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Tennis | ATP

Roger Federer © Gallo Images

Federer, Djokovic join Murray call for more testing

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on Sunday joined the call from world No 3 Andy Murray for more drug testing in tennis to make sure the sport remains squeaky-clean.

The top two players in the world, competing along with six other elites at the end-of-season World Tour Final, echoed Murray's demand for more testing - including drawing blood samples - in order to ensure that tennis absolutely does not have a problem with banned substances.

"It seems that I'm being tested less now than six or seven years ago," said Federer, defending champion at the season wrap-up. "I don't know exactly the reasons.

"I agree with Andy that we don't do a lot of blood testing during the year, I'm Ok with that (more blood tests)."

The Swiss who has won six titles so far this season while regaining world No 1 status after winning his seventh Wimbledon last summer, said that even after winning three straight trophies earlier this year in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells, no surprise drug testers came knocking on his door for unannounced controls.

"I don't think I'm getting tested enough," said the record-holding 17-time Grand Slam champion. it's vital that the sport stays clean - it has to.

"We have a good history and need to make sure it stays that way."

Djokovic, who takes the top ranking position back from Federer on Monday after the Swiss opted to rest this week and not compete in the Paris Masters, agreed, but with apparently somewhat reduced enthusiasm than his two colleagues.

"We're trying to keep out sport clean and fair," said the Serb, who is feeling the pressure of a long season and a reported health crisis of his father in a Belgrade hospital.

"I have nothing against testing, why not."

Murray, who won his first career Grand Slam at the US Open two months ago, first re-visited the anti-doping subject in the wake of the renewed Lance Armstrong cycling scandal last month.

"I think tennis at the top level has been pretty clean compared to most sports. But that isn't to say more can't be done to make 100 per cent sure there are no issues," said the Scot.

Group play at the season wrap-up spectacular begins on Monday, when home hero Murray starts against Czech Tomas Berdych. In the second singles meeting, Djokovic faces 2011 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.


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