Team Federer has copped flak from Germany’s angry Davis Cup captain, who has blamed an exhibition match between the Swiss icon and top German Alexander Zverev next month for disrupting the rollout of the new Davis Cup.
Fuming skipper Michael Kohlmann told the German ‘Tennis Magazin’ that Federer and his Team8 manager Tony Godsick were to blame for luring their national No.1 into a November 23 exhibition with the Swiss icon in Mexico.
Federer, who is not involved in Davis Cup under the new one-week format for the formerly year-long competition, will then travel to Argentina for a hit-and-giggle with Juan Martin del Potro, recovering from a knee injury but expected back on court soon.
Federer and Zverev will meet in Mexico in a clash billed as “The Greatest Match,” where more than 40,000 tickets have reportedly been sold.
To be fair, Federer was never in the Davis mix while Zverev has said for months that he would not play in the mini-version of the classic team event – but he did say his reasons had to do with the long length of the ATP season.
But no excuse was good enough for Kohlmann, a former player who played his last Grand Slam in 2006 before finally retiring six years later.
“Alexander Zverev never played a role in our plans for Madrid, because he ruled out from the beginning to compete there,” Kohlmann said.
“I was a bit surprised he chose to play the exhibition event and it is a direct result of joining Team 8.
“Godsick and Federer of course make a clear statement with this tour – against the new Davis Cup final week and against the ITF.”
Zverev is a recent recruit to the elite Team8 stable, the firm managed by Godsick after founding it with Federer.
“Godsick and Federer of course make a clear statement with this tour against the new Davis Cup final week and against the ITF,” Kohlmann added.
Zverev has been off his game this season due in part to an of-court legal stoush with former manager Patricio Apey which has sapped the concentration of the 22-year-old ranked sixth.