Federer celebrated for ATP Player Council contribution

Roger Federer’s six-year service as ATP Player Council President was celebrated at the annual Wimbledon meeting on Friday evening at the All England Club. The Swiss, whose tenure as President is ending, was presented with a commemorative mount by his fellow council members.

"I'm proud of leading by example, being there, putting in the time, showing the other players that you actually can find time for the council and for the tour,” said Federer. “We achieved prize money increases. I hope I was able to make more players understand that this is a 50/50 organisation with the tournaments. That's very important to understand. Also, how decisions are being made at the council level. It's not as easy as it seems, but at the same time, you can be very involved actively.”

ATP Executive Chairman & President Chris Kermode said, “The ATP is extremely thankful to Roger for the outstanding contribution he has made during his six years as President of the ATP Player Council. The ATP World Tour is in terrific health today, not only as a result of the performance of our top players on the court, but also due to their considerable efforts off it.

“Generous with his time and always willing to invest his energy away from the court for the greater good of the game, Roger and his leadership in the Player Council will be missed. I have little doubt, however, that Roger will remain as engaged as ever albeit in a less official capacity.”

Federer, who recently became father to a second set of twins with his wife, Mirka, explained, "It gets quite busy and I think that's one of the reasons now I think it's a good time for me to let it run its course and have somebody else lead the council from here on. I really enjoyed it and I'll still be involved in some shape or form. If I do it, I want to do it at 100 per cent and I feel like my life now, with my family and my tennis, that's a difficult part right now.

"I think we're going through a really good time in tennis right now,” added Federer, who held the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings for 302 weeks. “Seeing sold-out stadiums is one of the most important things we have for the game. We were able to be united and I think that's a huge part moving forward: that the players listen to each other, they trust each other, because then, as a tour, we can be much more successful.”

Former ATP Player Council Presidents Todd Martin and Rainer Schuettler both paid tribute to the work Federer has done.

"What Roger's done is remarkable because after generations of our very best tennis players not being involved in the sport from a governing standpoint, he took the bull by the horns and decided he was going to lead," said Martin, who was a long-serving President in the late '90s.

"He's led well, which is the greatest thing. Without him showing the rest of the public that it's possible and that it's a responsibility that should be embraced by the best, I don't think our sport would be where it is today. I also think we would struggle to get others that are as elite as he is on the court, to participate off the court."

Schuettler, who was President from 2004-'06 added, "For me it was very interesting because you try to work together with the players and you try to improve the wishes of the players, to deal with the ATP and to find common ground to improve the tour step-by-step. I really like the job Roger did. He was not only checking his interests, but also those of the group of players. I think he did a great job in the past few years."

Date: 21st June 2014, Source: ATP


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