Hey guys, just a quick post about news from off the courts this week as Nadal has announced he's playing the Swiss Indoors in Basel and tournament organiser Roger Brennwald has once again started stirring up a media storm with what appears to be his own personal anti-Federer campaign.
I've done a little more research today on him, watched a few videos of him being interviewed and there's just something “off” about him. Hard to work out but it's all in the eyes.
And despite my lack of understanding when it comes to Swiss-German I know that I wouldn't get along with him just by the his mannerisms but more on that later. Yes, I judge a book by its cover 😛
Nadal Announces He's Returning to the Swiss Indoors
After winning Barcelona (or Farcelona as Tommaso said on Twitter :P) Nadal has announced he's returning to the Swiss Indoors for the first time since 2004 where he lost in in the second round to Rainer Schüttler.
I'm quite pleased he's turning up because it's always good to see Federer and him face off indoors. It's the purest surface in a sense as elements don't really play a big part and the courts are usually laid to play quickly which obviously favours the more talented player.
One thing that's confusing though is why is Nadal playing an indoor hard court tournament when he's constantly telling the media there are too many hard court events? Yet again a confusing move.
I didn't understand his motives but now I've seen Roger Brennwald back in the media slating Federer then it makes perfect sense and clearly the motive for Nadal is monetary gain and to allows Brennwald to get a new poster boy in town. You can bet your bottom dollar that Uncle Tony, aka the Mafia man who runs the ATP is behind it.
Brennwald will be offering a huge appearance fee for Nadal in the tax haven that is Switzerland so it's a clear win for Nadal. I've always thought tennis was a means to an end for Nadal and even more so for Uncle Tony who treats Nadal and Tennis as his pet project so I guess this just proves it.
If he was interested in just tennis, then he'd probably play Valencia instead which is run by Juan Carlos Ferrero and is the only indoor tournament in Spain.
Obviously there are no loyalties in tennis and because Uncle Tony has $ signs tattooed onto the back of his eyelids then Basel was the choice. It also presents him plenty of opportunities for more sly digs at Roger in the media.
Don't be surprised if Roger gets a ridiculously tough draw in this one having to meet all the good indoor players to even make the final whilst Nadal gets his clay buddies.
Quick Thoughts on Barcelona
Obviously Roger wasn't playing here, he never does and its clear to see why as I could organise a better tournament in my back garden. I thought Mickey Carlo was bad but Barcelona is just the ultimate bore fest.
None of the top guys turn up other than Nadal and all he had to do to win the title was beat a Serve Bot who has no place in a clay semi final and then watch his friend Almagro bend over and hand it to him on a plate after blowing a 3-0 lead in the first set. Painful.
Brennwald Baits Federer
I wrote a post last year about the Basel situation where Roger left it out of his schedule due to not being able to reach an agreement and negotiations grinding to a halt.
Since then Roger has come out and said he will be playing Basel without a contract, this means no appearance fees will be paid to him, and he's playing simply because it's his home town tournament. Again, proving Brennwald wrong and proving his past claims have absolutely no substance.
I had some skepticism about Brennwald's character last year as I didn't think Roger was the sort of guy to argue heavily over money or try and throw his weight around. Of course his agent Tony Godsick is going to try and get the best deal, he's a businessman, but I don't believe it would ever be to the point that it reflects badly on Federer himself.
It was the very fact that Brennwald brought the negotiations into the public eye when there was no need that made me raise an eyebrow. Why would he try to alter public perception of Roger and portray him as greedy?
Tournament negotiations should be done behind closed doors; surely a veteran business man like Brennwald knows this but his reaction is what I'd describe as immature.
Anyway this week he pretty much proved he has something against Roger and has his own personal agenda to fulfill as he began comparing Federer to the rest of the top 4 and passing him off as arrogant.
He basically said he can call any Nadal, Djokovic and Murray any time but he can't get hold of Roger instead he has to deal with Tony Godsick.
He then went onto get his phone out and ring Federer's number in front of the journalists to prove a point. It's at that point you have to hand him the Sad Little Man trophy.
We can not talk anymore. Federer no longer answer the phone. I have spoken personally with Nadal. Murray and Djokovic can call me any time.
Probably the most ridiculous comments ever. Surprisingly he didn't ring Nadal or Djokovic in the Press Conference as I'd hazard a wild guess that they wouldn't answer either. If you were Roger, would you want to be taking calls from Tournament Organisers (that don't like you) trying to get you to play? The answer is clearly no.
I found it rather lame to bring the media together just for that and then start comparing other players to Federer, Brennwald has clearly forgotten Murray has scheduled to play Basel for the past 2 years only to pull out at the last minute. Just very petty from a guy who is clearly in his sixties.
Fortunately this stunt went down like a sack of shit with the Swiss Media who thought it was distasteful to say the least. Reading some of the comments on the Swiss newspaper websites here and here; it's obvious the Swiss public didn't like it either and think Brennwald is behaving like a whiny little girl 🙂
As for why Brennwald feels the need to try drag Roger's name in the dirt then who knows whether it's jealousy or some kind of inferiority complex but he's made it personal. I've read a couple of things that aren't concrete but apparently the dislike stems quite far back.
Apparently in 2009 the Swiss Indoors lost Davidoff as one of their sponsors and Brennwald asked Federer to take a 50% cut of his appearance fees so the tournament could get new sponsors. Roger of course agreed and signed up for the next 4 years.
Then it's rumoured last year Brennwald decided to go on holiday during Basel and only came back to attend the final leaving Roger to deal with the sponsors himself and confirm he'd be playing Basel in the future to secure further investment.
This apparently annoyed Roger as he was focused on playing tennis, not sorting out sponsorship deals which wasn't part of his remit, from that moment on he left Godsick to deal with Brennwald. Since then Brennwald has decided to paint Federer as the bad guy – perhaps Brennwald has a bad relationship with Godsick since IMG tried to buy the tournament off him a few years back.
I guess the fact Roger wanted to buy Basel and have it as his own tournament won't sit well with Brennwald either. There's a couple of links on that here – Federer wants to buy the Swiss Indoors and If Basel is sold, I am very interested in it.
If those are true then Brennwald is in a defensive position and wants to protect his investment so will resort to hanging out his dirty laundry.
Or he simply hates the idea of Roger owning the tournament. It's all guesswork really as tennis is pretty corporate behind the scenes so it's hard to assess.
I'm not sure we'll hear any more on this as camp Federer remains silent and I figure it will remain that way as Roger is a man of principle and won't stoop down to Brennwald's level.
I personally have this to say for Brennwald's “he never answers the phone” comment:
When I wanna talk, I'll talk!
Next stop Madrid. Allez!