Australian tennis authorities insist they don’t do favours for Federer

Australian tennis authorities insist they don’t do favours for Roger Federer as scheduling row rumbles on

  • Australian tennis authorities defended themselves, saying they don’t do favours 
  • There has been a suggestion that Roger Federer has had preferential scheduling 
  • The matter has been brought back to light by French player Julien Benneteau 

Australian tennis authorities have defended themselves against charges that Roger Federer has received preferential scheduling treatment at the Grand Slam they run each January in Melbourne.

Describing the Swiss as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ athlete, tournament director Craig Tiley insisted that putting Federer on so often at night at the Australian Open, away from the daytime heat, was based largely on demand from fans.

The matter has again been brought into focus after comments made by French player Julien Benneteau, who suggested a business tie-up Federer has with Tennis Australia raised ‘disturbing’ questions.

There have been some suggestions that Roger Federer is receiving preferential scheduling 

There have been some suggestions that Roger Federer is receiving preferential scheduling 

‘In terms of players and their appeal, it needs to be said that Roger Federer is a once-in-a-generation player widely regarded as one of the biggest box-office athletes in the world,’ said Tiley in a statement.

‘He has been regularly voted Australia’s favourite athlete. The fans demand his appearance in the big stadiums and our broadcasters naturally want his matches to air in prime time.

‘I don’t think there’s a tournament director in the world who’s not going to take those factors into account.’

Tournament director Craig Tiley described Federer as a 'once-in-a-generation' tennis player 

Tournament director Craig Tiley described Federer as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ tennis player 

Australian Open officials have defended themselves after claims of Federer favouritism

Australian Open officials have defended themselves after claims of Federer favouritism

Tiley did not make any apology for being an investor in the Ryder Cup-style annual Laver Cup, which is primarily promoted by Federer and his management group Team8.

‘Tennis Australia is justly proud of the success of the Laver Cup, in which we have a share, along with the USTA and other partners,’ said Tiley. ‘It’s been one of the most successful new events, showing the sport and attracting new fans.’

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares emphatically booked their place in the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals at London’s O2 for the third time when they defeated Colombia’s second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-4, 6-3.

Kevin Anderson beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-0, 6-1 in the afternoon group singles match. ‘That’s among the best matches I’ve played,’ said Anderson. 

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