Federer takes on role as backroom power broker

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by sbengte, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    Nice article on Federer's role in the player's council . My guess is that his engagement levels in representing players of all ranks, batting for lower ranked players when it comes to prize money sharing are some of the main reasons why he gets voted by his peers for the SE award :

    source :
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/tennis/2012/11/04/atp-world-tour-finals-roger-federer/1681357/

    7:59PM EST November 4. 2012 - LONDON -- In a career spanning three decades, Roger Federer has assumed an increasing number of roles -- husband, father, company spokesman, and of course, to many, greatest player of all time.

    His latest is among the most unexpected, especially for a man raised in a country known for its benign neutrality: backroom power broker.

    But after leading the ATP Tour Player Council as president the last three years, Federer has become a savvy student of the laws of political governance.

    "It's been a great life-school," said the tri-lingual Swiss star Sunday as he prepared to defend his season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title. "Can you say that?"

    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."

    It is, like his precise shotmaking and fluid movements, a delicate balancing act. Demands can stretch on and on. The mind can become weary. Focus can waver.

    "I have to be careful I don't do too much because I am there to play well," he said. "I don't want to be exhausted once I get to the match court. I don't want to be tired at the end of the third set mentally because I've just done too much. It's always a bit of a balance, but with experience I think I've gotten the hang of it."

    Federer has been called out by his peers, including his arch-rival Rafael Nadal, for perhaps hewing too closely to his cautious Swiss roots and not pushing hard enough for change.

    But Federer was not shy in pointing out that in his extended absence due to knee problems, 26-year-old Nadal has been largely MIA from the players' push for a larger share of revenues from the majors.

    "Players do look up to Rafa, so it would be nice to see him maybe a bit more engaged," Federer said.

    Despite threats of a boycott and other hard-line tactics -- for tennis -- Federer and his fellow players and ATP executives have shepherded successes.

    The French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open each contributed a larger percentage of prize money to earlier rounds this season.

    The Australian Open will do the same in January, and in a pre-emptive strike already announced the biggest year-over-year prize money increase in its history.

    More important, Federer said, is the "productive" dialogue taking place.

    "I'm happy that we've gotten to the table with the Slams and been able to explain our case," he said.

    At 31, Federer is brushing up against the usual threshold when age undermines skill, which means every minute and every decision he makes counts.

    In that regard, time management might just be the Swiss' biggest asset. He seems to have found a formula that works.

    .........
     
    #1
  2. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    good work grandpa Fed!
     
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  3. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Probably the most suitable person for the job.

    :)
     
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  4. underground

    underground Legend

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    Does people understand now why Fed was looking crap in Shanghai?
     
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  5. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    There's always an excuse for him.
     
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  6. elpolaco84

    elpolaco84 Guest

    absolutely, he said he will aim for that kind of work once he retires

    so, the ones who would like to see him coaching, don't get excited
     
    #6
  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Why is he still going after Nadal? That won't change the head to head.
     
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  8. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    "...nice if he were maybe a bit more engaged" is "going after him"??? Sounds fairly diplomatic to me. He didn't say something like "push your way from the poker table and help me help us all", which I think would be fair to think!
     
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  9. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    IF anyone has the capacity to become actually bigger than the sport itself, it's Federer. Heck, he might already be.
     
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  10. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Federer indeed was a good choice for the position.
     
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  11. Speranza

    Speranza Hall of Fame

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    "But Federer was not shy in pointing out that in his extended absence due to knee problems, 26-year-old Nadal has been largely MIA from the players' push for a larger share of revenues from the majors."

    Holmes: Answer is in the text Suresh, but you know it is :) Scraping the barrel for ammo against Roger nowadays? Come along dear chap, I expect more from you.
     
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  12. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    You guys really cling on to that H2H don't you? It's a little sad. It's like your last ray of hope.
     
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  13. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    I see Fed in missing Rafa in the Players Council :)
     
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  14. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Sureshs is trolling.

    The sad thing is, that some don't.
     
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  15. Pouet156

    Pouet156 Rookie

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    No one saying he is pushing for more prize moneys for those who lose in the earlier rounds is like retirement planning ? to get more money when he won't go past the first week anymore ? ;-)
     
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  16. SQA333

    SQA333 Hall of Fame

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    This is the true example of a champion. Not somebody who bad-mouths the surface in which he sucks on, and calling it fake tennis.

    Or, somebody who bad mouths a champion greater than he, who plays a style of tennis which he has trouble with, as seen at wimby when the no. 100 executed this game to perfection in driving this foul oath out of tennis for half a year.
     
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  17. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Federer does not "suck" on clay, he just sucks relative to Nadal.
     
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  18. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Federer wouldn't have the chance to badmouth.

    He doesn't suck on any surface.
     
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  19. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    #20
  21. bezs

    bezs Legend

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    Like a boss, future ATP President. :cool:
     
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  22. Dark Magician

    Dark Magician Professional

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    #22
  23. godtennis

    godtennis Banned

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    greatest.
     
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