Tennis deity Roger Federer has hit back at fellow players who have accused him of adopting a non-interventionist approach to his Player Council presidency with smooth, European precision: “I’m fucking Swiss, did you expect me to engage in political discourse?”
Federer and Spaniard Rafael Nadal were unanimously re-elected for a two-year term as president and vice president of the ATP World Tour Player Council at the Council’s first meeting in August 2010. However, Nadal triggered a controversy on Sunday when he accused the Swiss of ignoring various complaints – including the number of tournaments leading players must appear in and the prize money offered for lower-ranked players at grand slams – made by the majority of tennis professionals.
Fiery Russian and suspected match-fixer, Nikolay Davydenko, also weighed into the discussion this week, telling reporters that “It is very easy [for Federer] to say, ‘I am not going to say anything, everything is positive’ and come off as a gentleman and burn the rest.”
Davydenko later continued his verbal assault on tennis’ most distinguished player, telling the media that Federer did not know “one fucking thing about politics.”
“Did you know they don’t even teach international politics in Swiss high schools? Yeah, that’s right; they’re shit scared of war. All I’ve got to do is mention the Napoleonic Era in the locker rooms and Roger starts screaming like a little bitch,” he added, in reference to the French Revolutionary wars of the late 18 Century, where France enveloped Switzerland in its charge towards Austria. Soon after, European powers agreed to permanently recognise Swiss neutrality, a long-standing tradition that has eschewed purely political boundaries and is now manifesting itself in sports such as tennis.
Amid concerns over his suitability for tennis’ top political post, Federer told The Public Apology that he intended to continue his neutral position on every burning issue currently facing the sport – “and if people don’t like that, they can try and start a war.”
“Of course, should there be a war, I will immediately raise a white flag and state my neutrality, as per the guarantee legislated in the 1815 Congress of Vienna Act ,” he quickly added.
Switzerland has historically served as an neutral intermediary and host to various international treaty conferences. However, Federer has appeared reluctant to serve as a conduit for players to anonymously vent their grievances with the international tennis body.
“But what did anyone expect when they elected me to this post?” Federer mused. “Imagine if they’d elected Murat Safin, or some other crazy Russian prick like Davydenko? That would have fucked up tennis the same way Yeltsin fucked up democracy in the post-Gorbachev era, a bloke who vowed to bring US-style capitalism and democracy but delivered nothing but a raft of broken promises and Vodka-fueled international embarrassments.”
“We can’t let the Russians – or any of those dickheads from the Baltics or what-have-you – overtake the ATP. Shit, we’d probably run out of food and Gatorade if we did that. Have you even seen the trains in Russia? They’re fucked.”
“Actually, come to think of it, Russians are pretty good at creating wealth disparity, what with the oligarchs and all. Maybe a Russian might help me become the first tennis billionaire,” he pondered.
As for his future as ATP president, Federer said he would continue to provide a limp, effeminate wrist – as opposed to a strong hand – in his democratically elected role. “This tennis caper is a massive cash cow that keeps on giving,” he explained.
“We need to avoid attracting any kind of bad press and just continue basking in goodwill, and the millions of corporate dollars will continue to flow my way – ahem, our way,” he said.
By Dave Edwards