Roger Federer calls Alexander Zverev a "great guy", questions whether there should be a code of conduct for "private life" matters

Roger Federer with Alexander Zverev
Roger Federer with Alexander Zverev

Roger Federer was recently asked to clear the air on the split between his Management Agency - Team8 - and Alexander Zverev. Federer in response expressed support towards Zverev, but refused to get drawn into the domestic violence allegations leveled against the German by his ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova.

Federer also stressed on the importance of separating your personal life from your professional one. He even questioned whether it would be acceptable for the ATP to implement a domestic violence policy given that there are a few on-court restrictions for the players already.

Team8 (an agency co-owned by Roger Federer) and Alexander Zverev parted ways soon after Olga Sharypova's allegations first came to light. At that point, many felt Team8's decision was influenced by the domestic abuse case that Zverev had found himself embroiled in.

But in a recent conversation with noted journalist Ben Rothenberg, Roger Federer claimed that he didn't have anything to do with the split from Alexander Zverev. Federer also opined that Zverev was a "great guy", and that he felt happy whenever the German found success.

"Look, Sascha is a great guy," Federer said. "I'm really happy for him when he does well. But I don't get involved in those types of decisions, to be honest. I feel like if I get asked, I get asked, but otherwise..."

Roger Federer further revealed that all decisions regarding the operations of Team8 - such as their handling of the Alexander Zverev situation - are primarily taken by Tony Godsick (Federer's agent).

"Well, I mean, of course I'm very close to Tony and Team8, but at the same time these are decisions that Tony takes, and the team," Federer said.

Roger Federer reckons that both parties involved - Team8 and Alexander Zverev - were keen on a fresh start, which is what led to the split. The Swiss went on to label the Zverev-Sharypova incident as "super private stuff", and refrained from giving his thoughts on it.

"I think that's what I've heard, is that Sascha also wanted--there was an urge for a fresh start, and I think for Tony and the team as well - I'm not sure," Federer added. "But I'm happy when Sascha does well, and all of the allegations, that's super private stuff that I really don't want to comment."

Roger Federer was then asked if the ATP should have a policy to combat issues such as domestic violence on tour. The Swiss responded that it is tricky to have such rules in tennis as, unlike other sporting leagues, tennis players are not directly employed by a league or a particular club.

"We're independent contractors, I guess, so it's maybe more complicated than others? Uff, I don't know," Roger Federer continued. "I haven't...I feel like this is something very personal, and I guess when you're employed at a club or in a league it's something very different, in my opinion, because then you get a salary from there."

The 20-time Major champion did acknowledge that there ought to be a code of conduct in place for players, but he seemed to change his mind mid-way through his comment. Citing how the on-court code of conduct has become increasingly rigid over the years, Federer wondered aloud whether it would be right for the players to lose control over their private lives.

"But of course there needs to be a certain code, like they have on the court, but that one's also gotten more and more strict over the years," Federer said. "So now you want to move over into the private life as well?"

"I don't feel super comfortable talking about it" - Roger Federer on the Alexander Zverev domestic abuse case

Tony Godsick with Roger Federer
Tony Godsick with Roger Federer

Roger Federer reiterated at the end of his answer that it was imperative for Alexander Zverev to focus on his tennis more than anything else. He also acknowledged that journalists would want something more substantial from him, but then asserted that he wasn't comfortable talking about it.

"I don't know that I want to talk about it, to be honest - I don't want to bring this subject up," Roger Federer said. "I feel like I want Sascha to focus on his tennis and who am I now, months later, to comment on it? I understand that, Ben, you want to write something about it. But you understand me too, that I don't feel super comfortable talking about it."

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Edited by Musab Abid
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