6/21/12 2:10 PM | Johan Lindahl
Swiss Roger Federer is taking up the case of his German tennis colleagues, calling the idea that no man from the country has "qualified" for the London Olympic team under unrealistic conditions laid down by officials "a joke."
National Olympic bosses had decreed that only players ranked at least 24th by June 11 would be eligible for selection for the event to be played at Wimbledon. Failing the ranking test, a Grand Slam quarter-final or semi-final at a recent Masters 1000 event was required.
"It is a joke how high the criteria has been set," said Federer, who won Beijing Games gold with Stanislas Wawrinka in doubles. "I'd like to see as many German players as possible at Wimbledon."
German bosses seem intent on enforcing their restrictive rules despite the fact that ITF regulations say anyone with a ranking of 56 or better is eligible for the event which starts on July 28.
Out of the running for the moment are top Germans Florian Mayer (28th) and Philipp Kohlschreiber (29th) with weekend Halle winner (over Federer) Tommy Haas standing 49th.
"Kohlschreiber has beaten Rafael Nadal, Tommy has beaten me, and we are two of the favourites for both Wimbledon and the Olympics," said Federer, who criticised the German plan. "You have to open the eyes, look beyond the boundaries and see the bigger picture."
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