Federer's 'respect' call in ball boy row

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail SHINE, October 10, 2018
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File photo of Roger Federer.

Roger Federer said mutual respect and understanding is required when being asked to comment on a recent incident in Shenzhen involving Spanish player Fernando Verdasco and a ball boy.

The incident occurred during a Shenzhen Open semifinal match on September 29 in Guangdong Province. Verdasco pointed at his towel after a point, but appeared to be angry with a ball boy, who didn't bring him the towel in time as he expected.

The scene was caught on camera and caused a round of discussion about how ball boys and girls should be treated by players, or whether they should concentrate on feeding balls and stop bringing towels to players.

"I think the idea of having the ball kids bring it (towel) to you is to speed up the points," Federer said when he was asked whether he would accept the idea of using a towel hook or a rack at the back of court rather than asking a ball kid to hand him a towel.

"It's like you waste extra three seconds of time every point, which doesn't sound like a lot. But you add that over a five-hour match, you saw much less tennis and this match could have ended four-and-a-half hours earlier," said the Swiss-born superstar, who revealed he used to be a ball boy too.

"I was two years a ball boy, and at my local club too for Patty Schnyder and Hingis. Most ball boys they understand what's at stake and the pressure.

"The problem becomes obvious when the ball kids are younger, say below 12 years old.

"The days become long and understanding what a player goes through is not an easy one.

"You always want to respect the ball kids, but it's not easy for every player to control their emotions exactly. Lines people, umpires, ball kids, officials, everybody should be treated with respect and so should we and so should the fans.

"The ball kids are really important to us, because they are maybe the future of our games, like I was."

As the top seed, the Shanghai Masters' defending champions is going to take on Russian player Daniil Medvedev in a second-round match today.

Medvedev ousted Chinese wildcard holder Zhang Ze 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 after a hard-fought match yesterday.

"I'm just really happy. I'm healthy," said Federer. "I have won another slam again this year.

"I always say when you win a slam in any season, it's actually a very good season already. So I feel like there is a lot more to play for."

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