Cape Town - Six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker has come to the
defence of Roger Federer after he was criticised for skipping the clay court
Ion Tiriac, the 1970 French Open doubles champion and
current host of the Madrid Open, took aim at Federer after the Swiss ace once
again decided to skip the entire clay court season - his tournament included.
The Romanian businessman said earlier this month that
Federer’s pick-and-mix approach to tournaments would not be excused in any
other elite sport.
“Lewis Hamilton does not just say no more after five Grands
Prix in Formula One, because he does not feel like it,” Tiriac said.
But Becker reckons that while what Tiriac says might be true
for almost all sportsmen in the world, Federer is a special case.
“In principle, Tiriac is right when he says that players are
not allowed to choose where to play and where to not," said the German.
“But Federer is in another league. He is the best ever. He
is an unbelievable tennis player.
“He did all right, and now that he has chosen to skip the
clay-court season should be understood.”
Federer is not expected back in action until June's Gerry
Weber Open, which will form part of his build-up to Wimbledon which starts on