What he said:
"Lock them in a room and throw away the key until they come out."
Shanghai Masters tournament director Michael Luevano insists that the only way to resolve tennis player concerns is to get all the governing bodies—ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam tourney organisers—involved.
He called for a summit, “They need a summit with the Grand Slam present, the ITF present, the WTA present and of course the ATP."
"It’s like voting for the Pope. Stay there [in the meeting] and we’ll wait for the white smoke."
Talking to BBC Sport, Luevano said that it is frustrating to lose top players to withdrawals and injuries.
Referring to Roger Federer’s withdrawal from his event, the Shanghai Masters boss said:
Especially with someone like Roger, we want him in the game for five more years.
If he’s not comfortable with how his body is feeling, and we just happen to be the tournament he can’t make, then so be it.
Luevano called for a balancing of players’ demands and tournament needs:
It is very complex [the calendar debate]. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of historic events, established market places.
By wanting to shorten the season, someone is going to suffer dramatically.
I think a lot of progress has been made by the ATP and from the tournament side what we’re looking for is player commitment which is how we build the event.
What Luevano really meant:
“Decisions and solutions don’t get made without coming to the dialogue table. Oh, by the way, can you ensure that my Shanghai sojourn continues in the mix?”
What Luevano definitely didn’t:
“There are plenty of empty rooms and seats right here in Shanghai. Let’s do it—now!”