World number two and Swiss player Roger Federer brought forward the significance of maintaining integrity within tennis following Spain's Fernando Verdasco shouting at a ball boy. In a video released a few days back, Verdasco was seen losing his temper on a ball boy for being too slow in bringing his towel during a semifinal clash at Shenzhen Open last week.
Federer opined, "I still think we are doing actually very well in our sport, and we have to maintain that, you know, the integrity and the way we treat each other, because it is a classy sport, tennis." Federer voiced his opinion at a press conference where he is seeking to win his 3rd Shanghai Masters title.
Defending the ball boys, Federer said, "The ball kids are really important to us, because they are also maybe the future of our game, like I was," added the world no. 2.
Verdasco's aggressive behaviour cost him a warning by the umpire and has prompted the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to consider altering the rules to spare ball boys and girls from handing players a towel. They may instead look for installing hooks on court.
Federer described Verdasco's incident as an "exception" that sometimes happens "in the heat of the moment." Nonetheless, he was quick to point out the essence of having ball boys and girls.
"Well, I think the idea of having the ball kids bring it to you is to speed up the points, you know, in between. If now you've got a hook or a rail in the back, I don't know. It's like are you wasting extra three seconds of time each and every point?" Federer explained.
Federer, defending champion at Shanghai Masters, will next play against the winner of the match between Russia's Daniil Medvedev and China's Ze Zhang on Wednesday.