s, but I don’t answer every phone call I get either!

On the other hand, he’s certainly showed some smarts in landing Rafa for Basel.

RZ Says:

^ And smart for getting Fed to play for free.

alex Says:

Sure…but Moet is a pricy champagne to savour. Please I hardly imagine kids etc getting pissed on 100 dollar bottles of champagne. RUM? A different story. ..please tell me you have been out on the town once in your life…have you seen what that stuff does to peole? I know it’s your own responsibility to Monitor your alc content…but that stuffs poison. Cant compare a classy drink like Moet to Champagne…perhaps some Rafa fans feel they need to rum there brains out to show support. Im just Saying…but I suppose the moral question will never arise in a sheeps brain..could prpbably do adds for beretta and you would defend him. .or am I wrong. .? :)…

alex Says:

^moet to Rum!….on my smart phone. :/

billye Says:

@Humble Rafa : like Nadal would play Basel for free? In Brenwald’s shoes I will not expect too much from him… don’t forget that the last times he was scheduled there, he didn’t play… twice! Like Murray.

Nadal, Del Potro, Wawrinka, Raonic and Nishikori will be paid to come there…
And obviously you know not one thing about Halle… where your player will also play because he doesn’t want to pay too much taxes on Great Britain…

Giles Says:

^^^ Please stop your drivelling. Getting your knickers in a twist trying to defend your loved one!!

nadalista Says:

Yeah, let the Swiss throttle each other in public like village idiots Rafa, you just saunter in and collect the lolly………

skeezer Says:

Bottom line, Fed is playing for free, where he could have demanded the highest appearance fee on Tour. Kudos to him!

skeezer Says:

“Giles Says:
^^^ Please stop your drivelling. Getting your knickers in a twist trying to defend your loved one!!

ROFL….you could have easily said that about yourself!

Giles Says:

^^^^ Always interfering. Geez. You really are a clown!! Pity you don’t make me laugh, but that’s ok cos you laugh at your own non jokes!

Humble Rafa Says:

Fed is playing for free, where he could have demanded the highest appearance fee on Tour. Kudos to him!

In your own country? Serioiusly?

Does he charge his parents for breakfast when they visit?

Nicholas Says:

Do they not have prize money in Basel? Why do these guys require fees just to show up?

Presumably Fed has a high chance of winning, so if there is prize money, He’ll be getting paid.

Giles Says:

HR. Don’t forget he has 4 mouths to feed. Every Swiss Franc counts!

Steve 27 Says:

Geld macht Geschlechtsverkehr schwierig. Moralisten oder nicht, sind die meisten Männer gierig und hier ein gutes Beispiel dafür.

Sean Randall Says:

I’m confident that if you live in Switzerland or are Swiss, the last thing you want to do is rankle Mr. Federer.

Cupcake Says:

Given that Federer has not received a huge fee for playing in Basel in previous years so that the tournament director has made huge profits from the extortionate prices he charges for tickets, then I think Federer has every right to be aggrieved over the situation. Making a phone call to Federer in front of the media to prove that he can’t get talk to him, and washing dirty laundry in public is crass and tasteless – which Brennwald has shown himself to be. Federer has every right to be aggrieved … and he made the perfect reposte .. that he doesn’t talk about private things in public … ‘like he does’…. ha ha .. good one Roger!

RZ Says:

In almost every instance where some person (player, tournament director, etc.) publicly mentions something negative about Federer, they usually end up being the one looking bad. You’d think they’d have learned by now.

nadalista Says:

^^^quite. Nobody ever crossed Tony Soprano and lived to tell the tale.

skeezer Says:

^and what are you really trying t say?

nadalista Says:

^^^I am not TRYING to say what I said. This is what I said:

“quite. Nobody ever crossed Tony Soprano and lived to tell the tale.”

Clear. What’s there to try?

Sienna Says:

just go to yure playing ground the tennistalk site. There you can have it youre way.

As far as Rogers concerned he has just started his 2013 year.

You can disregard anything happening up to know he is looking for Garros Wimbly double.

Let me assure you that he is the fittest guy on tour within a few weeks.

skeezer Says:

^^^^who is Toni Soprano? What are u inferring too?

andrea Says:

poor taste to take the matter to the press. nobody wins that way and you add a wrinkle to the relationship that doesn’t need to be there.

everyone knows that the top guys get appearance fees and that yes, they do make decisions on where they will play based on what they will get paid. that also happens in golf.

athletes are playing sport for a living and have a window of opportunity to make money. if they can maximize their earnings, i don’t have a problem with that. as capitalists, we’d all do the same.

steve-o Says:

Just like any other professional athlete, Federer plays pro tournaments for money, not out of the goodness of his heart. No one has any right to expect him to play for free.

Playing for free is total capitulation on Federer’s part. He has given away all bargaining power with respect to Basel, and some of his bargaining power elsewhere.

Now that he’s agreed to play Basel for free, other tournaments will pressure him to play for less because they know he’s lowered his asking price. Tournament officials at Dubai, for example, might try to see if they can renegotiate their deals with him so they can keep a bigger cut for themselves.

I’m sure this will make life hell for Tony Godsick (Federer’s agent) and make Federer’s own life more difficult, but he did it because he’s Swiss and feels obligated to play in Basel for Swiss tennis and Swiss fans.

And there are morons here who think that he’s the one acting like a thug? Stop busting my balls!

Brennwald was completely full of shit when he claimed the tournament didn’t have money, because they somehow found the money to lure Nadal to play a 500 level indoor event during the worst part of the year for Nadal, where he almost never wins tournaments.

Nadal with his “knee issues” no doubt demanded, and got, a high price for playing on the hard courts that are supposedly so damaging to his body. And does anyone really think he will kill himself to give a top performance for an indoor 500 level event? When was the last time he did that? Take the money and run, is what Nadal is going to do.

For the sake of the fans and the ATP Federer finally publicly announced his plans so people can make their decision. And he gets shit for it!

This is a nontroversy, at least on Federer’s part. He’s discreet and refuses to say anything about the negotiations in public, which is the way it should be done.

Brennwald has behaved in an unprofessional way by trying to sensationalize this in the media and now that his little PR stunt has landed him in hot water, he hopes Federer will bail him out by accepting his publicly offered olive branch.

Federer refused to be drawn and said “I did everything I could on my end”, leaving Brennwald to stew in his own juices. The right way to respond.

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