In an exclusive interview to Tennis World USA, the Rogers Cup Tournament Director of the Montreal edition, Eugene Lapierre commented on Roger Federer's withdrawal from the Canadian tournament that starts on August 5. Federer announced the news in a press conference just after his loss to Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon on Sunday.
"We had very limited expectations on his appearance," admitted Lapierre. "When I talked to him before and during Wimbledon, he always said that he would be careful on the tournaments he would play until the rest of the year.
We knew that if he had a long Wimbledon run, chances to see him would be slim. It was not a major surprise. Everything is well with the tournament coming up, the young Canadians are doing pretty well on the Tour, there is a buzz around the tournament and tickets sale are increasing to watch Denis, Felix, Vasek.
There is a lot of excitement to watching them." In the same time, Lapierre is confident that the defending champion Rafael Nadal will play despite the Spaniard said he does not know about his short term calendar prior to the US Open.
"I am in contact with his team and I think he wants to be here. He wants to comeback to the no. 1 position in the world," said Lapierre, who expects the tournament record attendance to be broken: "Our record is 216,000.
We should have 230,000, 235,000. It's gonna be a very good week." Federer last made his appearance in Montreal two years ago losing to Alexander Zverev in a straight-set final.