Fears for Federer but exhibition still a goer in troubled Chile
Despite the reported deaths of 15 people in demonstrations which began over a public transport fare increase, Chilean organisers insist that a November 19 match with Alexander Zverev in Santiago which kicks off a five-date tour will go ahead.
Local officials have said that extra security will be in place in the capital as Federer begins a six-day swing through uncharted territory on the tennis-starved continent.
Other stops include Argentina, Ecuador and Mexico as the world tennis icon travels into uncharted box office territory for the sport.
The match in a 12,000 seat arena in Santiago is said to be going ahead despite the tense situation on the streets.
Federer made as much clear in a message to local fans: “Hi, Chile. I can’t wait to play in Santiago against my good friend Alexander Zverev. See you.”
Among some of the problems in Santiago have been the damaging of metro stations by demonstrators in the violent mass economic protest.
But the tennis juggernaut will not be stopped.
Organiser Rodrigo Sanchez said extra security is already planned for the match to be held in a fortnight.
“Federer is very amenable in coming to Chile. He is a person who is worried about every detail. He did not ask for anything special, just what a tennis player asks to. We will guarantee him a top-class security.”
The Federer-Zverev show – the German is skipping the Davis Cup out of protest against the long ATP season but is not bothered by playing five quick exhibition matches – will proceed to the Argentine capital of Buenos Airesfollowed by Bogata, Colombia, Mexico City and Quito, Ecuador to cap off the nice little earner for the 38-year-old.
Federer has withdrawn from the January ATP Cup in Australia and has said he will begin his 2020 season at the Australian Open after formerly headlining the now defunct Hopman Cup.
He cited family reasons for his late start, but will travel to Hangzhou, China for an exhibition here just after Christmas. That deal is set to last for five years, even if he retired and is off of the ATP.
Written by Bill Scott for Grandslamtennis.online. To read more visit grandslamtennis.online