Former grand slam champ criticises absent Federer

Former French Open winner Ion Tiriac has hit out at Roger Federer’s decision to skip the clay court season for the second-straight year.

Tiriac, who won the 1970 doubles crown at Roland Garros, is now the director of the Madrid Open, a tournament that Federer has again chosen not to play in 2018.

The 37-year-old Swiss legend is resting his body in preparation the remainder of the year, choosing to miss a number of tournaments on clay – his least preferred surface.

He will instead by ready and raring to go when the tour moves to his more favoured grass and hard court tournaments.

“I am not 25 any more, I need to reserve some energy for Wimbledon,” Federer said.

“I love the grass more than the clay court, so that is why I won’t take part this year.”

Tiriac and Federer. Image: Getty

However Tiriac, who also criticised Federer’s decision in 2017, is not happy about the World No.2 missing his tournament again.

“He is definitely the greatest player of all time, but he doesn’t behave correctly, I don’t think that his attitude is fair,” Tiriac said recently.

“It rarely happens in other sports.

“Lewis Hamilton doesn’t stop after five F1 races because he is not willing.”

German great Boris Becker has since defended Federer in the face of Tiriac’s comments.

“In principle, Tiriac is right when he says that players are not allowed to chose where to play and where to not,” Becker said.

“But Federer is in another league. He is the best ever. He is an unbelievable tennis player.

“He did all right, and now that he has chosen to skip the clay-court season should be understood.”

Federer will return to action at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart on June 9.