Roger Federer visited five South American countries last month to play exhibition matches with Alexander Zverev. The Swiss went to Buenos Aires (Argentina), Mexico City (Mexico), Santiago (Chile), Bogota (Colombia) and Quito (Ecuador).
Unlike in 2012, this time the Basel native did not play in Brazil. The Rio Open Tournament Director Luiz Carvalho regrets it, as he shared: "I asked once or twice to the Brazil authorities in the past years to try to make it happen.
But I did not know anything about it until it turned official. We just did not have the chance. If we knew, we could have tried to give a shot but it never happened. Wow, it would have been such a hit in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo.
Hopefully, it happens in the future." Asked if Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal share similarities, Carvalho replied: "They play well on clay but they have different game styles. They are both great hard workers and that's an advantage for them on this surface because they have a lot of physical strength.
It's hard to compare anyone to Rafa, who is a role model, class act on and off the court. Thiem is a nice guy too, but he doesn't have as many Majors as him." On the Davis Cup Finals possibly happening at the end of September, Carvalho concluded: "If it happens, it's not ideal for Chengdu Open.
It's so complex. We will need to understand why it would happen but this was never discussed. Chengdu may be switched to another week."