Roger Federer: “I Was Two Years a Ball Boy”

Published 10/09/2018, 11:56 PM EDT

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Roger Federer, who is currently playing at the Shanghai Masters 1000, had interesting things to say about the Fernando Verdasco and the ball-boy incident. For those who missed it Fernando Verdasco was criticized by many fans, neutrals and players, for berating a ball-boy to bring his towel early. Here is the clip:


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Roger Federer was asked if he had followed or seen the footage of the event. Roger Federer replied: “Yeah. Well, the one with the towel or something? I didn’t; yeah, kind of, briefly. There is no sound, I believe. There was no sound.”

Federer went on to say that the whole idea of ball boys bringing the towels is to speed up the time between points. “But it is true that all the players nowadays almost have towels just because it’s gotten more intense”, said Federer. “Maybe we sweat more. I’m not sure what the deal is. Also for guys to relax quicker their mind. Maybe they feel like having the towel is something that brings them down.”

“But I think the idea of having the ball kid bring it and take it away from you again is to really save time so you don’t have to walk so far back and come back again. I think that’s the idea. So we’ll see”, said Federer.

Andy Murray’s mother Judy Murray also took to twitter to express her views. Here’s the tweet:


Another video of WTA player Aryna Sabalenka has been circulated among the social media channels, which show her throwing a bottle for a ball-boy to pick. Many of them have suggested that there is not much uproar on this event, compared to that of Fernando Verdasco.

I was two years a ball boy. And even at the club level, at my local club too for Patty Schnyder and Hingis and so forth. I have been there”, said Federer.

“Yes, and I get it. I think also the ball boys, most of them, they understand what’s at stake and the pressure. The problem becomes obviously when the ball kids become younger”, continued Federer. “You know, when they are below 12 years old, you know, it becomes emotional. The days become long, and understanding what maybe a player goes through is not maybe an easy one.”


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“Sure, you always want to respect the ball kids for, you know, for who they are and the great job that they are doing, but it’s not easy for each and every player to control their emotions exactly”, added the Swiss maestro.

“I remember a few years back, I think we were told not to blow your nose into the towel. I know it sounds horrible, but sometimes in the heat of the moment, what can you do? I’m sorry, I have to go blow my nose and I’ll be back in a minute? It just doesn’t work sometimes, you know.”

“So I don’t do it ever anymore, you know. Not that I did it a lot beforehand. But it’s like, well, the show gotta keep moving on.”


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“So all this stuff, it’s quite hectic, to be quite honest, even though it seems like we have a lot of time. I know we are allowed to take the time, but then right away it’s gamesmanship and what’s the player doing? How can he do this in this very moment? It’s very tricky, to be honest, to get it right exactly”, he added.

“But, yes, I mean, linespeople, umpires, ball kids, officials, everybody should be treated with respect and so should we and so should the fans. That’s why I think we are talking about such little things actually in the big scheme of things if you compare to other sports where they behave completely different to one another.”


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