Rene Stammbach on Roger Federer, the Laver Cup and the French Open


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Rene Stammbach on Roger Federer, the Laver Cup and the French Open

René Stammbach, the Swiss Tennis President, says that he feels the Laver Cup should be postponed to a later date in the calendar and dismisses reports that the ITF would consider suing any players who do not play the French Open.

According to the Swiss daily, the BLICK, Stammbach says, "They're sold out in Boston, yes. But also at the French Open - they have been sold out for decades. And who plays Laver Cup when a Grand Slam is running at the same time? I think you would be well advised to postpone the Laver Cup until the end of the year.

It is an exhibition tournament and exhibitions are usually on the calendar in November. Roger himself did it and played exhibition matches last year." Stammbach is also hopeful that Federer will continue to play till the Olympics in 2021.

"I assume that is difficult! In any case, we will do everything to ensure that he does that. In addition, he didn't have his knee operated for nothing or just for hiking." Stammbach, who is also a member of the ITF Board, dismissed reports in the media that the ITF would consider suing any players who did not play in the French Open in September.

"All nonsense. I call the ITF President two hours a day. I should know! Where these lawsuit threats come from is a mystery to me. Someone invented it, someone told it to others and now it goes through the media. But I can assure you: there is nothing and zero truth to it.

None of us has made any threat! Against whom? They (the Grand Slams) are organized by us, represented on the committees, but they do not depend on us. The Grand Slams are not ours, we do not determine their day-to-day business - they are autonomous in that."

Finally, speaking about the decision of the French Tennis Federation to delay the French Open without consulting any others, Stammbach says while it would have been better to inform the other organizations, he does not believe the French Federation deserve the backlash that they have got.

“It is in the players' interest if they can play tournaments as quickly as possible so that they can earn properly again. In addition to the top twenty, many can use this well, after all, they stay contracted with their coaches at considerable costs.

The French presented us with a fait a complis. There is actually something missing in teamwork. The finer kind would have been if they had informed their family, i.e. the other Grand Slams and the ITF. But I don't find it reprehensible that they did something to keep the engine running.

There is no reason to condemn the French. Did the American USTA and the Australian association consult with the others when they invested in the Laver Cup with the ITF? "