Wednesday 27 March 2019

Federer: Top stars should not get special treatment

Switzerland's Roger Federer wipes his face during a break
Switzerland's Roger Federer wipes his face during a break
Independent Newsdesk

Independent Newsdesk

Roger Federer insists top players should not be given special treatment after Rafael Nadal requested to be given a break from umpire Carlos Bernardes at the French Open.

Nadal has not been officiated by Bernardes since he handed the Spaniard two time violations during an ill-tempered defeat to Fabio Fognini at the Rio Open in February. The nine-time French Open champion confirmed on Tuesday he had complained about the Brazilian umpire to the ATP, explaining Bernardes was “not respectful enough” and it would be “better to have a break”.

Federer, speaking after his 6-2, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 second-round win over Spain’s Marcel Granollers, believes there is room for flexibility in the enforcement of the rules but says it should not depend on the players involved.

“I do not want to be treated differently,” Federer said. “If you get angry or you break a racquet, you don’t want to get a warning right away.

“If the umpire does, then all players should be treated equally. Things have to be clear. I hope there are no bonuses.

“Big tournaments, umpires with a lot of experience, they know how to manage difficult situations.

“On Court 15 you can be stricter to educate players, but that has nothing to do with who is playing.

“On centre courts you can give a little more leeway to make sure the match goes well.”

Nadal’s frustration in Rio was accentuated after he requested to change his shorts, which he had put on the wrong way round, but was warned it would cost him another violation to do so.

Stan Wawrinka joined Federer in the third round but was made to work harder for his victory as he beat Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

The upset of the day in the men’s draw came on Court Seven, where 28th seed Fabio Fognini was beaten in straight sets by France’s Benoit Paire.

Gael Monfils was cheered on by the home crowd to come through a five-set match against Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, while there were also wins for Kei Nishikori and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Britain’s Andy Murray faces Portugal’s Joao Sousa today.

Meanwhile, former champion Ana Ivanovic avoided a second round upset after battling back from a set down to beat lowlyranked Japanese player Misaki Doi.

The seventh seed was outplayed initially by Doi but recovered to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Third seed Simona Halep became the highest seeded player to exit the French Open so far as last year’s runner-up lost 7-5, 6-1 to Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the second round.

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