Greg Rusedski believes Roger Federer is an honourable person and would rectify any potential conflict of interest with Australian Open chief Craig Tiley.
Federer and Tileys relationship came under the spotlight after an explosive French radio interview with recently retired tennis player Julien Benneteau, who pointed out the numerous conflicts of interest involving the 37-year-old Swiss in tennis.
One topic that has been heavily focused on is Federers special treatment with regards to scheduling – but Rusedski is convinced the 20-time Grand Slam winner has earned those privileges.
You earn your right, he sells your tickets, the former British No. 1 told Metro.co.uk ahead of his appearance at Champions Tennis. I think its kind of here nor there. You earn your rights.
I think were talking about possibly the greatest player of all time and everybody wants to see him. The longer Roger plays this game, the better it is. Hes made a lot of people a lot more into this sport.
Hes done so many positives so Julien is allowed his opinion in what he says but the tour has always been like that and it wont change. Federer deserves it – hes earned his right.
While favourable scheduling is perhaps part and parcel when it comes to arranging a tennis tournament, Benneteaus allegation that Federer is directly paying Tiley through his agent Tony Godsick presents a new problem for the sport.
Rusedski is certain that the Swiss has not been using the existence of any financial relationship to his competitive advantage and backed both Federer and Tiley to take the right steps to tackle any potential conflict of interest going forward.
I dont think it gets him scheduling benefits for doing that, he added. I dont think it allows him other things.
Rogers created the Laver Cup which is basically the Ryder Cup in tennis… bringing it to big cities around the world that dont have big tennis events. I think its absolutely brilliant. And they [Tennis Australia] have got a partnership directly with it.
I dont know how financially it works. But Ive known Roger for so long that I cant imagine that hes done anything murky and if he has Im sure he will rectify it.
If something is not correct, Federer is an honourable person. If he thinks he needs to rectify that situation or Craig Tiley does, they will if it doesnt look correct.
Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas was also quizzed on Federers relationship with Tiley during a press conference at the Royal Albert Hall.
Its tough in our sport, obviously, Haas said. You have to give respect to the players that have achieved a certain amount of success over the years. You have to take that in respect of what people want to see as well.
Obviously being a tennis player and being on the tour myself for 20 years, I know what it feels like when you want to play at a certain time and it doesnt quite work out that way or you wish you could play on another court and it doesnt quite work out this way as well. It is what it is, its tough.
Facts are facts and certain things have to be the way they are. Trying, also, to be in charge of the schedule we only have to take all of those things into effect and try to please everybody as much as we can, which is quite tough to do but I cant speak for the Australian Open – obviously if he did play 12 or 13 of his last 14 matches at 7.30pm, thats prime time.
Everybody loves Roger around the world, you have to take those sorts of things into account and in the end thats the tournament directors choice.
When asked whether he would feel comfortable taking money off an active player as a tournament director, he added: No.
I havent even come close to that. Those discussions have never even come up so again, tough to give you any comment on that.
That [Federers financial relationship with Tiley] I dont know if thats even true or not. I cant speak for that.