In an exclusive interview to Tennis World USA the Stuttgart Mercedes Cup chief Edwin Weindorfer commented on why Roger Federer has not committed to playing the German event that takes place from 10 to 16 June. Unlike the previous years, Federer is playing on clay for the first time since 2016 Rome and so he cannot have a full schedule on the grass.
"It's very simple. Roger decided he wants to wait how the situation is in Paris. We have a wild card reserved for him, we also have a wild card for Rafa if he loses early in Roland Garros. But we have decided for a different strategy", said Weindorfer.
"When you look at the entry list, you see old stars like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Nick Kyrgios, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic and then we have the new generation with Daniil Medvedev, Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
So that's the decision and we are holding three wild cards, we will wait how the outcome will be from French Open first week. Felix has really played fantastic over the last weeks, he is a great player and we are proud to have him here."
Weindorfer added: "Our goal is to have Roger playing in 2020 and if he wants to play in 2019, we would make a deal between us. The relevant thing is not the appearance fee but if he decides to play a second grass-court tournament as he did in the previous years, competing in Stuttgart and Halle.
He will only decide that after the French Open and we are open for everything with Roger. We definitely have a budget reserve for him. This year it's different because he is playing in the clay-court season."