Ion Tiriac, the owner of the Mutua Madrid Open, isn't too happy with Roger Federer's decision to skip the clay season. Making his displeasure known, the 78-year-old businessman said, 'He is definitely the greatest player of all time, but he doesn't behave correctly, I don't think that his attitude is fair.
It rarely happens in other sports. Lewis Hamilton doesn't stop after five F1 races because he is not willing,' the billionaire told Sport Bild. Praising Boris Becker, whose career he used to manage, Tiriac said, 'Boris was bringing the German flag on his shoulders after winning a Davis Cup match in the United States against the United States, with the home crowd applauding him.' He also praised Steffi Graf, mentioning, 'A great lady, I knew her as a kid, Steffi was the best athlete ever in tennis, and if she had not played tennis, she could have been an Olympic champion in 400 metres, 800 metres and even 1,500 metres.' However, he was equally dismissive of Serena Williams.
About her playing the Mutua Madrid Open, Tiriac said, 'With all due respect, she is 36, weighs 90 kg. I wish something different for the women's field.' With Becker, who was declared bankrupt, Tiriac would like to introduce a new tennis tournament in Berlin: 'I suggested him to speak to the Berlin mayor, to ask how he is doing and then ask: "Mr.
Mayor, would you like to spend €200 or €300 million for an area of 20 hectares, a stadium with a capacity of 15,000, another with 12,000? And other 17 courts." Berlin, a Cosmopolitan city, is the capital of one of the most important countries, it could become rich in tennis, as it doesn't have a big sports event like an F1 race.
And in Germany, there isn't an important tournament. Sport is a big business [in the] world.' About Alexander Zverev, Tiriac commented, 'It seems he has what it needs to be at the top. He has the body and talent.
But it seems he is not mature yet. Sometimes he lets go and is not focused.' But now his focus is turned on the Madrid Open. 'It has the same prize money for men and women. Here politics and business are involved. Only 25% of earnings come from the women's field.
That's the reality. Men ask me: "Ion, for how much time will you pay women with my money?"' ALSO READ: John Isner writes hilarious tweet about Roger Federer