‘They only play when they want!’ – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic criticised for Vienna snub

ATP Tour
Fabio Fognini says he is ready to repeat his Monte-Carlo masterpiece and beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to the French Open title.

Former world number one Thomas Muster has blasted Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for undermining tournaments like the Vienna Open by ‘only playing when they want.’

Vienna competes with the Swiss Indoors in Basel, which Roger Federer always plays, for big-name players, yet both Nadal and Djokovic have both decided to skip tournaments this week.

And that, according to Muster , has aimed a veiled swipe at the duo.

“You can always stretch to the ceiling, but for players you are pretty much at the maximum,” Muster said.

“The tournament will always share the top stars with Basel.

“Of course, Federer plays there and Nadal and Djokovic only play where and when they want. But despite some cancellations, it is again a top field.”

The frustrations of tournament organisers in Vienna have been amplified by the fact Nadal and Djokovic are using the time instead, not to rest or curse injuries, but to play an exhibition charity match in Kazakhstan instead.

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“I do not think it’s good that there are exhibitions ongoing during ATP events,” Vienna Open chief Edwin Weindorfer said.

“Players are ATP members. There is an off-season after the ATP Finals and anybody can play during that time.

“There was approval from ATP CEO Chris Kermode because, per rules, during ATP tournaments, an exhibition match cannot be held. So we need to respect that.”

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