In an exclusive interview to Tennis World USA the Halle Open Tournament Director Ralf Weber spoke about Roger Federer's importance for the German event. "Roger has been the most important player for many years. We were also lucky to sign a lifetime deal with him.
We had Nadal two years, Djokovic one year. We have the best week on the ATP Tour because many players want to prepare on grass. We are also trying to get other top players, Next Gen stars, in order to have a mixture every year", Weber said.
On how the legal dispute with agent Patricio Apey is influencing Zverev, Weber added: "They were very close. We had been knowing Patricio for a long time. We have a longtime contract with him and to experience something like this for the first time, it's strange.
It affects negatively him a lot." Some years ago Weber said that he would love to bring Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf back in Halle for an exhibition match one day. But he admitted: "It's very difficult to get them on the court.
When they came here for the first time in 2010 after they retired, everybody was very excited. Steffi is not so fit and she always tells me that. She takes exhibitions very seriously. We will try in the future but it's tough."
Knowing players for a long time, they stopped asking appearance fees. Tsonga, Monfils, Goffin, Khachanov, Zverev, Federer."