Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Roger Federer endorses squash's Olympic 2020 push

As far as squash's Olympic campaign goes, Nicol David, the undisputed women's world No 1 since 2006, continues to be as rampant off the court as she is on it.

After 12 months of active campaigning, the Malaysian enlisted squash's highest-profile voice yet when 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer yesterday urged Olympic officials to add another racket sport to the Games programme.

Roger Federer, as everyone knows, is an icon in tennis who can demand pretty much anything and usually get his wishes met. But now the Swiss is trying to extend his sphere of influence into International Olympic Committee circles and is urging another racket sport gets a place at the Games.
Federer is known to enjoy the occasional game of squash as sheer relaxation. And although the sport has twice recently been denied Olympic status by the IOC, before the London Games of 2012 and going forward to Rio de Janeiro in 2016, he is determined to back the campaign.
The host city for the 2020 Games will not be announced until September with the short list currently being Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul. Federer has held meetings with Nicol David, Malaysia’s undisputed women’s world squash no.1 since 2006 and he’s now a committed supporter.
“I think squash is a wonderful sport and it’s unfortunate some sports don’t get the opportunity to be in the Olympics,” said Federer.
“I think squash would deserve it. They run a great tour and they have great players and characters. I’d personally be very happy for them.”
Federer has some pedigree at squash. I used to play it a lot when I was younger,” Federer said. “It was I used to play it a lot when I was younger every Sunday with my dad. I started with a wooden racquet like I did in tennis. I’ve always been a big fan of the sport.”
The mutual admiration between Federer and David is clearly immense but she was insistent she doesn’t play tennis. “I’m a tennis fan but not a player,” admitted the Malaysian. “I follow Roger’s progress and he definitely brings the sport up to another level.”
Karate, rollersports, wakeboarding, climbing, wrestling and a joint bid by baseball and softball are the other candidates for the one open spot for the 2020 Games.

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