Roger Federer is regarded as the best player the sport of tennis has ever seen but the organizers of Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi have ditched the Swiss Maestro from the exhibition event this time.
Federer had been a part of this season opening event every year since its beginning in 2009. However, organizers of the event did not invite the 17-time Grand Slam champion for the coming event, saying that he did not go well with this edition’s theme of the event.
Some people were saying that Federer’s omission from Mubadala World Tennis Championship was due to the end of his deal with IMG, which is the organizer of this event but the company said that that was not the case. IMG’s Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Greg Sproule, cleared that the reason of Federer’s exclusion was the desire of organizers to invite past champions of the event.
Sproule said in an interview, “The principle reason is that we are celebrating past champions and Roger, unfortunately, hasn’t won the event. The Championship adores Roger and we cherish that friendship very much, but we are sticking to the theme of past champions. That was a very definitive, clearly cut decision.”
He added, “Roger will always be a friend of the Mubadala World Tennis Championships and we were very grateful of the first four years of his participation. He is very dear to us, and I mean that very seriously.”
Sproule also said that the organizers wanted to invite the youth, the ATP baton careers of future.
He went on to say, “But the celebration of champions and the youth of the ATP, which we have in spades here with arguably the six hottest young players in the game, was our aim from the outset. These guys have more Grand Slam victories ahead of them rather than behind them.”
Explaining Djokovic, Murray and Nadal’s inclusion in the event, Sproule stated that Murray has been invited due to a good number of UK citizens in UAE, Nadal was away from the tour for long time, so he needed a suitable place to make a comeback and Djokovic is the defending champion. Nadal and Murray are also past champions of the event.
When asked if Federer might be invited at the event in future, Sproule replied, “(Its) Never closed for anyone, Roger included.”
The event will be held on the outdoor hard courts of Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex from December 27 to 29.
TENNIS WORLD MAGAZINE
Issue 23 - 2015
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