Italian Open defended over Roger Federer controversy: ‘I don’t have a problem with it’

Federer had not planned to compete at the Italian Open but following an early exit in Madrid he had a late change of mind.

The Swiss star requested to play his opening match against Joao Sousa today – which is currently postponed due to rain.

And tournament organisers raised ticket prices from around €60 (£52) to €132 (£114).

Supporters blasted the decision and Federer admitted it was disappointing to see the increase.

But Petchey thinks the Masters 1000 event had every right to cash in.

“I think it is very acceptable to be honest,” Petchey told Amazon Prime.

“I don’t really have a big problem with it.

“Roger said it was a little disappointing.

“But what it does say from a tournament prospective is if you buy your tickets before you know a marquee player is going to play then you’re going to get the benefit.

“I think going forward for the tournament it has been a very smart and commercial move.

“It’s nothing that we haven’t seen before.

“This is a commercial entity. This is not a charity and I don’t have a problem with it at all.”

Federer admitted that the decision was not made with the fans’ best interests in mind.

“I heard that the fans were not happy,” Federer said.

“It’s a shame, they said they did it to reward those who had bought the tickets before, which is a strange thing. [It’s] disappointing.”

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