Luiz Carvalho knows what it means to manage a professional tennis tournament. The Brazilian has been the tournament director of the ATP 500 Rio Open since its first year in 2014, and from this year, also of the ATP 250 Chengdu Open and WTA International Shenzhen Open.
Interviewed by Tennis World USA, Carvalho commented on Julien Benneteau's recent comments about Roger Federer getting a preferential treatment by tournaments including playing in the night session of the Australian Open and US Open.
In Rio from 2014 to 2016, Nadal always played in the night session, because, like Federer, he attracts a huge crowd. 'Look, I have read Benneteau's comments and the thing that you need to take in consideration it's not only about the players' preferences.
Tennis is a business and we (tournaments) need to have the best players playing at the best time,' Carvalho said. 'The night matches are usually the prime time matches especially during the week when several people come to the event at night.
It's natural that best players - who won most titles, who have the highest ranking - compete in the best time. We do not have anything against other players. It's like when you go to a concert: you want to listen at the best deejay's performance.
I understand Benneteau's comments but from my perspective we do not try to favour players but our business, for the interest of sponsors, fans, TV. Otherwise the tournaments die.' Federer will start his 2019 season at the Hopman Cup in Perth.