Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tennis Talk

by Savannah

The IMG Mess

This is the latest denial of involvement from Roger Federer.

PARIS -- Roger Federer has denied any involvement in alleged high-stakes gambling by an executive from his management company in a story published by the New York Times.

The tennis star said in a story posted Wednesday that he contacted IMG executive Ted Forstmann after learning of a lawsuit in which Forstmann is accused of betting millions on sporting events, including the 2007 French Open final that Federer lost to Rafael Nadal.

"I reached out to him and told him I want to know everything about it, how this came about," Federer told the newspaper. "And he's been, you know, nice enough obviously to tell me from his side and has been very open in the press already. So that's OK."

Forstmann does not represent Federer; Tony Godsick of IMG is his agent.

"Tony is my guy, but still, it's a firm that does a lot in sports," Federer said. "So it's just something that for me is important to know what is going on from their side, too."

Forstmann is being sued in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Agate Printing Inc. for fraud, interference with contract and breach of contract. In the complaint, which seeks extensive damages for lost business Forstmann allegedly promised, Agate Printing executive Jim Agate claims to have served as a conduit for Forstmann's gambling.

Forstmann acknowledged betting on Federer and gambling on sports in general, but rejected Agate's claim that he increased bets on Federer after consulting with him.

"I might have called Roger before the match in 2007," Forstmann told the website The Daily Beast. "But Roger is a buddy of mine, and all I would be doing is wishing him luck."

Does anyone but me find the wording of the bolded part interesting to say the least? The issue has always been that the head of the largest publicity agency in sports gambled big time. IMG runs tennis tournaments.

Once again I'm not saying any player is involved in illegal gambling. I just don't understand why the attempt to distance Federer from Forstmann is being made at this time. The article is being retweeted like mad by the establishment tennis press. I just think the wording is odd.

The Weekend's Winners
David Ferrer won the ATP tournament at Valencia. Ferrer is part owner of the event.
Andy and Jamie Murray won the doubles in Valencia
No surprise about who won in Basel this year.
Bob and Mike Bryan won the doubles crown in Basel.

The Fed Cup and Italy
For the second year in a row the Italian Fed Cup team has defeated the United States. This time it was in the States on a hard court. The final tally was 3-1 Italy.
Due to a family event I didn't see any tennis this weekend. All I can say is that if Italy had lost to the team fielded by Mary Jo Fernandez heads would've rolled. Literlly.

1 comment:

TennisAce said...

Savannah, you have to explain to me what you find curious about the bold portions of your post. Frankly speaking, from a legal standpoint, there is absolutely nothing that Fed can contribute to this situation. Not only has he not been accused of anything, he does not have contact with Forstmann on a personal level in terms of the IMG representation.

If it is that you are questioning the distance that is being placed between Federer, Forstmann and IMG, I think from a legal stand point, it has to be done. While Fed is represented by IMG, his agent at IMG is not Forstmann, but Tony Godsick. For all intents and purposes what is being said is that Fed may be a client of IMG but he is not, nor has he ever had contact with Forstmann in a capacity so much so as to encourage him to engage in betting.

This is a very delicate situation and one wonders why everyone is harping on this particular allegation in the lawsuit, when other issues have also been raised, namely racism, which no one seems minded to take up as an issue. Is it that we do not believe that he made racist allegations but that he engaged in illegal betting on tennis matches with Federer?