x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Roger Federer takes step towards semi-finals and shots at drug testing

After dispatching Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-3 at the ATP Tour Finals in London, Roger Federer took some time during his news conference to call upon the tour to add additional drug testing, claiming player are not tested enough.

Roger Federer of Switzerland dispatched Richard Gasquet at the ATP Tour Finals, then took time during his news conference to call for stricter drug testing by the tour, something world No 2 Novak Djokovic has also brought up this week. Jan Kruger / Getty Images
Roger Federer of Switzerland dispatched Richard Gasquet at the ATP Tour Finals, then took time during his news conference to call for stricter drug testing by the tour, something world No 2 Novak Djokovic has also brought up this week. Jan Kruger / Getty Images

London // Roger Federer called for more drug tests in tennis, claiming last night that players are not tested enough.

The Swiss took time on Thursday to reflect on the fall-out from the Viktor Troicki affair after beating Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-3 to keep alive his hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals.

“I just feel like we’re not getting maybe tested enough,” said the six-time champion of the year-end event. “I didn’t get tested in Basel, in Paris [October]. I got tested here after the first match. I feel there needs to be more testing done. I feel like I used to get tested more. I think I was tested 25 times in 2003, 2004. Ever since, I think it’s been clearly going down this season.”

Federer spoke after the world No 2 Novak Djokovic expressed his anger over the ban handed to his fellow Serb Troicki for skipping a blood test after feeling poorly and coming back to do it the next day in Monte Carlo.

It was a transgression which originally cost him an 18-month suspension before it was cut to 12 months earlier this week.

The Croatian Marin Cilic last month completed three months out of the game for, he said, accidentally ingesting a banned substance through glucose tablets.

While Djokovic said he no longer trusts the anti-doping system, Federer took the opposite approach, along with Andy Murray, out injured from the year-end event, who tweeted: “Read and respect the rules and everything is very simple.”

The Swiss agreed.

“Overall, I trust the system,” Federer said. “I think they’re all very professional. I just think it’s very important that they treat us like normal human beings, not criminals.

“It’s fine to treat a guy bad if the guy tested positive, the guy needs to feel the pain, but not if you haven’t done anything yet. That, to me, seems like that’s the case.

“So I appreciate that.”

Federer also appreciates that he can possibly reach the semi-finals in London.

The 17-time grand slam winner wasted his first five match points with unforced errors before Gasquet put a return wide.

“Today was just a battle for myself, making sure I move the right way, I play the right way, I have the right shot selection,” Federer said.

“Richard does a good job of making you feel uncomfortable; he uses heights, spins really well. He likes extended rallies. But I guess those are the kind of matches I need right now – straight sets against a good player. It clearly comes at the right time.”

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