Paris Masters tournament director Guy Forget has admitted the tournament had deliberately not used Roger Federer as the face of their advertising because it annoyed their fans if he then didn’t play at the competition.
Forget likened the situation to that of the Rolling Stones not appearing at their own concert.
With Federer having yet to confirm his participation at the Paris Masters, Forget has been left frustrated at the Swiss maestro missing out on the tournament on the previous two occasions. Federer last played at the Paris Masters in 2015 and was knocked out in round three of that edition by John Isner.
And Forget thinks it would have done the tournament good had it been played before the Swiss Indoors where Federer is participating this week. However, he added the absence of Federer would give the other players more chances to feature and showcase their skills.
Forget said, “He has not been coming to Paris for a while and fans expect him to finally make it because we are a Masters 1000 and we are twice bigger than Basel, we have a great venue and the courts are a little bit faster now and it would be a very big opportunity for him to do very well.”
The tournament director also noted they had no power to be able to influence Federer’s decision but would love for him to take that call quickly enough for the Paris Masters organisers to get the draw out in time. That, he said, would allow it to be a more balanced draw.
What looked to have got Forget’s goat last year was the withdrawal of Federer from the tournament after having been a part of the promotion of the Paris Masters. This was the reason, Forget reasoned, Federer wasn’t included this year to promote the competition.
Forget explained that when a top player is used to promote the events, fans from all over the country, even outside the city of Paris, look at them and book the Paris Masters tickets and rooms in Paris. After which, if the player doesn’t make it to the competition it becomes difficult to explain to the fans, especially when injury hasn’t been the reason for the pull-out.
He added: “They [the fans] are like, ‘This is false advertisement! It’s like you pay tickets to attend a Rolling Stones concert and they are not there!’.”