Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were re-elected to the ATP Player council on Thursday last week. The duo joined the council along with Jurgen Melzer as a replacement for Robin Haase, Jamie Murray, and Sergiy Stakhovsky, who had resigned from their positions during the Wimbledon Championships 2019.
In an interview at the ongoing Western and Southern Open 2019 in Cincinnati, Roger Federer suggested that tennis is doing good regardless of all the controversies going around. The Swiss Maestro believes that he joined the ATP Player Council to help the sport move in the right direction.
Roger Federer indicated that they battle within themselves instead of battling with other sports. He said, “We like to battle a little bit within our sport instead of maybe opening the horizon a little bit and the vision saying we should maybe battle other sports rather. But it is what it is.”
There have been criticism in the past about the low distribution of tournament revenue being dispersed to the tennis players. Vasek Pospisil, who is also a member of the ATP Player Council has been fighting over the past year for greater distribution of prize money to the players as he feels that there is an abundance of money being made in the sport.
However, the 20-time Grand Slam champion feels that the sport is rising and heading in the right direction with a good amount of prize money being awarded to the players. He continued, “At the end of the day, I still think things are moving in the right direction. Things are positive. We have good numbers, you know, in terms of attendance, prize money. You name it, it’s all going up.”
Roger Federer, however, explained that the prize money can be more but he does not want to talk bad about tennis. “Could it be more? Yeah, maybe. Possibly. I don’t know. But I don’t like to talk bad about our sport, and I put in a lot of time and other guys have done the same, and we have a lot of very hard-working people in our sport that love their tournament, their sport, whatever, fans,” the world No.3 said.
Roger Federer thinks that tennis really have particularly strong people that appreciate the game and love it and they don’t care. They can work for scraps and they’re just happy to be part of the show. He feels that it is their duty to take care of those people.
He further added, “Sometimes maybe it stops us potentially of having the super entrepreneur at the very top leading things at a certain tournament, but at the same time, I also like it that way, to be honest, when it’s not all so business and all so driven and it’s maybe a bit more on the amateur side sometimes.”
The 38-year-old hopes to encourage the growth of the sport and help in maintaining a positive environment by re-joining the ATP Player Council, which is scheduled to meet in New York next week.
He said, “The game’s got to grow. It has to grow, of course. I’m aware of that, too. And maybe by joining the council, I can help a little bit there.”
“But, you know, I think the game is definitely in a much better place than it was 20 years ago when I came about and it was already in a good place then,” Federer said. “You always are going to go through ups and downs, but you won’t hear me talk bad about the game, to be honest.”