Saturday 21 September 2019

Prince of cool Fed loses it

Roger Federer. Photo: USA TODAY Sports
Roger Federer. Photo: USA TODAY Sports

Simon Briggs

The prince of tennis Roger Federer reacted strongly yesterday when he was asked about the apparently preferential treatment he gets at major tournaments. Having scored a thumping victory over Dan Evans, Federer was unimpressed by suggestions that he had requested an early start.

The debate developed after Evans - swept aside in 80 minutes by a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 scoreline - complained he should have had more time to recover from his second-round win over Lucas Pouille.

"He was totally fresh and me, battling yesterday, didn't get out of here until probably 6pm," Evans said. "Just complete polar opposites, isn't it? To try and beat him feeling tired, stiff, playing four sets yesterday, it's near impossible."

In response, Federer said: "I definitely didn't do it intentionally. I don't even know if the team asked for day (session, as opposed to night).

"But that doesn't mean like, 'Roger asks, Roger gets,' " added Federer, with a level of irritation rarely seen from this normally serene performer.

"Just remember that, because I have heard this s--- too often now. I'm sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.

"We can give our opinion," he concluded, having dropped a profanity into the interview room for the first time anyone could remember.

"But I'm still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 4am.

"That's tennis. It's entertainment and the show must go on. I've lost maybe matches this way. I've won some this time. Luck was on my side."

© The Daily Telegraph

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