Basel tournament director: Federer refused our offer

by: Matt Cronin April 29, 2013

AP Photo

Basel tournament director Roger Brennwald discusses his event's relationship with Roger Federer, and says the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on his appearance fee for the October tournament.

Former Basel ball boy Federer has played his hometown tournament 13 times and won it five times, but his contract with the event expired after last year. While Federer recently said he intends to play Basel even without a contract, there has been discord on both sides. The tournament just announced it has signed Rafael Nadal to play this year.

"Roger has always [been our] top priority,” Brennwald told the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger. “We have launched campaigns in the millions for him and allowed him to promote his sponsors, which is not very common. We are grateful for the time we were allowed to have with him. The thing is very simple: We have made an offer to him, which he refused. We have submitted a second offer, which he has not responded to. We do not normally pay a seven-figure [appearance fee].”

Brennwald also complained that he is unable to speak with Federer directly and always has to go through his agent Tony Godsick.

“We actually speak the same language, but with Godsick it's not fun," he said. "I've never seen anything like it. I can contact Djokovic or Murray if I want. I have spoken personally with Nadal. But with Roger it’s not possible.”

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