Tournament Director critical of Roger Federer lifetime contract: ‘I hope it will never happen again’

Tournament director of the Mexican Open, Raul Zurutuza has criticised the existence of life-time contracts between players and tournaments and singled out Roger Federer as a bad example.

Federer agreed a lifetime contract with the Dubai Tennis Championships which has now seen him play there 14 times and win eight times since 2003.

The contract was again renewed in 2019 for Federer to return in 2020 to defend his title, but both injury and the coronovirus pandemic prevented him from doing so, and he has decided to skip this year’s event to improve his fitness.

Federer’s commitment to the Dubai Championships has meant he has never been able to play at the Mexican Open, both of which are ATP 500 events, as it takes place in the same week.

Now Mexican Open tournament director, Zurutuza has spoken out about the contract and said he hopes it will never happen again.

“That story of Roger who never came to Mexico because of the Dubai issue, I hope it will never be repeated with another player,” Zurutuza told reporters.

“It is important that each player can be in as many tournaments.”

Rafael Nadal will not be competing at this years event to defend his title either due to a back injury, but other top ten players Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman will be there.

Zurutuza says although the Spaniard will be missed, he is happy with the line-up.

“He (Nadal) is a fixed asset of the tournament, the desire to have him is always there but we have great names and the public will be able to enjoy it, the tournament is going well and on Saturday we will deliver very good results.”

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