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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007, 22:43 GMT
Round-robin is doomed - Federer
Roger Federer
Federer has never been in favour of the round-robin system
World number one Roger Federer has predicted that the men's tour will be forced to abandon the controversial round-robin system in tournaments.

His comments come after James Blake went out of the Las Vegas Open following a mix-up over the rules.

"I doubt it's going to happen next year, the round-robin system," Federer said. "I think it's a bad situation."

The Association of Tennis Professionals will discuss the round-robin format at a board meeting on 22 March.

The round-robin trial has been introduced at some tournaments in 2007 in an attempt to boost interest from the media and sponsors and to give spectators more chance of seeing the big names of the sport in action.

However, the format has been criticised and the confusion in Las Vegas, which follows a similar situation in Buenos Aires, has intensified opposition.

If some good can come out of it, the revamping or destruction of the round-robin system, then that is something

James Blake

Blake had needed to win his final round-robin match in straight sets with the loss of no more than five games to secure a quarter-final place but his opponent's retirement during the match denied him that chance.

ATP chief executive Etienne de Villiers stepped in to announce that Blake would be allowed through to the last eight, only to make a U-turn 24 hours later.

Federer added: "It's going to be interesting to see their (the ATP's) reaction now because they're definitely under pressure.

"Everybody knows I was against it (the round-robin system) in the first place.

"It's actually very disappointing to see things like this had to happen first before you realise that the system is not going to work."

Blake himself said he understood the decision to eliminate him from the tournament but called on the ATP to look at changing the rules.

"If some good can come out of it - the revamping or destruction of the round-robin system - then that is something," he said.

"It seriously needs to be looked at. We're going to run into situations every single week."

ATP to trial round-robin format
26 Oct 06 |  Tennis


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