Would Roger Federer be a good commissioner ?

Match Points is a talk show about tennis, hosted by Josh Cohen for Tennis Majors. In this extract, Josh asked to our three guests if Roger Federer would be a good commissioner for tennis.

May 4, 2020

Our three guests here are Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, the ATP world number 225 and founder of Behind the Racquet Noah Rubin, and the American tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg. In this first episode, they discussed the possible merger between the ATP and the WTA, and the current tennis governance. 

Would Roger Federer be a good commissioner ? That’s one of the questions Josh Cohen asked our three guests. For Ben Rothenberg, the Swiss is a tennis icon but he’s maybe not the right person to be the commissioner.

“Whoever is the commissioner would have to be able to take a lot of abuses in a way that Roger Federer has never had to take abuses. It would have to be somebody with a very thick skin and able to compromise. It would angry him. Every time Roger walks into a room, he is immediately loved and beloved and everyone is so happy. That would not be the case for a commissioner. I’m not sure. Roger is a very influential person. He would be a great sort of dictator, If we got to choose a king of tennis. But if you are a real commissioner who has to compromise and has to work things out, he won’t set up a dispute. He’s involved in business ventures in tennis. But he is not a real backroom kind of guy. So, being a commissioner, I’m not sure. He would be a good figurehead. I’m not sure he is the guy with the backroom experience actually.”

As the tennis world is put to a stop by the health emergency, an old idea comes back in force: having a commissioner to supervise the Tour. What about John McEnroe ? asked Josh Cohen to Patrick Mouratoglou.

“John McEnroe would be perfect to take the shit because he doesn’t give a shit ! He kinda likes it. So in that way, yes. I don’t know how much he would be interested in all of this. Mixing politics, business, and all. I know him quite well because we are working together at ESPN I don’t think he is interested in those topics. He wouldn’t be a great commissioner even if he’s a big tennis face. He is not scared to say what he thinks. Actually, he likes it.”

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