Paris boss takes swipe at 'injured' Federer

The director of the Paris Masters has taken a thinly veiled swipe at Roger Federer's decision to skip his tournament.

The Swiss Maestro has pulled out of next week's Paris Masters, virtually ensuring Rafael Nadal will end 2017 on top of the world rankings as the 19-time Grand Slam champion insists his body needs a break.

Federer, 36, withdrew from the final event of the regular season after battling past Juan Martin del Potro 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-3 to win his eighth Swiss Indoors title in Basel.

That decision means Nadal only needs to win one match in Paris or at the ATP Finals to secure the year-end No.1 spot.

Federer was too good for Del Potro in Basel. Image: Getty

Guy Forget, tournament director in Paris, has since vented his frustrations over Federer's decision to play in Basel instead of Paris.

Speaking to l'Equipe, Forget said: "At the end of his match against Del Potro, apparently (Federer) was really touched physically. He has back pain, he has pain everywhere."

"You imagine my disappointment, my frustration. I had his agent (Tony Godsick) on the phone who told me of his wish to recover because he is at the end of the roll. We take note of it.

"We have no other recourse against that. We are sad about all the efforts that have been made for many weeks and many months to welcome Roger and Rafa into this room.

"Unfortunately, Rafa will be alone. There are other great champions, but I am convinced that Roger's Parisian fans will be very disappointed."

Forget, who won 11 ATP titles in his playing career, appeared to suggest Federer was selfish (whether he was entitled to be or not) to prioritise his hometown event in Basel (a Masters 500 event) instead of the Masters 1000 event in Paris.

"The tennis player, by definition, looks at his own interest, what interests him, what interests him less and has to make choices," Forget said.

Forget is not happy with Federer. Image: Getty

"At 36, we pay more attention than when we have 25. Nevertheless, I still think that the Masters 1000 are the nine biggest tournaments of the calendar.

"When a player, whoever he is, misses this appointment, it weakens the credibility of the circuit.

"I greet all those who make the effort. So some are a little diminished.

"Nadal is here. Others made the effort. Some have had surgery, you can not get them out of their hospital bed.

"When a player wins a tournament 500 kilometres away and is not there the next week, we are bound to be sad."

Federer, winner of a 95th career title which puts him into second on the all-time list behind the 109 of Jimmy Connors, had said all week that he would make a late decision depending on his post-Basel fitness.

"My body is asking for a break," said the Swiss legend. "Basel takes a lot out of me emotionally. I had five matches in six days. I feel sorry and sad for Paris.

"I love to play at Bercy, it's a few times now that I've not played there. It's a tough one but they have to understand that it's for the cause of staying injury-free and healthy.

"I'd like to be fully fit for London (the World Tour Finals) and for 2018."

Federer last played Paris in 2015 and won the title in 2011.

"I did think about the ranking, but I'm so far back in the points race that it was almost out of the question," added Federer.

"I asked myself what I would do if the ranking (issue) was not there. I want to stay injury-free, not push it and maybe get hurt next week and then miss London.

"It would be a snowball. It was not really about the ranking to be quite honest. If I was closer in the points race (to Nadal) it might have been."

Federer now has won a Tour-leading seven titles this season after beating Nadal in the Shanghai Masters final a fortnight ago.

He has also captured the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles, as well as Miami Masters, Indian Wells and Halle titles.

with agencies

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