Plans to rename arena after Roger Federer facing strong opposition, admits politician
Politicians are opposing calls for Roger Federer to have an arena named after him in his home town in Switzerland.
The St Jakobshalle arena in Basel, where the Basel Open is held, is at the centre of a campaign to honour the 37-year-old.
Basel-based politician Martina Bernasconi backs the petition to change the venue’s name, but admits it faces strong opposition.
“Yes, many,” she answered, when asked by the Express if they had received objections to the plan.
“The main arguments have been that Switzerland and Basel only honour dead people.
“And that Federer is a brand and he wants money.”
However, she hopes that despite opposition the plans can get pushed through, claiming Federer is something of a special case.
“He is the most popular ambassador of Switzerland,” she added.
“Because he speaks the Basel dialect, people have a high identification with him.
“He was Born in Basel and lived 16 years in this town, visited the school and his first tennis club was Old Boys Basel.
“He married (wife Mirka) here and his parents live in Basel.
“All over the world, he is well known, so he is really popular, not only as a sportsman.”
More from Tennis365:
Daniil Medvedev closing in on career milestone as he returns to action this week
Daniil Medvedev will become the first player outside the ‘Big Four’ to claim a top two spot in the ATP rankings this week.
‘I’m pumped to be competing again’ – Andy Murray steps up his comeback in Rotterdam
Andy Murray has declared he is ready to step up his latest comeback effort, as he prepares to compete in the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam.
Historic day for Novak Djokovic as he equals Roger Federer’s record of weeks as world No.1
Djokovic is guaranteed to set a new mark next week.
David Goffin ends long wait for an ATP title with a win in Montpellier
David Goffin captured his first ATP Tour title for more than three years by winning the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.
Roger Federer sends his fans into a frenzy with Twitter post ahead of his return to action
Roger Federer fans are counting down to his return to action in Doha next week and his tweet teasing his return instantly became a big hit.
Iga Swiatek’s perfect week as she claims her second WTA title
Iga Swiatek won her second career WTA title with victory over Belinda Bencic in the final of the Adelaide International.
Jamie Murray says quarantine threat on tour means players must be ready to adapt
The doubles specialist plans to travel to tournaments in Mexico and Miami next month without knowing what to expect on arrival.
Battle of the Brits event is back and this time with spectators
The Battle of the Brits events were a huge success during the Covid-19 crisis and now they are set to return with spectators.
The only way is up for Naomi Osaka as she looks to replicate hard-court success on clay and grass
Oli Jefford on the world being Naomi Osaka’s oyster.
Britain’s strength in depth in doubles highlights quality of structure
British tennis may be wondering who can replace Andy Murray, but they have a very different story to tell in the doubles arena.