Nov/18

14

Benneteau Alleges Federer Possible Corruption

Former top 25 Julien Benneteau has alleged in a French radio interview that Roger Federer has special privileges, uses his influence to gain advantages and even outright corruption.

“Roger is a legend of the game, an icon, only he can bring 15,000 people to Bercy, nothing to say,” said the just retired Frenchman. “Now, when he sets up the Laver Cup, there are a number of conflicts of interest that become disturbing. Regarding the new Davis Cup, he said nothing about the date in November. And when the September date was mentioned, he woke up and opposed Piqué (the Spanish soccer star at the head of Kosmos, the group that finances the new Davis Cup format). That’s where I find the instances of tennis are incredibly weak. His thing is an exhibition. There are no sporting selection criteria. He gives $750,000 to Nick Kyrgios. Yes, it’s the rates. Another thing: in the organization of this event, there is Craig Tiley, the boss of the Australian Open, who is in charge of marketing and TV rights. Somewhere along the way, this gentleman is paid by Roger Federer’s agent (Tony Godsick) and behind him, as if by chance, Federer played 12 of his 14 matches in Melbourne at 7:30 pm.”

Benneteau recalled that Federer has been protected from playing in the brutal Australian heat, unlike other ATP stars, like Novak Djokovic. The Serbian, who battled Gaël Monfils in excessive heat. Federer played a night match vs an easy opponent.

Federer did not receive special protection or privilege at Wimbledon this year. The eight-time winner on the London grass felt penalized for being moved to court No. 1, where he had not played for three years, for his quarter-final defeat against Kevin Anderson. This would have prompted his entourage to react during the following Grand Slam tournament: “This year, the US Open opened the new Louis Armstrong court,” said Benneteau. “I heard Tony Godsick went into the referee’s office to basically say, “No way you’re scheduling him on this.” Roger Federer had indeed played all his matches in the Arthur Ashe stadium. “It’s normal that he has privileges, but there’s a small drift. Now, we have to realize that there will be a void when he stops.”

Then you have to wonder about the court surface speed change in Australia to a faster speed, which of course favors Federer’s game. Could Team Federer have manipulated Tiley to make such a change?

Federer said this week he doesn’t want to talk about this story, it’s not the time to talk about it, and that he and Benneteau have known each other since juniors. During the Tennis Channel broadcast of his match yesterday vs Thiem, the topic about Benneteau’s charges and the Laver Cup players and individuals on the Federer payroll (Tiley) was not mentioned once.

Is it possible Federer has the power and the influences to manipulate the ATP Tour and Grand Slam tournaments to make decisions that are advantageous to his needs?

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95 comments

  • Hartt · November 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Catherine, what can I say – great minds think alike! 🙂

    David Law did a poll on the 2 SFs. For Fed vs Sascha there were 540 responses, and 43 % predicted Fed in 2 sets (I was one of those). Only 3% got it right, predicting a SS win for Sascha.

    My prediction for the upcoming SF was Novak in 2, so will see if I am any closer.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    What a shame that Zverev had to profusely apologize for calling that let in the second set TB after the kid dropped the ball mid point. Fed fans booed and even Fed himself went up to the net and did a sort of silent protest which egged his fanatics to protest more. Fed should have just shook his head OKAY and played on. He should know the rules, Zverev knows the rules. Shame he had to apologize so much after during the interview after such a big win, maybe the best win of his career. Croft did a very good job admonishing Fed fanatics also. Very bizarre week for Federer, with the Benneteau controversy and this match.

  • Dan Markowitz · November 17, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    I didn’t see Zverev interview, but Fed didn’t protest much. He walked up and talked to Bernardes I think ump was and then briefly asked the ballkid in question. It wasn’t much of a protest. I don’t take this indoor tennis much seriously. Remember how great Sock was last year? I don’t think this augurs a big Zverev breakout, but maybe Lendl is a tennis genius.

  • catherine · November 18, 2018 at 2:22 am

    The O2 is a social event for many people and a lot of spectators are well-heeled ra-ras who don’t know much about tennis,swill champagne and make a great deal of noise. They’re horrible. Fortunately many of them are also one-eyed badly behaved Fedfans (similar to Serenafans) who’ve already dumped their tickets for today’s final and the hoi polloi can now get seats to see Djokovic win.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 18, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Fed took the loss well, his fans seem to want him to win more than he does sometimes. Zverev showed a ton of class. Just sad that he had to apologize so profusely for beating a legend. What a wacky year when players have to actually apologize for winning.

  • Hartt · November 18, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I know the chances of Sascha beating Novak in the final are slim, especially if Novak plays the way he did yesterday. But I will be rooting for Zverev the Younger. I am more than ready for the youngsters to win against the Big 3, so even as a Fed fan I was fine with Sascha winning yesterday.

    Sascha will continue to improve as a player, and Lendl should make a difference. I hope that the youngster has an even better season next year.

  • catherine · November 18, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Scoop – with Federer and Serena presumably planning GS tournament schedules next year I think we’ll have to be prepared for a) lots of booing and b) some apologetic winning speeches.

    Unless of course Federena continue to dominate 🙂

  • Hartt · November 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Mike Bryan and Jack Sock won the doubles title over Herbert/Mahut. The first set was competitive, with the French team squeaking out a win, but then the American team totally dominated in the 2nd, taking it 6-1. Herbert/Mahut were down 4-9, I think it was, in the match TB, and then got it to 9-9. In the end, a DF by Herbert gave the Americans the win.

    The French team’s serving let them down, with a first serve % of just 43%, and 10 DFs to 5 aces. But there was some good play by both teams, especially at the net.

    An amazing season for Bryan/Sock, wit 2 Slams and now the Nitto ATP finals title!

  • catherine · November 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Treats Hartt 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 18, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Sock can win with anyone, he brings out the best in everybody he plays with. Very special doubles player.

  • Hartt · November 18, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Catherine, I am so excited! I hoped that Sascha could make this a competitive match, but thought he just had a slim chance at winning, given Novak’s recent form. But Novak was a bit below his best, and Sascha played great. Along with getting a treat, I am just thrilled that a youngster won such a big title. With Khachanov and Tsitispas doing well, things are looking good for the younger players. We need some new faces winning big tourneys, so the results don’t seem preordained.

  • Jg · November 18, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    the Big Lendl forehands were the diffference

  • catherine · November 19, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Scoop – I know you’ve been sceptical about the Lend/Zverev connection but it seems to be working for now.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2018 at 7:46 am

    No longer skeptical, Lenld is making a positive impact. One week could change everything and Zverev has now taken another important step up the ladder to the top. I missed the view of when Zverev hugged Lendl though, when he went to his box and hugged his dad and Jez Greene, the TV coverage went to commercial just before he got to Lendl, did anyone see it, how the embrace looked? Warmth? Cold? I tink this is important and how Zverev viewed Lendl earlier was not very good, as good as Murray liked Lendl.

  • catherine · November 19, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Very warm and genuine looking hug. I’ve seen a pic of Sascha and Ivan working together and that looked good too.
    Sascha has said he’s sensitive about his parents and doesn’t want to downplay how much they have helped him so maybe he was a bit reticent re Lendl at first.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Well it’s good to hear Zverev and Lendl are warming to each other, at US Open I can asure that it was not the case, on the day I watched them together. This win by Zverev is extremely important. Let’s try to detect the value of Lendl to Zverev. I say it this way: As a former best player in the world, Lendl sees things mortals don’t. He SEES how to overcome Djokovic. He is able to identify how to do it and communicate it with certainty in his voice to Zverev who absorbs the wisdom and the confidence.

  • catherine · November 19, 2018 at 9:46 am

    It would be great if there were more ex-top players (male and female) like Lendl who were interested in coaching at the highest level and had his exceptional talent.

    Only thing, he really should lose some weight. I’d hate Ivan to have a heart attack – don’t really understand how such a fit player could let himself go like this – but I suppose it doesn’t matter on the golf course.

  • Hartt · November 19, 2018 at 9:59 am

    After seeing the comments here I had another look at Sascha’s celebration with his team. He hugged everyone in his player box, and his embrace with Lendl was warm, but he was especially warm with his father, of course, plus Jez Green and his physio, Hugo. His good pal Melo warranted a hug, too.

  • Hartt · November 19, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Sascha said Lendl gave him some specific advice on how to approach his match with Novak, and went on to say:

    “Obviously there’s a lot of credit to Ivan. I always say that. But my dad deserves the most credit out of everyone.’ Zverev also kissed his family dog after the win: ‘Family dog, I mean, family dog has been on a lot of courts.”

    So even the pup, Lovik, got a mention. When I saw Sascha practice at the Rogers Cup, both parents were there, and Lovik was much in evidence.

  • Dan Markowitz · November 19, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Firstly, i think it’s unwise to say his dad deserves more credit than Lendl even if its true and secondly, Lendl has gotten so heavy i think because he mostly plays golf now and not tennis. He’s an example of a guy that for whatever reason, maybe his back problems are really bad, who plays more golf than tennis. Also, Lendl was a fitness freak unlike say Johnny Mac so maybe he burned himself out when he was young.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Tim Mayotte has foot problems and a hip issue. I would guess Lendl, who trained harder than everyone, probably has issues with his knees, hips, ankles, lower back. And that is why he’s struggling with weight.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Zverev always has his parents around, wonder how much longer that will happen. Still remember the first time seeing Zverev plays qualies at Sarasota Open when he was 15 and his brother was sitting right there, no emotion at all, like he knew how good his brother was and would become. There was no urgency or worry, even though he lost the match.

  • Sam · November 22, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    catherine,

    “That Jaeger story is complete tosh.”

    So you’re saying that Jaeger is lying about the whole incident with her dad? How could you possibly know that? In fact, I think Navratilova even acknowledged that Jaeger had knocked on her door.

    Of course, it’s fine to speculate that Navratilova would’ve won anyway, but I see no reason to believe Jaeger is lying about not trying. She’s also a nun now, so it’s even less likely she would’ve made the whole story up.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 22, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    There are three sides to every story. Martina’s side. Andrea’s side. And the truth 🙂

  • Sam · November 22, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Oh, one more thing. Apparently Jaeger had advanced to the final without even losing a set. So, Navratilova might’ve won anyway, but to say that Jaeger would’ve had absolutely zero chance of winning seems rather silly.

  • Sam · November 22, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    “There are three sides to every story. Martina’s side. Andrea’s side. And the truth ????”

    That’s sometimes true, but sometimes one of the participants in the story is also telling the truth. So, it’s a judgment call here, but I see no good reason to believe Jaeger is lying. In fact, she didn’t actually admit all this until 2005.

  • Sam · November 22, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Incidentally, I found the article about Jaeger, so I hope it’s helpful:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-1031959/EXCLUSIVE-Jaegers-confession–I-let-Martina-win-title.html

    Oh, and in this case, it isn’t really about there being two/three sides to a story. Only Jaeger herself is capable of knowing whether she tried or not–Navratilova couldn’t possibly know that.

  • catherine · November 23, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Sam – I wouldn’t believe anything I read in the Daily Mail.

    My point was that Martina was so good that year she would not have had any trouble with Andrea, who beat Billie Jean on the way to the final because BJ was 37 and couldn’t run. Chris was also out because she was ill. It was a weak Wimbledon on the women’s side.

    As you probably know Jaeger came from a famously dysfunctional family and was prone to erratic behaviour. Eg, why on earth bother Martina the night before the final on a purely personal matter ? What did she expect Martina to do ? For Martina’s story of that Wimbledon, see her autobiography.

    I saw that match, I imagine you didn’t. Can’t think of any reason for Andrea to say she tanked so many years later except to draw attention to herself. She simply wasn’t a very good player, not at the highest level. She suffered a lot from being touted as the NBT from the age of about 12 and never lived up to it. And I know she became a nun, but it strikes me that if she were truly devout she wouldn’t make such a public confession. She’d keep quiet.

    I wonder what Martina’s reaction to all this was ?
    And BTW, most experienced players do know if their opponent is trying or not. I imagine Anne Jones knew BJ had given up in their W’don final but she probably put it down to the 3 long sets they’d been through, which was at least partially right.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 23, 2018 at 8:25 am

    This Navratilova vs Jaeger topic is kooky, not sure what to think. Anything is possible with a flaky troubled player like Jaeger. I would say Martina and most top players can tell when their opponent is tanking or semi tanking and just not mentally into the match to bulldog all the way. It’s absolutely possible to sense when an opponent is mentally tapping out. Very easy to notice the difference of a full effort and a disheartened dispirited effort.

  • Sam · November 25, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Catherine,

    “Sam – I wouldn’t believe anything I read in the Daily Mail.”

    Well, I’ll take anything I read there with some healthy skepticism at least. 🙂 However, I read this same story somewhere else too.

    “My point was that Martina was so good that year she would not have had any trouble with Andrea”

    Possibly, but there’s no way to know that for sure. Anyway, that’s beside they point–Jaeger isn’t claiming she would’ve won, merely that she didn’t even try.

    “As you probably know Jaeger came from a famously dysfunctional family and was prone to erratic behaviour. Eg, why on earth bother Martina the night before the final on a purely personal matter ? What did she expect Martina to do ?”

    If you’re a teenager having serious family problems, you’ll do plenty of things that may not seem “rational” to others. Besides, she desperately wanted to get away from her Dad–who wants to get beaten up? I think that what she claims to have done was actually pretty normal in such a situation.

    “I saw that match, I imagine you didn’t. Can’t think of any reason for Andrea to say she tanked so many years later except to draw attention to herself.”

    But in another article, Martina pretty much confirmed what happened with Jaeger’s father with this statement:

    “There were some difficulties with Andrea’s father, particularly that Wimbledon. It wasn’t an easy time for her. Probably for her the court was sort of a refuge in bad times. No matter what was going on in your life, that’s where you could get away from it and hopefully play well, despite it all. Sadly that was the case with some of the women with abusive fathers. It was the only place they were safe – until the match was over. I think it was a difficult match for Andrea because of that.”

    “And I know she became a nun, but it strikes me that if she were truly devout she wouldn’t make such a public confession. She’d keep quiet.”

    I can see your point, but maybe it was eating at her conscience? Maybe she wanted people to know the real truth. It probably wasn’t the best way to reveal it, though.

    “I wonder what Martina’s reaction to all this was ?”

    Well, in the article I posted, Jaeger said Navratilova never responded to her e-mail.

    “And BTW, most experienced players do know if their opponent is trying or not. I imagine Anne Jones knew BJ had given up in their W’don final but she probably put it down to the 3 long sets they’d been through, which was at least partially right.”

    I don’t know if Navratilova has made any public statements about this. And here’s the thing–as you said, experienced players can often gauge whether their opponent is tanking. But only the person in question of tanking actually knows 100%.

  • Sam · November 25, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Oh, another thing. Jaeger said she was hitting balls toward Navratilova on purpose. That’s a pretty specific claim. Either she’s outright lying, or else it sounds believable. And no, I haven’t seen the match. I suspect a video analysis of it, though, might help reveal the truth about this.

  • Sam · November 25, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    “I would say Martina and most top players can tell when their opponent is tanking or semi tanking and just not mentally into the match to bulldog all the way. It’s absolutely possible to sense when an opponent is mentally tapping out. Very easy to notice the difference of a full effort and a disheartened dispirited effort.”

    Scoop, that makes sense. But how do you know when it’s an intentional plan for the whole match, vs. “I am getting so frustrated by how well my opponent is playing that it almost feels like a waste of time to try”?

    Anyway, it would certainly be helpful to know any statements that Navratilova may have made about this matter.

    I don’t have any strong feelings either way, but Jaeger’s story sounds pretty believable to me. Also, knowing the way Navratilova ruthlessly dumped some of her former lovers, her alleged cold behavior toward Jaeger the night before the final doesn’t sound at all surprising to me.

    And if Jaeger is outright lying, well, she must be a pretty rotten nun. 😉

  • Sam · November 25, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Oh, something else. How would you tell the difference between a player who’s so nervous because of a big occasion they can’t put a ball in and a player who’s feigning nerves in order to tank a match, as Jaeger claims?

  • Sam · November 25, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    One final thing. If Navratilova did believe Jaeger tanked, exactly how would it be in her interest to admit that? 😉

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 25, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    It’s very easy to sense and feel when the opponent loses belief and stops fighting. No doubt about that. Does not make sense for Jaeger to fabricate this drama all these years later. More likely she is coming clean and setting the record straight.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 25, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Good question Sam, it’s a fine line. Whether it’s severe nerves or a tank, tough to tell.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 25, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    It would not be in MN’s self interest to publicize that Jaeger tanked her a major title. She would keep that private.

  • catherine · November 26, 2018 at 2:30 am

    I think this is a pretty pointless argument all these years later. It’s my belief Andrea did not tank, she was beaten by a better player. I saw Andrea play many times. She just didn’t have the drive, stability or natural talent to win consistently. And if I remember correctly, I haven’t got Martina’s book, Navratilova had her own personal reasons for feeling stressed during that final yet she won it because she was tough and committed. Wimbledon was the title she most wanted. She wouldn’t have cared whether Andrea was tanking or not. She won the match and that was that.

    And to draw parallels between Martina’s private life and her behaviour in a Wimbledon final seems far fetched to say the least.

    Andrea won precisely 4 titles in her career, never beat Martina, never won a GS. Retired in 1985.

    You might as well say Bouchard tanked against Kvitova at W’don. Or about any player who loses badly. Maybe Serena tanked this year and will reveal all after she retires ? Maybe she felt sorry for Angie or was worrying about baby care ?

    I doubt there is any surviving film of the match. Or that you could draw any conclusions from it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 26, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Catherine, that is an interesting theory – that Serena tanked the final to Osaka. I think we will do a full scale investigation on that 🙂

  • catherine · November 26, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Scoop – if you wait another 22 years I’m sure Serena will confess to the media ‘how I let Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka beat me in 2018 because I felt guilty that my immense wealth and fame as a mother gave me an unfair advantage’ 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 26, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Catherine, don’t give Serena any wacky ideas, she might read out site 🙂

  • Sam · November 28, 2018 at 1:07 am

    “It’s my belief Andrea did not tank, she was beaten by a better player.”

    So you’re saying that you think she’s outright lying?

    “And to draw parallels between Martina’s private life and her behaviour in a Wimbledon final seems far fetched to say the least.”

    Huh? It’s not about her behavior in the final, but in private the night before the final. If you have a habit of treating people close to you coldly, then treating a teenaged competitor in distress coldly would make perfect sense.

    “never beat Martina”

    Where did you get that idea from? In fact, Jaeger beat her 4 times, including at Eastbourne in 1981.

    “I doubt there is any surviving film of the match. Or that you could draw any conclusions from it.”

    You may be right about that. I found it odd that there’s no trace of it on YouTube.

  • Sam · November 28, 2018 at 1:13 am

    “Does not make sense for Jaeger to fabricate this drama all these years later. More likely she is coming clean and setting the record straight.”

    Exactly, Scoop. She’s not saying, “I would’ve definitely beaten Martina if I’d put up an effort.” No, she’s just wants people to understand why it ended up being such a blowout. She might be embellishing or misremembering a few details, but I think her basic story is sound. This was a young woman with an unusual amount of empathy for a competitor, and deciding to tank the match because she had interrupted Martina’s concentration would fit right in line with her personality.

  • Sam · November 28, 2018 at 1:27 am

    “It would not be in MN’s self interest to publicize that Jaeger tanked her a major title. She would keep that private.”

    You hit the nail on the head. So using the argument, “Martina would’ve said something if she thought Andrea had tanked” does *not* work here. 😉 Besides lessening the value of her title in the eyes of some, it would also lead to questions of, “Well, why would she have tanked?” That would then lead to what Jaeger said happened the night before, and my guess is that Martina does not want to go there in detail. 🙂

    And the fact that Martina didn’t respond to Jaeger’s e-mail is interesting too.

    My guess is Martina knew (or at least suspected) that Jaeger tanked, but she told herself, “Well, I would’ve won anyway,” which may well be true. I think if she really didn’t believe Jaeger had tanked, she would’ve responded to her e-mail mentioned in that article.

    Anyway, Scoop, you mentioned the hypocrisy of the tennis bigwigs concerning Gimelstob. Well, here’s more evidence of their hypocrisy (from years ago) from this article:

    https://tdn.com/lifestyles/former-tennis-star-now-serves-god/article_12a9ae07-9d17-58ac-9897-983a9dd47448.html

    “Jaeger remembered being called into the office by the tour’s top brass, expecting a lecture on bad manners and arguing line calls. Instead, they threw a copy of The New York Times at her with a story about Jaeger visiting a high school to talk to students about two suicides that occurred at the school in the span of a few days.

    ‘I just got yelled at, told to quit doing it, because I was making the rest of them look bad,’ Jaeger said.
    ————–

    So, showing genuine compassion and concern about teens who died gave the tour a bad look, huh? 😛 Unbelievable.

  • catherine · November 28, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Correction – I meant the night before, and Jaeger did not beat Martina in a major.

    And Martina probably didn’t respond that email because she had better things to do with her time.

    But really I can’t be bothered with this ancient story. And there’s nothing on Youtube because the BBC would most likely not have kept the film of that final – there are very few matches preserved from those days compared to now and there’s no great conspiracy behind it – a lot of film was just wiped.

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