Becker sticks up for under-fire Federer

Roger Federer Boris Becker

Six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker has come to the defence of Roger Federer after he was criticised for skipping the clay court season.

Ion Tiriac, the 1970 French Open doubles champion and current host of the Madrid Open, took aim at Federer after the Swiss ace once again decided to skip the entire clay court season – his tournament included.

The Romanian businessman said earlier this month that Federer’s pick-and-mix approach to tournaments would not be excused in any other elite sport.

“Lewis Hamilton does not just say no more after five Grands Prix in Formula One, because he does not feel like it,” Tiriac said.

But Becker reckons that while what Tiriac says might be true for almost all sportsmen in the world, Federer is a special case.

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

“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 is not expected back in action until June's Gerry Weber Open, which will form part of his build-up to Wimbledon which starts on July 2.

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