Roger Federer has said that he hopes injured players would give up their place in the tournament rather than simply playing for the prize money.
Both Federer and Novak Djokovic advanced at Wimbledon when their opponents retired from their matches in the second set. Federer made it to the second round for the fifteenth consecutive year when Alexandr Dolgopolov retired and Martin Klizan withdrew when playing Djokovic.
During his press conference Federer was asked if some players begin games knowing that they are injured simply in order to receive the prize money. There is a cheque of £35,000 for first-round losers at Wimbledon.
Federer answered, “No, a player should not go on court if he knows he will not finish. The question is, did they truly believe they were going to finish? If they did, I think it’s okay that they walk on court. Otherwise, I feel they should give up the spot. You hope that they would give up their spot for somebody else, even though they deserve to be in there, but fitness not allowing them.”
Djokovic said that he thinks this issue “should be addressed” and said that Grand Slam tournaments should align with the ATP Tour rules regarding prize money.
In his conference he said, “Maybe it should be addressed. I think the new rule that the ATP has reinforced allowing players who have made it to the main draw get what they deserve, but on the other hand they allow someone else to play if they can. I support that kind of rule.”
Following their matches the two joked together about playing a set together on Centre Court in order to give the crowds some “good tennis, proper tennis” to enjoy.