The French sports newspaper «L’Equipe» (photo) has a high reputation in the tennis world amongst players, tournaments and associations alike. The newspaper is closely linked with the French Open in Roland Garros. Prior to the Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy next week, the newspaper sent a reporter to Basel. In a long report, the author David Loriot addressed the tennis euphoria on the Rhine. The text with pictures and graphs commences with a play on the city of Basel’s French name: Le bâle du Roi. The title refers to the “ball of the king”; in this case of course Roger Federer. Die story lists dozens of details about this euphoria, noting that the Swiss leave the star in relative peace when he goes for a stroll through the city.
As a quality newspaper should, the newspaper draws attention to the Swiss Indoors having enjoyed a high level of tennis before the onset of the intoxicating Feder era. Stars included Borg, Vilas, Agassi, McEnroe, Becker, Lendl and Sampras. In its early years, the Indoors was already attracting up to 70,000 spectators. In a box, former champion Marc Rosset, who does commentating for Western Swiss TV, has his say. In an analogy with Mitterrand’s Socialist pact with Chirac’s Conservatives, the Geneva resident coined a big word: «Basel practises cohabitation. Promoter Roger Brennwald handles his duties marvellously. And with each appearance Roger Federer works on his legendary status».