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John McEnroe claims Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka involved in locker-room dispute

Live Tennis Staff in News 16 Nov 2014
Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka shake hands at the net after Federer defeated Wawrinka in the semifinals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

John McEnroe claimed that there was some sort of incident between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka after their hard-fought Barclays ATP World Tour Finals semifinal.

‘Something went on in the locker room between Federer and Wawrinka and it extended long into the night,’ McEnroe said during commentary duties for ESPN.

Rumours of Swiss dissension had followed Federer’s 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(6) victory over Wawrinka, his compatriot and Davis Cup teammate with whom he is due to play the Davis Cup final against France in less than a week. 

Wawrinka appeared to lose his temper with someone sitting in Federer’s supporters’ box late in the third set of the dramatic encounter due to the individual making noise just before his service motion, and there is speculation that it might have been Federer’s wife Mirka, with French TV reporting audio of Wawrinka saying: ‘She did the same thing during Wimbledon.’

Wawrinka certainly didn’t pull any punches against Federer, who had beaten him in 14 of their 16 encounters coming into the match. The Swiss no. 2, who briefly overtook Federer for the national top spot after winning the Australian Open final in January, repeatedly served to the Federer body and clocked him with a ball (all entirely within the rules) with Federer at net at one point.

In his post-match press conference, Wawrinka brushed off the question of an incident during the match: ‘Not much. Nothing special. Tense match. It's never easy.’

McEnroe’s comments, all of which are unconfirmed by the players in question, followed Federer’s shock withdrawal from the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals less than an hour before he was due to play the final against Novak Djokovic.

Federer took the court to personally announce that he would not be playing due to injury. ‘I hurt my back late in the match yesterday against Stan. I am very disappointed and I hope to be feeling better soon,’ he wrote in a Facebook announcement to his fans.

McEnroe speculated that the locker-room drama, the nature of which he did not reveal, could have exacerbated the situation.
Federer was replaced by Andy Murray for a one-set exhibition match against Djokovic after the world no. 1 was presented with the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals trophy.

If there is indeed a rift between Federer and Wawrinka, it is bad news for the Swiss Davis Cup team – as is Federer’s injury. Federer’s decision to commit to the Davis Cup this year, joining Wawrinka who has been a stalwart for Switzerland for years, has seen the country taken to its first Davis Cup final since 1992.

Switzerland would be overwhelmingly favoured against their opponents, France, if Wawrinka and Federer are both healthy and committed but anything less could be troublesome for them as the team make their way to Lille, where the Davis Cup final will take place. 

Federer gave no hint of any conflict in his press conference after the semifinal, where he was full of praise for his compatriot. 

‘It's very hard, obviously, against Stan,’ Federer said. ‘It's been a long season for both of us. I'm happy we're able to play such a good match. Maybe not always the best quality, but still I was very impressed by his shot making again, his capabilities of playing forward, just keep on going. I think if he would have served a little bit better today he would have won probably.’  

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John McEnroe claims Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka involved in locker-room dispute

Rumours of dissension in the Swiss camp follow Federer’s withdrawal from World Tour Finals after beating Wawrinka

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