Originally Posted by kissakiss;12535008/
But perhaps not as enduring as his off-court endeavors.
Much of Federer's behind-the-scenes work this year has focused on persuading the four majors to share a larger piece of the revenue pie with players. He has also lobbied that a larger percentage of prize money go to earlier rounds to rectify a growing income distribution gap.
That work has increasingly fallen on his shoulders, as both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, once Player Council members, left their leadership positions.
Take his pre-tournament schedule last month at the Masters event in Shanghai.
Under added security because of death threats, Federer arrived on a Friday and discussed strategy with ATP player and board representatives till about 1 a.m. He practiced the next morning, spent about 7 hours in meetings with various representatives of the Grand Slams and still attended the player party Saturday night.
On Sunday evening, he hosted three hours of meetings in his hotel room with the Player Council, ATP executive staff, and U.S. Open executives -- all before he struck a match ball.
"Roger has so many demands on his schedule and the fact that he is investing so much time into the player council and these negotiations shows his character and how much he cares for the future of the sport," doubles specialist and council member Eric Butorac of the USA wrote in a recent email. "I believe it is very unprecedented to have a top player so involved."
It's not just Federer's time than matters. It's his clout.
"I think having someone like him on the council can be a big benefit, especially if you're going into important meetings with the Grand Slams," No. 3 Andy Murray said Saturday.
Reserved by nature, Federer has come a long way in understanding the needs and concerns of everyone from players ranked well outside the top 50 to doubles specialists.
"Managing and supporting all the players has been very challenging and very interesting," said Federer, who sat down with USA TODAY Sports on Sunday.
Federer did not slip into the role of leader without some angst.
As a young man, Federer says he shirked responsibility -- or in his words, "I used to run away from taking decisions."
"I never saw tennis this way -- doing that many different things," he said. "I thought it was a little bit of press, practicing and playing matches. That's it. Maybe I was a bit naïve."
But he says he's learned to handle the stress level of various constituents needing immediate answers because he wants to leave the game in a better place when he's gone.
"Today I actually enjoy doing it," he said. "I have some power and some leadership I guess. I like using that for the best for everyone involved."
For months, I've thought that the amount of work he's had to do on that has been hugely
underrated in the tough period we have known for more than one year.
It must have been very tiring and worrying.
And I was surprised that he has not praised at all for that : imo it shows that MTFers know nothing about political job, it's not at all talking in the media (which seems to be the only thing remembered), there's a lot of real work behind !
Even worse not only didn't he get any praise for that, but also in such a position, you can only receive critics like Stakhovsky's, and in France, the critics of the French Tennis Federation and newspaper l'Equipe who have campaigned against him personally in an attempt to protect the French open's prize money.
Personally I would have preferred him to stay away from all those things as Nadal did : all you can get in those things is critics and worries.
But in another way, I think it's good for tennis that he cared so much and that, like Ljubicic or Nieminen, there were some old and sensible guys dealing about those things when more loopy guys like Nadal and Stakhovsky dealt with those dangerously, especially about the boycott.