Djokovic is head of the Player Council which led a move to oust supremo Chris Kermode
In a rare public schism the Swiss legend revealed that he and Rafael Nadal are on the opposite side to Djokovic in the wake of the Serb leading a move to oust the English supremo of the ATP Tour, Chris Kermode.
After making the third round of the Indian Wells Masters event Federer told Swiss reporters that he had tried to speak to Djokovic – head of the Player Council – ahead of the meeting where he oversaw the narrow passing of a vote not to renew Kermode’s contract.
Roger Federer has accused Novak Djokovic of snubbing his attempts to speak with him
‘I tried to meet Novak on the deadline (before the meeting),’ said Federer, speaking in Swiss German. ‘Unfortunately he had no time. That’s hard to understand for me.
‘He certainly had a lot to do with the whole story. I asked him if he had time to meet me, it was so busy. He suggested that we see each other the day after – but everything was already decided.’
Federer is no longer on the player council, but remains a hugely influential figure in the sport. He is among those unhappy at how Kermode has been treated after what has been a period of strong growth during his five year tenure.
The departure of ATP executive chairman and president Kermode has divided tennis stars
Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and the body representing worldwide tournaments have also expressed their bemusement at the turn of events.
‘I want to know what the motive was, what it is Kermode does not seem to have done well,’ said Federer. ‘I would have tended to be more for him. In the past, there were always situations in which one had to say: he or she just has to go. But that was not the case with Kermode.
‘I also talked to Rafa. We are on the same page, that’s important to him and me.
‘Many were behind Kermode. Not all have the same priorities. Some think primarily of money, others of the tournament calendar, others are more concerned with power, that’s always a big story. I still have the feeling the tour is going well, we have great matches, the prize money went up, the stadiums are full.’
Kyle Edmund is also through to the third round in Indian Wells and will face Moldova’s Radu Albot, with a possible shot at Federer if he wins.