A prominent tennis official and former player has taken aim at Roger Federer for continuing to disappoint French fans.
The 20-time grand slam champion decided to forgo the French Open for the second successive year in 2018 as he continues to carefully manage his schedule.
If history is any indicator, the 37-year-old could also turn his back on the upcoming Paris Masters – the tournament that starts a week after his home event, the Swiss Indoors.
Paris Masters tournament director, Guy Forget, has urged Federer to make himself available after pointing out the Swiss ace’s history of pulling out of the tournament at the last minute.
“There is not much we can do,” Forget said.
“I’d wish Paris was before Basel, but that’s how the schedule is and if Roger comes we would be very happy.
“And if he doesn’t come, there will be more chances for other players to do well.
“He has not been coming to Paris for a while and fans expect him to finally make it because we are a Masters 1000 and we are twice bigger than Basel, we have a great venue and the courts are a little bit faster now and it would be a very big opportunity for him to do very well.
“Because if he comes, he would be one of the favourites. And it’s one of the tournaments he has some of the best chances to win, because he has played well in the past.
“We are positive. But it’s up to him, we have no influence or power on that.
“Roger will decide on the Rolex Paris Masters at the last minute. It depends on how he feels.
“If he doesn’t come, we would like to know it as early as possible because the draw would be more balanced, but if he comes, we would be very happy to have him.”
Long-standing injury hindering Federer’s season
One thing that could further complicate Federer’s participation in Paris is a long-standing injury the 37-year-old revealed he’d been suffering through.
The Swiss legend says he has been battling with a hand injury since the summer, but said the problem is no longer a worry as he heads into his home Swiss Open.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner told Germany’s Sonntag Zeitung of the problem which began when he trained for the grass-court season.
“I hurt my hand training at the start of the grass season,” Federer told the newspaper.
“It’s had more consequences than I thought. I dragged this pain for about three months.
“It’s not an excuse and we’re not going to make a fuss over it.”
He added: “(Sometimes) I felt pain during the first ten minutes of a match warmup. But now I can let go of my forehand normally without thinking of it.”