Roger Federer says Alexander Zverev didn't deserve booing after thrilling ATP Finals clash
Federer hopes ball boy who dropped a ball does not have a "sleepless night"
By Raz Mirza at London's O2 Arena
Last Updated: 06/12/18 10:24am
Roger Federer said Alexander Zverev didn't deserve the booing he received following an incident with a ball boy who dropped a ball during their ATP Finals thriller.
Zverev found himself apologising to Federer and the crowd at London's O2 after he was booed following his dramatic straight-sets win on Saturday.
An incident in the second-set tie-break completely overshadowed his 7-5 7-6 (7-5) victory.
When a ball boy dropped a ball during a rally, behind Federer but in Zverev's sight line, the German motioned to halt the rally.
A contingent of Federer fans were unhappy that the umpire - in accordance with the rules - agreed to replay the point, particularly when a subsequent ace flew past their idol.
At the conclusion of the match, Zverev was jeered as on-court interviewer Annabel Croft began to speak to him, with Croft at one point admonishing the crowd for their reaction.
Federer, who was chasing a seventh end-of-season title, described Zverev's move to stop the rally mid-rally as a "bold move" but he did not call Zverev's sportsmanship into question.
"I understand the (crowd's) frustration. It's just unfortunate circumstances. These things happen," said the 37-year-old.
"Booing, I never like it. We see it in other sports all the time, but in tennis it's rare. So when it happens, it gets very personal and we take it very direct.
"He doesn't deserve it. He apologised to me at the net. I was like 'you don't need to apologise to me here'."
As for the unfortunate ball boy, Federer added: "It's all good. I hope he doesn't have a sleepless night. It's not a big deal at the end of the day.
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"Whatever happened, this is life, this is sport. I'm definitely not mad at him."
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