Roger Federer was an outstanding talent already in 2002, says Champan

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Roger Federer was an outstanding talent already in 2002, says Champan

Jeff Chapman played an important role in the development of the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championship. Chapman was the Tournament Director from 1993 to 2002. Chapman saw Roger Federer playing the Arab tournament for the first time in 2002, and he could see that the Swiss had something special: "From memory, Roger won his first title in 2001 and when we saw him in Dubai he looked to be an outstanding talent.

It is a tremendous credit to him that he managed to harness that talent after only a comparatively short time on the ATP circuit and win Wimbledon in 2003," Chapman told Tennis World USA in an exclusive interview. Chapman also explained how the tournament has evolved over the years: "The Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships (both ATP and WTA) were always going to be successful and were always going to rank, as they have for 27 years, as favourites for both players and spectators alike.

Colm McLoughlin and his team at Dubai Duty-Free have shown great vision and commitment to excellence from the first event in 1993 as I am sure they will continue to do for years to come. In 1993 the Tournament had a warmth and friendliness and attention to detail that made it a pleasure both to play and attend.

That tradition continued to grow over the succeeding 27 years." He also spoke about his history in the tournament: "My role in the Dubai Tennis Championships was twofold: for the first 10 years as Tournament Director whereupon I was delighted to step aside and make way for Salah Tahlak and his team, and for all of the 27 years as the Director of the international and national television coverage of the event.

In 2005 when Federer and Agassi met seemingly in the stratosphere on the helipad at Burj Al Arab, we were privileged to be involved in the planning of the event via our television involvement."