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Roger Federer at Wimbledon

Roger Federer refuses to offer Novak Djokovic support in ATP row


Roger Federer was in ‘no mood to talk politics’ when reporters asked him to comment on the growing chaos surrounding Novak Djokovic’s player council.

Rumbles of discontent have underpinned a period of uncertainty surrounding the future of the ATP, after the council, which is headed by Djokovic, voted to remove the organisation’s chairman, Chris Kermode, from his position earlier this year.

A seven hour meeting last Friday saw four members of the council – Jamie Murray, Robin Haase, Sergiy Stakhovsky and coach Dani Vallverdu – quit their positions, prompting Feliciano Lopez to say everything felt like it was “falling apart” in the men’s game.

Djokovic is the man to bear the brunt of criticism for the situation and, when quizzed on the matter, Federer certainly didn’t offer the world number one his backing.

“Yeah, they had a long meeting,” Federer said. “I don’t know what was spoken in those seven hours. I have not spoken to Novak since, or yet, so… I don’t know what to tell you.

“I’m honestly not in the mood to talk politics. We’re on the second day of Wimbledon, and that is your last question you had about politics today.

“Other guys would like to talk about maybe forehands and backhands. But I respect your questions. No problem.”

Federer did add, though, that he feels the political upheaval in the sport right now is wholly unnecessary.

“It’s definitely not a good situation,” he said, “and I think also it’s not like the tour is in a bad place.

“We have record numbers in terms of I’m sure prize money, attendance. Things are going well.

“Just seems on the political side we’re struggling a little bit to figure that part out.”

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Michael Graham, Tennishead.net Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of Tennishead.net for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.