Craig Tiley
Craig Tiley denied accusations of favoritism claims toward Roger Federer. In this picture, Australian Open Tournament Director and Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley talks to the media during the 2019 Australian Open Official Launch at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, Oct. 09, 2018. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley has launched a defense over claims that the Australian Open officials favor Roger Federer when it comes to scheduling matches.

French doubles specialist Julien Benneteau claimed during a recent interview with Radio Monte Carlo (RMC) that the Swiss tennis legend was given favorable match timings when the daily schedule of matches are prepared during tournaments.

He said that the 20-time men’s singles Grand Slam champion had played 12 or 13 out of his 14 matches in the night over the past two years thus avoiding the soaring temperatures players have to face during the day.

Benneteau indicated that the reason for Federer receiving preferential treatment from the Australian Open officials could be because of Tiley’s involvement with the Laver Cup, a Ryder Cup-style tournament founded by the Swiss ace and his agent Tony Godsick.

“When he [Federer] promotes the Laver Cup, there are a number of conflicts of interest that have become disturbing,” Benneteau said, as quoted on

“In the organization of this event, there’s Craig Tiley, the boss of the Australian Open, who deals with marketing and television rights. He is paid by Roger Federer’s agent and, on the back of that, as luck would have it, Federer played 12 of his 14 matches at 7.30pm,” the French doubles player added.

“This year, the US Open was inaugurating the new Louis Armstrong Court, and it seems that Tony Godsick went to the umpire’s office to in effect say ‘No way are you scheduling him here!’ It is normal that he should have privileges but there has been a slight excess.”

Novak Djokovic and John Isner came to Federer’s defense after their match at the ATP Finals in London on Monday with both the players admitting that the Swiss ace deserves the privileges owing to his achievements not only at the Australian Open – where Federer is a six-time winner – but also due to the fact that he is arguably the greatest ever to play the game.

Tiley responded to the former French Open doubles champion in a lengthy statement on Tuesday and made it clear there is no preferential treatment meted out to Federer, but his appearances on the biggest courts and at prime is due to the demands from fans and broadcasters alike.

"In terms of players and their appeal, it needs to be said that Roger Federer is a once-in-a-generation player widely regarded as one of the biggest 'box-office' athletes in the world. He has been voted Australia's favourite athlete,” Tiley said in a statement as transcribed by Eurosport. “The fans demand his appearance in the big stadiums and our broadcasters naturally want his matches to air in prime time. And I don't think there's a tournament director in the world who's not going to take those factors into account when setting the schedule. This is the case with all the big names in tennis, and in sport in general."

“We run our events to the highest standards and reject as well as challenge any claims to the contrary,” the Tennis Australia CEO explained. "We've prided ourselves on really listening to the players and taking into account their needs and priorities, whether it's the way we operate our transport system, the food we serve, the relaxation and training areas we provide and of course, scheduling matches.”

"There's no way we can please everyone all the time, and everyone knows we do everything we can," he said.