mr disney's hands are burnt says federer
Federer 'disappointed' over Las Vegas round-robin farce
By Paul Newman in Dubai
Published: 05 March 2007
It says much about Roger Federer's standing that the most powerful administrator in tennis phoned him here last week to explain the farcical goings-on in a tournament on the other side of the world.
While Federer was on his way to his fourth Dubai Duty Free Open title, his seventh successive tournament win, the world No 1's fears about the Association of Tennis Professionals' experiment with the round-robin format were being realised in Las Vegas.
James Blake did not make the quarter-finals because Juan Martin del Potro retired hurt against him. Evgeny Korolev, who otherwise had the same record, went through instead. Etienne de Villiers, the ATP chief executive, reinstated Blake, only for his own organisation to reinstate Korolev. Aware of Federer's opposition to round-robins, De Villiers called the Swiss to express his regret.
Federer, speaking after his 6-4, 6-3 win over Mikhail Youzhny here on Saturday, said: "It's very disappointing that things like this had to happen before people realised that the system was not going to work.
"I've nothing against Etienne de Villiers because he's trying his best, but all I hope is that he doesn't change the integrity of the game. I've always said that you have to keep tennis the way it is and not try to change and mix it up and try too many things at the same time. He's had his hands burned with this for sure.''