Roger Federer may no longer be men’s tennis top cog he used to be, but when it comes to the value of his brand, the Swiss Master is still a class above his Big 4 rivals Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open director Salah Tahlak admitted that Federer has consistently raised the profiles of tournaments he participated through the years, successful attracting crowds to these tourneys year after year.
“A major part of the crowds that come here to our tournament have been coming for him. I think he has added a big value to our tournament. His name is connected to Dubai. Everyone knows Roger and Dubai. He is a brand in itself,” Tahlak said.
The tourney director also added that Federer has the ability to make any tournament he competes in instantly a ‘must-watch,’ which is something Djokovic, Nadal and Murray still couldn’t do in their careers.
“What he [Federer] has done for tennis no one from memory has done so far. He has the ability to upgrade any event he attends and plays in,” Tahlak told Gulfnews.com He brings that something special. In the IPTL, he has played in non-tennis cities or countries and he has brought something special and it has been good for them.”
Federer missed this year’s Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open after suffering a torn meniscus on his knee that required surgery. Although the Swiss is back practicing on the tennis court just three weeks after going under the knife, it’s uncertain when he’ll make his return in the tour.
Novak Djokovic, who finished runner-up to Federer last year, already bombed out of the tournament after retiring in the second set of his semis match with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-0. The Serb was reportedly suffering eye infection prior to the match.