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Thursday 8 December 2016

Tennis: Top players should not be given special treatment, claims Roger Federer

Switzerland's Roger Federer returns in the second round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Spain's Marcel Granollers at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France
Switzerland's Roger Federer returns in the second round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Spain's Marcel Granollers at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France

Roger Federer insists top players should not be given special treatment after Rafael Nadal requested to be given a break from umpire Carlos Bernardes at the French Open.

Nadal has not been officiated by Bernardes since he handed the Spaniard two time violations during an ill-tempered defeat to Fabio Fognini at the Rio Open in February.

The nine-time French Open champion confirmed on Tuesday he had complained about the Brazilian umpire to the ATP, which runs the men’s tour, explaining Bernardes was “not respectful enough” and it would be “better to have a break”.

Federer (pictured), speaking after his 6-2 7-6 (7/1) 6-3 second-round win over Spain’s Marcel Granollers, believes there is room for flexibility in the enforcement of the rules but says it should not depend on the players involved.

“I do not want to be treated differently,” Federer said. “Big tournaments, umpires with a lot of experience, they know how to manage difficult situations.

“If they have problems with top players it becomes difficult for them so that’s the problem we have on the tour.”

Stan Wawrinka joined Federer in the third round at Roland Garros but was made to work harder for his victory as he beat Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-3.

The upset of the day in the men’s draw came on Court Seven, where 28th seed Fabio Fognini was beaten in straight sets by France’s Benoit Paire. Roared on by the home crowd, Paire beat the Italian 6-1 6-3 7-5 to book his place in round three.

With no standout leader of the pack, French men progressed en masse to the third round, scoring a perfect five out of five on their home clay.

Chief entertainer Gael Monfils brought the lively court Philippe Chatrier crowd to their feet with a 4-6 6-4 4-6 6-2 6-3 win against Argentine Diego Schwartzman and celebrated by scratching a smiley in the red dust.

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