Roger Federer was furious at suggestions he had demanded favourable scheduling for his routine win over Britain’s Dan Evans and moaned he was ‘sick and tired’ of ‘hearing this sh*t’.
The Swiss thrashed the British No. 2 6-2 6-2 6-1 in just an hour and 20 minutes, with Evans understandably annoyed at being scheduled first on the Arthur Ashe Stadium having had a long battle with French 25th seed Lucas Pouille less than 24 hours earlier.
Federer had been able to complete his match under the roof on Wednesday and could put his feet up while Evans did battle with Pouille and admitted he had a ‘competitive advantage’.
However, while he didn’t deny his team could have made a request on his behalf, he hit back at suggestions he had demanded to be scheduled at midday on Friday, letting his halo slip to let out an audible obscenity.
‘Not really. I don’t remember that I asked for something,’ he said. ‘Yeah, yeah. It’s maybe nice to be out of the sun, as well, I don’t know, I thought. But I definitely didn’t do it intentionally. I don’t even know if the team asked for day. I know there was questions to have a preference.
‘But that doesn’t mean like, “Roger asks, Roger gets.” Just remember that, because I have heard this shit too often now. I’m sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.
‘We can give our opinion. That’s what we do. But I’m still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 4:00 in the morning.’
Evans had earlier given a wry smile when asked if he could have any input in the scheduling, saying: ‘You think a guy who’s my ranking has any say in that?
‘There is probably about four people in this tournament who has a say when they play. Maybe three. Yeah.
‘Well, if that is the case [that Federer requested the early match], then – well, yeah. It’s tough on me, isn’t it? But that wouldn’t be the first time the higher-ranked player has had pull, so to speak.
‘But also, these guys, the tournament obviously want Roger, would rather Roger be going through that match than me, so it’s understandable, yeah.’
Federer added on the fairness of the scheduling as a whole: ‘I mean, look, yes, regardless of when he finished it was always going to be a competitive advantage for me. So there you have it. Now, is it a big difference if we play at 12:00 or 2:00? Not really. But I think at some stage every hour might matter.
‘I have been there. I know what you’re talking about. Yeah, you could definitely argue that the scheduling was not in his favor. But it’s anyway not fair for me to play my match under the roof, get it done, sit back, relax the next day while he’s battling out a four-hour or a three-hour match, whatever it is, against Pouille. The problem already starts there.
‘That’s tennis. It’s entertainment, and the show must go on. I’ve lost maybe matches this way. I’ve won some this time. Luck was on my side. There you have it. So, yeah, I understand if Danny is, like, a little bit frustrated.’