Roger Federer: Asia-Pacific market ‘huge’ for tennis – Swiss legend

Did tennis furore go too far? WTA chief Steve Simon has rejected a Chinese tennis star’s suggestion that her domestic media practice should not be allowed to film them during matches. Former world number…

Roger Federer: Asia-Pacific market 'huge' for tennis - Swiss legend

Did tennis furore go too far?

WTA chief Steve Simon has rejected a Chinese tennis star’s suggestion that her domestic media practice should not be allowed to film them during matches.

Former world number 27 Peng Shuai asked the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) to make an official “statement” after receiving “too much scrutiny” because of “ratings” from domestic Chinese media.

Simon, however, called it “inadequate” to say they had been “banned from filming”.

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Meanwhile, Roger Federer says the Asia-Pacific market will help draw people to tennis in the long term.

The women’s and men’s Australian Open champions are building a new stadium in Shanghai as part of a tour of Asia, with the idea that commercial opportunities across the continent will transform the sport.

Federer, who won his eighth Australian Open title on Sunday, started a new broadcast deal for the men’s game in Japan in October.

“When it comes to people watching tennis, the new market, China in particular – maybe not quite yet, but in the long term, I think it’s definitely going to be huge,” said the 36-year-old Swiss.

“We might sell just 25m tickets, compared to the 15m ticket-buyers in the US and France. In the long term, the effect is huge.

“I feel like there’s enough of a gap, that it’s not only about Australia and Asia, but not only East Asia.

“Obviously Japan will have its fair share, Hong Kong, China, India – that’s the most commercial potential for the future.”

WTA chief Simon said on Wednesday he remained “agitated” at the gender disparity in prize money and questioned why there were more men’s tour events because of player demand.

It is the same feeling of annoyance the women have had for some time, but as with the women’s issue, it is a difficult one to be seen to criticize when so many more top women are playing in the format.

Wimbledon and US Open prize money is derived from the men’s event, while the French Open kicks off with a tennis competition featuring players seeded A to Z.

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