“Shameless”: Roger Federer fans left speechless over controversy
Fans in Rome were ecstatic when tennis legend Roger Federer announced that he was returning to the clay courts in the Italian Open after a three-year hiatus.
Federer took to his Instagram account to let fans know that he would be playing in Italy. The video says:
“Just finished speaking to the team and happy to say I’m coming back to Rome to play in Italy,” he said.
“Can’t wait. It’s so exciting. It’s been too long. I’ll see you there. Ciao tutti. Bye bye.”
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However, that joy quickly turned to anger once fans realised that tournament organisers had doubled the ticket prices after the announcement.
The tickets have been bumped from €60 to €132 ($96 to $212). The Italian Tennis Federation tried to justify the price bump by saying:
“We want to reward fans who had bought tickets before they knew Federer would play.”
But many fans weren’t happy with that explanation.
Federer plays the #IBI19 in Rome. The President of the Italian Federations: "We have doubled the price of tickets for Wednesday, the day Federer will play. We want to reward fans who had bought tickets before they knew Federer would play"
That's one way of looking at it
— Vanni Gibertini (@vgibertini) 12 May 2019
The most ridiculous reason for a price increase I have evr heard. I mean, if Federer wasn't coming, wouldn't they still prefer to sell the tickets?😂
— Timi Tennis (@tennisrambling1) 12 May 2019
Boo hiss to this tournament for the shameless grifting. It really is adding insult to injury to then try to spin it by saying the motivation was to reward those who'd already bought their tickets. Yuck.
— 2centsannandale (@2centsannandale) 12 May 2019
Federer himself isn’t a fan of the decision either. He recently explained in Rome that it was “disappointing to hear”.
“That’s obviously disappointing to hear,” said Federer to Scroll.
“They made it in a way like they rewarded the fans who bought tickets earlier, which is sort of strange,” he added, saying there wasn’t anything he could do about it.
“Look, I just really hope it doesn’t take away the fact I’m really happy to be here. There’s going to be good crowds hopefully, good atmosphere. I’m pumped up to play well. I mean, my excitement couldn’t be bigger.”
Federer explained that his decision to play in Italy is to get more match practice on clay.
“I think I was playing well in Madrid, so I just said, again, ‘Let’s come to Rome, a city I like so much as well’.
“Madrid is a tough place to play. I felt like playing somewhat maybe more sea level conditions would be good for me. There would be excitement, more excitement than me coming to a practice court in Switzerland,” he said on his last-minute decision to play.
“I think this week, then next week in Paris, it’s going to be interesting to see how I play the points, how I do it all.”