Roger Federer has made a surprise revelation with regards to his tournament commitments and confirmed that there is only one event that he will always play – the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.
The Swiss ace admitted that he has a lifetime contract to play at the ATP 500 event in Germany as it holds a special place in his heart. There are other events he is contracted to, but not like the Halle Open.
Federer has a contract until 2019 with the Swiss Indoors in Basel, which is his hometown event, while he also had a contract until 2017 with the Dubai Tennis Championships, which he has not renewed.
However the Gerry Weber Open remains a tournament that will always be on Federer's calendar until he hangs up his racket. The event in Germany always precedes the Wimbledon Championships on the tennis calendar and the 36-year-old uses the tournament as preparation for his assault on the title at SW19.
Federer first played the event at the Weber Sportpark in 2000 when he was an 18-year-old. He was handed a wildcard by then tournament director Ralf Weber and the Swiss maestro progressed to the quarter-finals before losing to Michael Chang, 5-7, 2-6.
The 20-time men's singles Grand Slam champion has since gone on to win the Gerry Weber Open on nine occasions and is hoping to make it 10 in 2018. Federer revealed that it is a place he always looks forward to going to during the year — another reason apart from his multiple title successes is that the Swiss tennis legend has a street named after him in Halle.
"My lifetime contract only exists in Halle," Federer revealed after winning the Laureus Award for 2017 sportsman of the year, as quoted on Tennis World USA. "I don't even have such an agreement with my home tournament in Basel."
"It was important to feel the trust of Weber family straightaway, realizing that their support would have made me happy. Players often came to me to say: How is Halle? Great atmosphere, great organization. You have to come," the Swiss ace added.