February 14, 2013 by Parveer Mann
As Roger Federer returns this week to defend his ABN AMRO World Tennis title in Rotterdam, we have to admit something to ourselves. Not that Federer won’t win more titles but that there will be less and less tournaments that we will actually get to see him play in over the course of a year.
At 31, Roger Federer is one of the elder statesmen of the ATP tour and that comes with certain scheduling privileges. According to the ATP rule book, when a player reaches certain criteria they are no longer obligated to commit to all of the ATP Masters series events or smaller tournaments across the globe.
The criteria include:
- 600 matches played (Federer has played nearly 1100 and won 883 of them coming into this week)
- At least 31 years of age (Fed will turn 32 in August)
- 12 years of service (He became a pro in 1998 and had his breakthrough win against Pete Sampras in 2001)
When Roger announced his tentative schedule on his website, there were only 14 scheduled events down from the 16 plus Olympics and Davis Cup commitments he made in 2012. Among the biggest omissions will be the Masters events in Miami and Monte Carlo and his home tournament in Basel. It is understandable that a player of Federer’s stature is taking advantage of the reprieve that his experience has afforded. It will provide him time to be fresher for the Slams and allow him time to pursue other business and/or personal opportunities with his family.
Seize the opportunity?
Even though there has been speculation that he wants to play until the 2016 Rio Olympics and his career has been a largely injury-free anomaly, the window is closing. The chance for fans and critics alike to watch the brilliance of Federer is becoming more fleeting. So this blogger implores you to pay extra attention this week and to attend or watch the event in your city if Roger rolls through. Because soon enough we won’t be able to find him where he’s shined for all these years: the Court.
Highlights of the Tennis weekend:
Any other highlights?