Roger Federer: “Changing of the Guard Doesn’t Happen Over Three Days”
by Tom Gainey | February 21st, 2011, 9:30 am

The quote in the title of this post refers to Roger Federer’s rebuttal on claims that Novak Djokovc’s Australian Open title signals that the Federer-Rafael Nadal era is coming to end. ADHEREL

Federer made the statement and more during a roundtable discussion with the press in Dubai on Sunday.

Federer, who turns 30 in August, also said he was planning to play through the 2012 London Olympics.

“I am already thinking of the Olympics and also what tournaments to play beyond that,” said Federer who is the top seed in Dubai this week.

Reflecting on the straight-set Djokovic loss in the Australian Open semifinal he was his customary “i’ve moved on” self.

“I didn’t spend much time thinking about the match against Novak,” he said. “I generally thought about the first month, how it had gone. I came out of the Australian Open feeling good mentally and physically.”

He went to talk about his time and a junior and his health, which for a top player has been almost impeccable – Federer has never retired in any match!

“I can’t believe it that it’s so much time,” he said. “I still feel I was playing the juniors not so long ago. Years on tour go by extremely quick because of the traveling and because of the organization and because you are looking so far ahead and it’s a fast-paced life really. And that’s why 30 to me does not feel like it.

“The challenge for me over the past year has been to stay healthy,” Federer said. “I have been able to accomplish that. I don’t have to think about what I need to do to lead a healthy life. Now I can focus on my fitness, my tennis, practice and schedule. I pretty much have the same schedule each year and I still get excited returning to tournaments.”

Seeded No. 2 in Dubai is Novak Djokovic followed by Tomas Berdych and Mikhail Youhzny at 3 and 4.

Federer, who has won Dubai four times, opens his campaign against former NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman. Djokovic will play Michael Llodra in the first round.

I’ve updated this post with the following video:

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93 Comments for Roger Federer: “Changing of the Guard Doesn’t Happen Over Three Days”

scineram Says:

Roger is correct. It has been happening since last May, losing to Söderling, Berdych, Đokovic twice in consecutive slams.

WTF Says:

He is right. It doesn’t happen over 3 days. But I think it’s been happening for more than 3 days already… For me, the Wimbledon loss to Berdych was the turning point in his reign as the top player or contention to once again claim that mantle. Had he lost to Nadal, I would have brushed it off as a tough rivalry. He lost 3 times in slams in ’10, and none of those were from Nadal, the only guy who was beating him in majors for the better part of 6 years.

I’m not ready to write him off though. His obituary was sung back in 2008, but he came back with a vengeance the following year.

Novak is premature to say that the Federer-Nadal era is over. Come on. Nadal injured his hamstring against Ferrer after 1 game played. That can happen to anyone. Unless he does this in every tournament, it’s too early to write off Nadal. He’s not yet 25. He can win more majors. Had it been a knee problem contributing to his loss, it would be greater cause for concern.

I do not see Djokovic reaching world no.1, or dominating the way Nadal and Federer have for the past 5 or 6 years. He is hot, but he’s yet to prove he can maintain his form for an entire season. Let’s not forget also, that the Melbourne weather was uncharacteristically fortuitous for him. Had that final been an early afternoon match as it is at other majors, he would have had to contend with 40C heat, in addition to a Murray who is well conditioned to play in such heat. As it was, the weather somehow went from 38C to 28C (a massive 10C swing) in the space of 10 minutes, as if even the tennis gods were rooting for him.

Hypnos Says:

Of course it’s silly to write off Federer or Nadal, but it’s also silly to write off what Djokovic accomplished in Melbourne, defeating Federer and Murray in commanding fashion to take the title. My perception is that Djokovic’s self-perception has changed, and now he feels like he can go toe-to-toe with anyone. (This Raonic kid, though, looks like he’s born with this mentality …)

I wonder how long Federer could go without winning a slam before he started to doubt himself, just as Sampras did starting at the same age.

grendel Says:

“I wonder how long Federer could go without winning a slam before he started to doubt himself, just as Sampras did starting at the same age.”

Good point. But Sampras sneaked in and snatched a big one when the circumstances were propitious. That must be Federer’s main hope now. It’s true that he is better than Sampras was in his last year. But as against that, the competition is much hotter.

dzulkafley Says:

Before jokovic can even think about number 1 spot, he has to get pass federer and then nadal. I recalled jokovic said something about times up for the old guard when he won his first slam and that was years ago. I have a feeling if federer can’t regain number 1 spot, he’s gonna be number 2 for the next 4 years just like nadal was the number 2 for quite a while .

TD Says:

Djokovic is yet to convince me he can maintain his high level for more than a month or two. When I see him reach the final of another slam this year, I’ll start believing he is serious.
And regarding the end of the Fedal era… that’s really funny. Nadal gets injured in Australia and everybody forgets what he has done in 2010. Djokovic is still miles behind him…

tennis coach Says:

First off, you guys should read Novak’s statements carefully, it was not Novak saying that Federer- Nadal era is over, it was media. All he said is that he is hoping to reach number 1 at one point and that this is his long-tem goal/dream.

madmax Says:

well, we can dwell on Federer’s losses, OR we can celebrate the many wins he has had over the last 6 months in particular, which to be truthful have been well – breathtakingly good – and for someone who has been talked about as being ‘over’ since 2008, it’s federer who should be doing the laughing at the media, because since he has been ‘over’, he has won a further 3 slams – ending champion at the WTF in 2010, less than 2.5 months ago (watched it again yesterday), Federer is still playing some amazing tennis.

It makes me smile – hearing barry cowan, mark petchey, saying “this is the best I have seen federer play”…only to go on and say the complete opposite when he ‘only’ reached the SF of the Australian final. It’s still a brilliant result.

Short memories for some.

hello grendel. If you go on to further allude to this being fed’s ‘last year’ ? really? Firstly, there is a huge chasm between sampras and federer at age 29. Sampras said it himself. By 29, he was burnt out, no energy, didn’t want to continue with the tour anymore. He’d had enough. This is the complete opposite to how Federer feels and that is worth noting.

I can see federer continuing a very positive assault on all the tournaments this year. I don’t know how he keeps his cool with the press sometimes – they do ask some really idiotic questions – some who clearly want him to say – yes guys, I’m 30 this year. I have nothing left to give. I am going to retire.

God, if he did say that, they would be in shock!

Federer rocks.

Tennis Fan Says:

Djokovic shelf life is short … he won’t be winning much and for very long … he just hasn’t got the stamina to be near the top for any length of time.

WTF Says:

tennis coach: Yeah you’re right. It’s the media who’s writing Nadal-Federer off. I should say that the media is premature in saying that, not Djokovic. Djoker still respects those two a lot.

It’s too soon to even write Fed off, at almost 30. I think he can win more slams, but needs some help from up above (i.e. the right people to lose). Nadal obviously has more life left in him. I don’t believe the knee tendonitis flared up at all in 2010. He’s adapted his game a bit to soften the blow on his knees, largely by improving his serves and his volleying skills, flattening the ball a bit to play more aggressively.

steve-o Says:

Federer has reached at least the semis of each of the ten tournaments he’s entered since last year’s Wimbledon. He made seven finals, winning five, including the WTF where he beat six top ten players for the loss of a set. This is not a man on his last legs.

Since Wimbledon 2008 he has won each of the Grand Slams once; again not what one would expect from a player in terminal decline.

After his viral infection last year, he unsurprisingly had a period of early losses. What a shocking concept, that an athlete might require a long time to regain fitness and form after a serious illness, and be more vulnerable to injury during that period. You might almost call it a “reasonable” or “common sense” idea.

But why should anyone be rational and keep a cool head, when it’s so much more fun for all concerned to dance gleefully on Federer’s grave, and then hysterically crucify him when he dares to mention injury?

I suppose comparisons to Sampras are unavoidable since Sampras is the closest to Federer in terms of major titles won. I don’t think such comparisons are apt, though.

Federer is simply in a league of his own and he will rewrite the history books yet again in his later career. He will shatter all preconceived notions of what it means to be a great tennis player, of what is possible in tennis.

Go Roger!

dari Says:

Steve-o says: re fed:
“…he will rewrite the history books yet again in his later career. He will shatter all preconceived notions of what it means to be a great tennis player, of what is possible in tennis.”
That’s what all his fans are counting on! All the records and streaks- he’s done it. The only thing left is to shock us by continuing to win majors into “old” age.
And by “us” I include myself with the harsh critics. Love fed, but its not been getting easier for him, so I can’t wait for his next lucky day!

dari Says:

Oh, I forgot Goooooo Roger!

grendel Says:

madmax – I didn’t say this was to be Fed’s last year, I was talking about Sampras’ last year, and I alluded to Sampras in response to Hypnos. I agreed with Hypnos and, broadly, I agree with your comments about the difference in attitude and state of mind between Federer and Sampras in their late careers.

I do personally believe Federer is going to need a bit of luck to win another slam because at the moment he is neither the best nor even the second best player in the world. That might change, alternatively it could get worse for Federer. The field is very hot. Nothing is certain. And what I like about Federer is, I believe he welcomes this. He is a warrior by nature.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

On, Bill Simmons just had a big column on the durability of athletes (specifically, basketball forwards) based on injury loss during their younger years.
The stats are very bad. Basically, players who lose a lot of time in their first few years to injury NEVER become more reliable.
Certainly something to keep in mind for Rafa. If his body has broken down this much before even turning 25, it would be shocking if it gets better. And remember, according to his own version, he has missed or been hampered by injuries at 5 of the last 8 Slams.
Love Rafa, but he may be out of the top 5 before Fed.

jane Says:

WTF, Novak never said this “Novak is premature to say that the Federer-Nadal era is over” – at least not any time I have ever heard him talk before or after the AO. He always says Fed & Rafa are the best and that it is maybe good if others can challenge for slams. That is all. Even the latest interview the ATP site put up, pre-Dubai, he touts Fed and Rafa as the top players.

jane Says:

^ The media, however, make those sorts of sweeping claims all the time, as I am sure you know.

jane Says:

Haha just realised tennis coach already said that, wiping egg off face now, Note to self – read whole thread before adding my thoughts…

tennis coach Says:

Thanks WTF,
here is an interesting article about Novak by Patric Mouratoglou.

p.s. Tennis Fan: I recommend that you read this article.

dari Says:

No egg on face, Jane! That’s hardly an offense on comment boards to type before you read everything.
Anyway, johnny I needs to get his game together. Down a break to gabashvili 5-3. His serve not so invincible anymore and if the opposition can get that return back, isner won’t be so dangerous in the rally. Americans puzzling me right now… besides AndyR of course.

jane Says:

Thanks dari, just sort of swooped in, :/
Also thanks to tennis coach – looks like an interesting read, am off to catch up.
Finally, hi madmax! Long time no see you round here, :)

tennis coach Says:

Hey Jane, don’t feel bad, love all your comments!

johhny Says:

Federer and his insatiable ego, that guy is all about his success, me, me, me …. just retire Fed already, tennis doesn’t need one more arrogant stuck up.

TD (Tam) Says:

Rojah’s being a tad defensive isn’t he?

dari Says:

When I first read your comment and it started with “WTF”, I was like “whoa, Jane is really heated. Go Jane!” But then I reqlized you were talking TO wtf, not exclaiming, wtf!

dari Says:

Boo to you, johnny. I’m not gonna argue with you anything about fed’s personality, but you are no tennis fan if you think “tennis doesn’t need one more” BRILLIANT tennis player, with the highest level of consistency the sport has seen, and an entertaining game with lots of variety. BTW, I bet if you were in a press conference you would talk about you, you, you, too! Get real, buddy.

Hypnos Says:

Sampras was in a similar state in 2000 to Federer in 2010, modulo Sampras’ performance on clay, which had been poor for several years:

1) Won one major.
2) Won one Masters event.
3) Got deep in the other non-French slams, but couldn’t close
4) Sampras made the WTF SF, Federer won (a fine performance).

While I agree that Federer is a better player now than Sampras was at the beginning of 2001, a decline is evident to me. And while Federer is fitter, more durable and more well-rounded than Sampras, he also has less firepower — it’s not simply a matter of getting hot for two weeks, like Sampras did in his final event.

Skeezerweezer Says:


“I do personally believe Federer is going to need a bit of luck to win another slam because at the moment he is neither the best nor even the second best player in the world”

Wow. Really?

And Johnny boy, get use to the game of tennis. It IS all about me. There is no one else to talk about in this game, no partner, team, etc, it’s you against everyone. The only time you talk about anyone else rather than me is your singular opponent , and Fed has done plenty of that. By the way, just wiki his sportsmanship awards….maybe you’ll get educated on his arrogant sportsmanship according to his peers. No very very difficult and almost impossible comments ever from Fed, only the truth. I guess it hurts with obvious jealousy when he has backed it up most of his career.

Me thinks some of you like to write Fed off again as quickly as possible. Fed is laughing and loves it. Why? If he quit tomorrow he would still be GOAT. There is no pressure on him, and that is why he will win more slams. He’s already accomplished. His historical stamp on Tennis will be here for all time. Let him ride off to the sunset on his terms, he’ll be gone soon enough for the Fed haters.

dave Says:

Federer is absolutely right: The changing of the guard doesn’t happen over three days. Nor does it necessarily happen over a year either.

Those people who jumped to such conclusions lack sound judgment and/or ignorant of tennis history. Tennis history should teach us that there is no clear pattern to justify speculation on when a great player stops winning majors and dominating the field. It is likely that 4 majors is too short a period to write off the unique player who is probably the greatest player of all time and who has won more majors at a faster rate than anyone else. To deny him a temporary slump after 8 years of continuous success is ludicrous. With such a player we need hindsight, not speculation by people who are mostly clueless about success at this level.

Several great players won multiple majors (grand slam tournaments) after a long period without winning majors. In the modern era since 1968, they included:
– Jimmy Connors (won his final 3 majors after going winless over 14 straight majors)
– Ivan Lendl (won his final 2 majors after going winless over 4 straight majors)
– Andre Agassi (won his final 5 majors after going winless over 16 straight majors)
– John McEnroe (won his final 3 majors after going winless for 6 straight majors)
– Mats Wilander (won his final 3 majors after going winless over 10 straight majors)
– John Newcombe (won his final 3 majors after going winless over 5 straight majors)
– Stefan Edberg (won final 3 majors after going winless for 7 straight majors)
– Rafa Nadal (won 3 majors after going winless for 4 straight majors)
– Boris Becker won his final major after going winless for 19 straight majors)
– Pete Sampras (won his final major after going winless over 8 straight majors)
– Arthur Ashe (won his final major after going winless for 21 straight majors)
– Guga Kuerten (won his final 2 majors after going winless for 11 straight majors).

Note that Federer has won more than twice the number of majors compared to most of these great players, so the possibility exists that he may win more final majors than they did.

In the meantime, Federer is the winningest player after Wimbledon. Since Wimbledon, Federer has: won the most ranking points (meaning that Roger could regain the number one ranking at the end of Wimbledon unless Nadal or Djokovic overcome their ranking point deficits with Federer); won 5 hard court tournaments; has a 45-5 win-loss record; played and beat the most top ten players; did not lose before the semifinal of all ten tournaments played; etc. Though Federer did not win a major during this period, he did win the fifth biggest and most prestigious tournament in tennis: the World Tour Finals, beating 5 of the top 7 players in the world with the loss of only one set. It’s ridiculous and asinine to write him off as a player in decline, given his record since Wimbledon.

Take a good look at Djokovic’s recent record since November 2009. Since the 2009 World Tour Finals, Novak has played 21 ATP tournaments. Djokovic finally won the 2011 Australian Open, his second major after going winless in 11 majors since 2008 Australian Open. Deeper preparation is the key reason that both Djokovic and Murray were in the AO finals — both arrived in Australia at least 3 weeks before the Australian Open began and practiced intensively with each other. In addition, Djokovic has won only 2 minor ATP 500 events (2010 Dubai and 2010 Beijing) and reached only 2 other finals (2010 USO and 2010 Basel). Is this really the record of a player who has proven himself as the new dominator of tennis? It’s bad judgment to prematurely jump to such a conclusion.

As for Nadal, the vast majority of his ranking points and wins came from his 8 events between 2010 Indian Wells and Wimbledon (Rafa won 5 events). This was during the period when his top five challengers were simultaneously in a slump or injured: Federer, Djokovic, Murray, del Potro and Davydenko (along with Nadal, they were the 6 top ranked players at the start of 2010 Indian Wells). Nadal played only 2 of these top players during those 8 events. In the absence of these top players, other players like Soderling, Berdych and Verdasco were able to advance deeper into tournaments. Regardless, Nadal has a huge amount of points to defend over the next four months.

These next three tournaments (Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami) will give us an idea of the relative strengths of the top players heading into the crucial soft court season.


No wonder — at his Australian Open post-match press conference on January 27th — Federer responded rationally to stupid comments that the torch had passed from Federer and Nadal to a generation next headed by Djokovic:
Q. “Todd Woodbridge after the match was sort of suggesting that with Rafa injured and you out now that it was something of a passing of the torch.”
Roger Federer: “Yeah, I mean, they say that very quickly, so… Let’s talk in six months again.”

At Dubai two days ago, Federer again responded to similar stupid comments:

“They didn’t just write me off. They wrote Rafa (Nadal) off too — after he had won three Grand Slams. He was going for the Rafa Slam with huge hype, and he loses by not being able to play fully. Then next thing you know we are both not in the finals and hey, it’s a changing of the guard.

It does not happen so quickly — like over three days.

Look, Novak played well (in Australia), but so did Andy (Murray who was beaten in the final by Djokovic), and so did Rafa I thought, although unfortunately he was injured. I played well too. It was just one of those times where a lot of guys were playing well. Just because one guy loses he is playing shocking and can’t play tennis any more?

That’s where it gets a bit annoying in the press conference explaining something that doesn’t need any explanation. One guy throws a stupid question and unfortunately you have to answer it.

That’s why I said let’s see in six months how things are. Maybe they are quite different, maybe they are the same. Don’t jump to conclusions after three days of tennis in a season that lasts 11 months.

It’s understandable that guys push you and want to hear something a bit more controversial, more shocking or try to push you over the edge half an hour after the match after you’ve just fought out there for three and a half hours and you’re obviously disappointed.
That someone’s going to challenge you in the press room, it’s quite normal. But then again, you leave the press room and it’s all good. It’s just important to be smart in the press room. I am pretty honest so I always think I give enough to the press.

Some take advantage of it and some don’t and some twist it and some don’t, so you can’t please everyone. But I try my best. But at the end of the day it’s about the game and not what people write about me.”

madmax Says:

johhny Says:

Johnny and his insatiable ego, that guy is all about his success, me, me, me …. just retire Johnny already, tennis doesn’t need one more arrogant stuck up.

February 21st, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Hi! and more hi to read. Been reading the comments but not posting for a while. work, work, and more work! Now I have a week off and it’s fab!

Grendel. Sorry if I misunderstood. Happens a lot when reading quickly and not enough time to read everything. I should have given you more time.

grendel Says:
madmax – I didn’t say this was to be Fed’s last year, I was talking about Sampras’ last year, and I alluded to Sampras in response to Hypnos. I agreed with Hypnos and, broadly, I agree with your comments about the difference in attitude and state of mind between Federer and Sampras in their late careers.

Like I said, these two are polar opposite in terms of where they were at, at this stage of their careers. Couldn’t be more different.

You go on to say something about ‘luck’. Dont buy it, never will. No such thing as luck. You make your own luck. If fed has trained, still has the motivation and commitment (let’s face it, who else is asked day in, day out, whether they are going to give tennis a loonggg rest? into retirement, and are they still motivated – *yawn* (and the media guys get paid for this? That’s what is astonishing!), and say over and over and over again, that he wants to get back the no. 1 position, win more tournaments…grendel, it’s going to take more than luck for fed to achieve that. Fed will make it happen because he still has the fighting mentality and i would think that when he gets seriously p**ed off at these neverending questions, it only makes him more mad under the coolness, to prove the press and haters wrong again.

We don’t always agree grendel, but I do take on board what you say. (believe it or not!).

madmax Says:

Not one of the commentators at the WTF in November believed that federer could beat rafa in the London final.

He proved them all wrong.

I loved the final shot of fed when he roared at the audience, that was some letting out of *I am here. I am going nowhere!*. It was brilliant.

They would do well to take note of his wins rather than his losses. And do you know grendel, they will never have so much time with an athlete again. They will never be given so much licence to ask so many ridiculous questions, yet federer gives them that time – 45 mins in English, then German, then swiss german and finally in french. The guy IS their bread and butter!

They would also do Murray a favour if they kept their mouths shut in the count down to wimbledon which will be here soon enough.

grendel Says:

Skeezer – perhaps we are at cross purposes? Someone might, overall, be the best player of his generation – it seems to me obvious this is true of Federer. And, when he eventually retires, he will surely be assessed as such.

But that doesn’t mean he is always the best player in the world or the second best, or even (whisper it quietly under the eaves…). Why should it? That sort of thing can go up and down, alarmingly sometimes, especially these days with so many great players around.

Of course, Federer may again be the best, probably will be for a bit at some point – but not for long I wouldn’t think. I agree with Hypnos again – there is a slight decline discernible, but that is not remotely the same as writing him off. Could we have a little bit more nuance, please!

And b.t.w., yet again I agree with Hypnos – promise there’s no brown nosing going on here, I arrived at this thought myself – that one advantage late Sampras had over late Federer was his power, especially of serve of course. It seems that when – overall – a great athlete slows down ever so slightly, his power remains constant.

grendel Says:

b.t.w., whether in sport, politics, love, art, ditch digging, nose picking or anything else, if you want to assess who is best, you don’t rely on the contestants to make the judgement. Their views are, shall we say, partial. Interesting, of course, to see where their mindsets are. But that’s another matter.

Swiss Maestro Says:


What a wonderful post, bro! It is one of the finest posts ever. A lot of journalists, would do well to read your post before coming up with completely asinine and stupid posts.

Thank you for such a great analysis, friend.

And Mr. Federer – doesn’t the dude have SOME perspective? What a wonderful reply to the press! So business like, so precise and right on the money. Maestro, indeed! He does not defend just himself, but his good friend Mr. Nadal too. Wish some blind rafa fans like little john and TD(tam) can see that?

If Rafa read your comments, he would drag you guys to Roland garros, bend you over and spank your @$$e$ with his babolat, till they were the color of the clay beneath his foot. Get real, you miserable people.

Swiss Maestro Says:


Viewers like you and me are biased too. Look at the numbers Dave put up and refute them with numbers, if you can.

There is no proof that your opinion counts any better than Dave, Madmax, Skeezer’s or mine. Here is a quote on opinions.

” Opinions are like @$$ho!e$, even little johnny has one”

Mg Mg Says:

Roger was right. He has the right attitude. So glad that he is still motivated to play on. He really wants to win the Olympics. Go Roger !!!

stu Says:

Good quote from Nole:
“..and I don’t want to be too happy about the success. Of course it’s a great start, a Grand Slam title. It’s a big win, a big achievement, but I want to move on and play consistently well all year.”

Exactly what I was hoping for…

Skeezerweezer Says:


I was just hoping you’d expand on your quote and you did. Thanks and very well indeed.


Fantastic read. Thanks for the effort putting that together.

The fighter Says:

Will miss Rafa this week….hope he makes a comeback soon

paps Says:

“Look at the numbers Dave put up and refute them with numbers, if you can.”

Hmmm, let me see… No need for numbers, just some facts and logic.

“Federer is the winningest player after Wimbledon.”

Sure he is, aided by the most favourable set of circumstances for him. Out of 5 of his titles in that period, 3 are Mickey Mouse indoors best-of-3, his domain since his beginnings, which he will probably win till the last day of his career.

Then he got too tired and lost in Bercy to his pigeon Monfils for the fist time. After getting some much needed rest, he continued with winning WTF (also indoors, best-of-3) and even Doha next year (hardcourt, still best-of-3, again after lots of rest), but come AO, the winningest balloon burst.

The only sure sign of Federer’s decline is his inability to win slams, or even reach slam finals. Older players simply need more time to rest and recuperate, both physically and mentally, and you don’t have that luxury during slams.

It would take a lot of lucky breaks for him to win more slams and it may not happen more than once, most probably.

This doesn’t mean “writing him off”. He’ll still play and even win tournaments, but winning slams and regaining #1? Perhaps, but not very likely.

Skeezerweezer Says:

” 3 are Mickey Mouse indoors best-of-3, his domain since his beginnings”

Errr. Out if his 16 slam wins 7 of thm went 4 sets, not 3. What domain u tslkin about?

And if WTF is Mickey mouse, why is the world top players playing in it? Oh yeah, they’ll do anything for money.

And this “lucky” thing. Give it a break already. Has he been lucky? So, now, if he wins another slam, it will be only luck? If he wins another, he’ll be lucky? This is laughable lucky talk we’re havin here and I’m a feel lucky at

dari Says:

Some nice figures, dave, to remind us some things. Thx for the research.
YELLOW, ya’ll!

Swiss Maestro Says:

mickey mouse indoors and daffy duck clay? could you please pitch your stupid idea to the ATP please?

Other players have the same mickey mouse tournaments to play, no?

Swiss Maestro Says:

” Sure he is, aided by the most favourable set of circumstances for him. ”

You could make that case for Rafa’s heavy dependence on the clay-wimbledon swing (has about 70% of his points there) or Djokovic needing cool and untiring conditions for his well-doing. federer has done the wimbledon-US open slam more often than anyone – 4times, in a row, no-less. If he gets on a streak during that time, not many players can stop him.

Federer’s decline is being exaggerated. He may not have multiple-slam years, but he still will have multiple slam-years. 20GS is not impossible if he plays for another 6seasons. Who is to say, he will not play more? It is at best a half-full cup for Roger. Obviously people who are not his fans will choose to see the half-empty side.

Fot Says:

Interesting to read all the intelligent comments (well, except for Johnny, that is) lol! But you guys have a great discussion going on.

As a Federer fan, I have been hearing that Roger is going down since 2006. It is now 2010 and he is STILL #2 in the world. So since people have been saying he’s ‘finished, should retire, etc’, he has dropped ALL THE WAY DOWN TO —— #2 IN THE WORLD! LOL

I say let the man play as long as he wants too. He has already said he enjoys tennis. I don’t understand, even if you are NOT a fan of his, that some folks just want him to go away and retire. I think even the non-Federer fans will actually miss him when he does decide to retire. You know the saying “you don’t miss something until it’s gone”? Heck, when he retire, what will the “Johnnys” of tennis complain about then? lol!

I believe tennis has been blessed by having a guy like Roger Federer play the sports.

Go Roger – for as long as you want to play the game!

Fot Says:

uh…that should be “it is now 2011”.. this blog really needs to get an ‘edit’ button! lol!

johhny Says:

“Johnny and his insatiable ego, that guy is all about his success, me, me, me …. just retire Johnny already, tennis doesn’t need one more arrogant stuck up.”

as you wish malteser1 i’m ur servant ;) don’t know who is bigger tard you or ur mate Insulting Maestro? :scratch:

margot Says:

jane, kimmi and also grendel u might be interested: there’s such a good article on Andy M, if you google “tennischannelsteveflinkandymurray” it comes up, sorry don’t have precise link, but that works :)

grendel Says:


re this para from the interesrting link you post:”After Murray fell behind in the final against Djokovic at the Australian Open, he was seen releasing some of his rage in the direction of his entourage at courtside, which included his loyal and steadfast mother. Polishook has an interesting take on what might have been at the roots of Murray’s anger. “It gets back to the idea of the person first and performer second. Maybe Murray was telling them to be quiet because perhaps in their way they were saying, ‘Come on, Andy, you can do it. You can do it.!’ And Murray was trying to say to them, ‘I am just in such a bind so let go of the expectations.’ It was his way of saying, ‘You don’t know what it is like to be out here trying to win a Grand Slam final.’ “

Something occured to me the moment I read that, dunno whether it makes any sense. Murray might have been saying:”look, you get off on my successes, that’s all your cheering amounts to. You want a free ride from my sweat and agony, how dare you! if you want a buzz, come and down here in the pit and do it yourself – parasites!”

madmax – why should you take on board what i say? just passing the time like everybody else here. But I disagree with you about luck. It – or lack of it – hits us at every turn. I don’t say someone is defined by their luck or lack of it, of course not. For one thing, it tends to even out. But it is an undeniable facet of existence – ask poor Ancic, who finally decided to call it quits today.

Swiss Maestro – of course I am biased. So, by the way, can be the use of numbers. Numbers, like facts, are open to interpretation – because context is slippery. Put 2 historians (say) in a room, give them the same facts and numbers – don’t expect them to come up with the same story.

madmax Says:

paps Says:
“Look at the numbers Dave put up and refute them with numbers, if you can.”

Hmmm, let me see… No need for numbers, just some facts and logic.

“Federer is the winningest player after Wimbledon.”

Sure he is, aided by the most favourable set of circumstances for him. Out of 5 of his titles in that period, 3 are Mickey Mouse indoors best-of-3, his domain since his beginnings, which he will probably win till the last day of his career.

And if these ‘mickey mouse’ tournaments are such, then they helped federer to 67 titles overall, another 3 million dollars in the bank and a ranking of no.2. go federer!

well, i wouldnt call WTF mickey mouse. Didn’t federer beat 5 top ten players in one week, one after the other and only drop a set in the process?

unless I was watching a completely different tournament?

Dave, are you Daniel from bleacher?

stu Says:

I think the year 2006 makes a good case to prove that this tennis era is more competitive than ever. Davydenko, Blake and Ljuba ended 2006 ranked 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Between them (after AO 2007), they had 3 Slam semifinals and 7 quarters. Compare that to the current nos. 3, 4, 5: 2 Slam titles. 6 finals. 8 SFs. 10 QFs.

Compare Djokovic today, with 2 GS titles, 2 finals, 6 semis and 5 QFs to Rafa who was a solid #2 in 2007 with 2 titles and a final.

I guess this is also a good argument for how solid Roger and Rafa have been thru it all!

stu Says:

haha grendel, read your post after I posted mine. can’t wait to see whether someone can come up with a different story for my numbers :)

madmax Says:

grendel, ancic retired yesterday and is giving a statement tomorrow (wednesday). Word has it that he is going to become a Sports lawyer! (as you will know, having studied law and been awarded his degree). by ‘taking on board’, I mean think. I think about what you say, (dont get too carried away!) because ‘occasionally’ it’s worth thinking about!

Luck? grendel, this is pure chance – unpredictability – it’s indefinable. Federer has no more ‘luck’ than any other player, but he has heaps of knowledge and natural ability that others don’t. There lies the difference.

dari Says:

Ooh, I see kohlschreiber took out troicki, might need to find that on repeat on ESPN3. I always root for kohls for the upset and it looks like he got a little one, here.

skeezerweezer Says:

Ok stu,

You numberized me with your post @ 3:23. My head can’t stop spinning.

Martha???? Where is that Beer I asked for? Geez…when one makes a simple request!?……..Ouch!!!

Ok Dear….I will take out the garbage, yes…now and right away…


graham Says:

Im a big fan of Fed’s and hes won me a lot of money throughout his career but i know now that his time is up at the top level.

The problem is not physical its mental. In the big matches these days hes just not as secure as he used to be. Its often mentioned that as you age you get less fearless and nerves tend to creep in and this is definitely whats happening with him now.

I still see him reaching the latter stages of wimbledon the the Us Open this year but if he comes up against a fit Nadal or Djoko or even a firing Soderling then he wont come through. And the problem for him is that these mickey mouse tournaments just dont provide him with the mental tests that he needs because deep down he knows that they mean nothing compared to the slams. He might have beat djoko in all the mickey mouse events last year but he didnt beat him in the one that matter in australia.

I can actually see him going into a bit of a slump before the French and if he ends 2011 slamless which i think he probably will then we could be looking at retirement very soon after. He might have said he’ll play till hes 35 but as soon as he starts regularly failing to reach major finals then he’ll be retired. His ego is too big to accept not winning majors for an extended period.

grendel Says:

On the luck front. No, I see no reason to suppose Federer has any more (or less) luck than anyone else. The point some of us were making is uncontroversial, and not specifically Federer directed. When a great player is coming towards the end of his career he naturally becomes a little bit more vulnerable. In these circumstances, a degree of luck, of the unexpected, can make the difference.

Take Sampras’ last slam. After he had beaten (just) Rusedski, the Canadian commented, or implied, that Sampras was finished. The great man was reportedly displeased and seems to have been goaded into making a real effort. And he started to play extremely well. You might call this the contingency of “the unexpected”. In the semis, Sampras coasted through against an easy (for him) opponent, Sjeng Schalken. On the other hand Agassi had an exhausting 5 setter against just about the most energy sapping player around at the time, Hewitt – and this, on super Saturday. What did Agassi have left for the final (in which he won a set all the same)? Spot of luck there for old Pete.

This is the kind of luck I suspect Federer might need if he is to win another slam. Needless to say, I may be entirely wrong. But, such as they are, them’s me thoughts.

johnny Says:

… but he has heaps of knowledge and natural ability that others don’t. There lies the difference.”

ha ha, is that how you call it when grandpa gets favorable draws.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Ok johnny, favorable draws? U want to bring your fav into the lucky draws to win slams? C’mon man can’t you debate better? Your hits at Fed are pathetic. You’re throwin crap on the wall and it doesn’t stick. Callin Fed a grandpa means your what, 13? And JB must be the GOAT of music to u…lol

Get a haircut like your idol and post again…..shaaammmon!

Kimberly Says:

Hey all, I am seriously considering cruising up to delray beach to watch delpo on Saturday. Want to see this forehand live. I think I will wait and see who will play semis and determine whether to go based on that. Sony Ericsson soon but maybe not soon enough.

Skeezerweezer Says:

@ kimberly

Awesome, please post if u go:)

jane Says:

stu, interesting numbers at 3:23!

margot, :) good analysis, agree with the bit that there is something Jekyll & Hyde like about Murray at times and maybe that is all about him still figuring out who he is – on and off the court – fascinating we people are. thanks for the recommend. Wishing Murray happiness, success, soon.

margot Says:

jane, grendel, thought article really full of insight, especially the bit where, as you say jane, Polishook suggests Andy is still trying to work out who he is, as a player. The Andy on and off court are indeed “J and H” :) I dunno about Andy any more, plenty of immensely talented players never get slams. It’s a jungle out there and you’ve gotta be a top predator, has Andy got that in him?.
As for Fed, you used to watch him and it was seamless, beautiful shot after shot, looked so easy. Now…why it’s beautiful shot followed by shank, followed by etc. As puzzling for him as it is for us, I guess but must be due to him being 30 not 20.

madmax Says:

aww margot, he’s 29! And age is just a number. If you believe you are old, then you talk yourself into it, don’t you think? and whose got the oldest body on the tour? because it certainly isn’t federer – plenty of athletes beyond 30 still competing at the highest level. There is no one to match federer’s longevity in the game.

ah I know you dont like him, and would prefer to go shopping if he reaches a final, negative comments dont help the situation for the rest of us! :) And yes, beautiful shot followed by shank, not all the time, but some of the time. but am not going to dwell on that, it serves no purpose.

The same could apply to murray, don’t you think? This guy has been touted to win slams for the last 2 years as you know, nothing happening for him yet. you wouldn’t turn your back on Andy M. Even though he is a fine player, and was ousted first round against baghdatis at Rotterdam – these things happen – I dont listen a lot of the time to what commentators say about andy as I think it’s downright disrespectful.

I am just happy to watch federer play. It may not be the same easy ride he has had for so long, these last 18 months, but I would rather see him play than not.

grendel, I thought about the fear element and I agree with you in part. Yet this goes against his statement about a year ago when he said he could play with much more freedom on the court, do you remember that? So this doesn’t sit right with what is happening.

I am just hoping that federer can create some of his magic, most of the time rather than all of the time.

Got to keep believing in the great man.

I wonder whether a sports psychologist will help in those key moments – the break points – when he seems to go AWOL. If that is their job, perhaps federer would benefit from this?

I guess the rest of the year as it unfolds will answer a lot of things.

grendel Says:

margot, Murray is always cool when interviewed, and generally thoughtful – you see him actually weighing up a question to give it due consideration, and this makes it interesting. With a lot of players, you’re asleep before they’ve finished answering.

However, some of this coolness must,on occasion, provide a useful shield to practice a spot of the old denial. What, me? When Murray exposes himself so rawly as he did against Djokovic, and afterwards proceeds to the usual interviews it puts me in mind of that scene with Gene Wilder in a Mel Brookes movie.

Gene Wilder is on a station platform waiting for someone when suddenly this enormous woman comes marching purposefully towards him. Wilder’s initial surprise morphs into mounting terror as the vast woman, handbag swinging, appears if anything to increase her pace. Wilder puts up his hands in self-protection, to no avail as the woman draws steadily closer, and he cowers behind protective arms for all the world like a child trying to pretend the monster will go away if only you can close your eyes tight enough. The woman storms past Wilder to be greeted with effusion by someone or other. Wilder realises his error, and fixes his tie with an expression which attempts to convey amusement – ho! ho! ho! bet you thought I was serious….

McEnroe, too, in his wilder tirades (although there was always an element of calculation in even the more demented rants) would look a little sheepish, and attempt to argue his way through. There was a hard core of confidence in McEnroe, however – he just KNEW he was the best – which got him through these awkward moments. Not sure about Murray. You’ve got to feel a certain respectful awe, though, for these guys, who expose their very souls to a world quick to judge and relish. When I go off the rails, only one or two to note the meltdown – and that’s bad enough…

grendel Says:

madmax – the “fear” comment was graham’s, not mine. Still, I think graham may well have made some good points – we’re all in the speculating game, of course. b.t.w., margot has always liked Federer without being a fan of his as such. I think she is just tired of the Fedal scene.

stu Says:

i’m suspicious of all these new streaming sites, especially at work. bring atdhe back :(.

if they made us pay a reasonable amount of money per tournament, i would be willing to do it. it’s just ridiculous to have to pay as much as i pay for cable to watch a few matches every now and then….

stu Says:

nice, measured backhand lobs from Nole again!

grendel Says:

not that it matters, but for the record, it was mel brookes, not wilder, now that i come to think of it.

WTF Says:

I must have really incensed jane to get such an immediate response. Sorry jane. No need to be embarassed, it was my bad, not yours.

Novak didn’t say Fedal’s dominance was over. However, whether he said it or not, I felt it was reasonable to assume he entertains the thought.

When he beat Fed in 2008 and won the title, he DID indeed say back then that the guard had changed. His mother even went as far as saying “the king is dead, long live the king”. So him saying or thinking it again would have been nothing new or unexpected.

This was before Nadal had won anything outside of the French Open, and before Nadal ascended to no.1 for the first time. Novak was being touted by the media as the next big thing, the guy to replace Fed. Novak (and family) was believing his own hype at the time.

I feel that he’s a lot more humble now than in 2008 and has matured. Whether he still believes this or not, he at least isn’t going to say it out loud.

jane Says:

WTF, nah, not incensed. However, knowing how much Djoko HAS changed since 2008, in how he presents himself to the media, I just felt that I wanted to clarify. Maybe, like many of us with our faves, we’re a little more protective. IMO, Nole has grown as a person, learning (often) the “hard way” how to carry himself and deal with the media, those above him, conflict on and off the court, and so forth. He seems like (to go to the nearest cliche) he is “his own man” now. He didn’t even have his family in his box at the AO, not that I saw anyhow.

So actually, WTF, we whole-heartedly agree! And thanks for taking the time to reply. ;)

jane Says:

p.s. ” I felt it was reasonable to assume he entertains the thought.” Maybe he does, but I also think with his new maturity and more experience playing both of them, he knows what it is to accomplish what they have, and thus I think his thinking would’ve shifted accordingly. I believe he realizes it will one day be over, and maybe he’ll have a shot at number 1 then; I believe he knows he has to win majors to have that shot; but I think he knows they are still the guys to beat. The results bear it out, certainly where Rafa is concerned for sure.

johhny Says:

“ah I know you dont like him, and would prefer to go shopping if he reaches a final, negative comments dont help the situation for the rest of us!”

“Roger Federer US Open Presser: I Won’t Watch the Final, But I Hope Nadal Wins”

Does he ever watch finals when he does’t play them? Did he watch AO 2011 final? Does he like tennis at all? Does he show disrespect towards the finalists? Can his ego accept the fact he won’t play a final? Does he deserve another sportsmanship award for not watching finals? Does he deserve to be called ‘tennis ambasador’?

dari Says:

Johnny- I’d say that if you just played your ass off for almost two weeks, you MIGHT have something better to do after you lose than to make sure you’re in front of a tv for the final. especially if youre in a cool city with attractions (like cities that hold the slams, for example) and have a family.
Really lame thing to focus on in deciding if someone is a tennis ambassador or not. Next.

dari Says:

Ah! dolgopolov and stani playing tomorrow in acapulco I will be cheering for Stan.

dari Says:

Also, johnny, who are your fave players. I dont really remember your mentioning it.

Skeezerweezer Says:

johnny boy,

“Does he ever watch finals when he does’t play them?YES. Did he watch AO 2011 final? YES. Does he like tennis at all? YES. Does he show disrespect towards the finalists? NO. Can his ego accept the fact he won’t play a final? YES. Does he deserve another sportsmanship award for not watching finals?YES. Does he deserve to be called ‘tennis ambasador’? YES.”

The wall throwing doo doo continues and it ain’t stickin…

johhny Says:

“The wall throwing doo doo continues and it ain’t stickin…”

why on earth are you replying to my posts then??????? just ignore if it ain’t stickin, ok?

johhny Says:


i may have a few but trying not to be a tard and a worshiper in that regard. always liked players down to earth with non inflated egos.

Skeezerweezer Says:

“why on earth are you replying to my posts then??????? just ignore if it ain’t stickin, ok?”

Well it’s there for everyone to see. You posted it for the attention, you got it. Unless you clean up your act it will continue. I am not the only one who loves you…..:)

So dari waz askin, who’s your fav? With your comments can’t be Rafa…..

Sides…Fed has a wife, two little kids…. And decides to take them shopping after a 2 week self absorbed tourney….yeah…he is all about himself and should have ditched the family to watch the finals….i am sure he watched it via dvr….dude….your thinking continues on the immature and your doo doo was old and talked about already….u sure your not fedends reincarnate?

johhny Says:

“Sides…Fed has a wife, two little kids…. And decides to take them shopping after a 2 week self absorbed tourney….yeah”

you forgot to mention a pet, dog, cat, fish tank etc … u sure your not a fedtard?

dari Says:

Johnny- do you care to name those that fit your criteria, down to earth, no ego. In the top ten, maybe like ferrer, eg? But what about the tennis? Whose tennis do you enjoy? Not trying to get you to name them so that i can refute and point out their egotistical tendencies, but it would be nice to hear you say something positive about somebody.
And hey, you can throw in your insults when you want, too, but mixing it up with the occasional support of whom you actually DO like will make a better case for your actually liking tennis and not just being a general hater.
Cheers, and I mean that!

contador Says:

immaturity comes in all shapes, sizes, ages. johhny ( look at the spelling of the pseudo ) my impression is of a disgruntled sour puss female. probably from ‘you know where’ coming to this forum cos the one where her home is doesn’t have enough federer fans to feed her needs and sport with her bitterness. too peaceful on another site for someone who hates federer with an ax to grind about it?

scratching your nails across the chalkboard blows your skirt up does it? great. actually a couple of your posts aren’t so troll-like. others are definitely taunting and dripping with sarcasm; very successful troll-worthy trouble-making posts. stating your opinion: you dont like federer because ….blah blah blah is really enough isn’t it? and an opinion is to be respected. calling federer “grandpa,” and inferring his fans are, “tards” and “worshippers” are the typical words you know will get a rise. i understand. but will ignore you from here on out when you toss your poo around. that’s how i am ( now.) but others might play in your sandbox or even welcome you.

i was going to comment to Kimmi about the acapulco and del ray tournaments and to dari about the wow shots, shanks, shanks, wow shots and trying to relax watching federer but now wasted my time posting to “johhny.”

have to pull for dolgopolov Kimmi/ dari. but i think ferrer or almagro appear to be in destroyer mode.

and i’d be so happy if delpo won del ray or at least made the final! off to bed exhausted trying to catch up with work and watch a dubai match.

feeling the pain of no atdhe, stu. fromsport only showing dubai and doha really. i think they had a stream for fognini/ wawa but couldn’t watch it. woz on a roll. na li knocked out i see :/

madmax Says:


try to get on it again everyone. I know the one says taht it has been taken over by the FBI or something like that, but I managed to get on to it yesterday – strangely – may be it was more luck than not – will try again today.

I wonder why that happened. You can get freeloads on movies and pretty much everything else, so why pull a great livestream?

grendel! Yes. Sorry. graham. saw the ‘g’ and not much else!

I just read the post from TG about fed’s concentrateion. Well he has to sharpen this. I feel that he alreayd mentally ‘wins’ against the lower ranked players and that is a dangerous mindset to have. In fact, yesterday againt Devverman, fed motioned to the ball boy to throw him the ball, with his usual nod of the head, only to realise that he wasn’t the one serving! THAT shows a lack of concentration.

I do honestly believe though that as he moves through the match, and wins, he keeps telling himself to concentrate more and more.

So he likes Lady Gaga?! Me too!

dari Says:

contador- not sure if you’re saying there is something wrong with your comp on atdhe or that it doesn’t exist.
let me try to type this some kind of way without being moderated… its now at atdhenet dot tv and last time I checked they had acapulco, too.

WTF Says:

johnny says:

“Does he ever watch finals when he does’t play them? Did he watch AO 2011 final? Does he like tennis at all? Does he show disrespect towards the finalists? Can his ego accept the fact he won’t play a final? Does he deserve another sportsmanship award for not watching finals? Does he deserve to be called ‘tennis ambasador’?”

He said the same after he lost at AO11, and other rare times that he loses before a final. I’ve talked about this before. No he doesn’t watch the finals if he’s not in it, and is annoyed whenever he’s asked if he will. Personally I don’t buy it. For a grand slam final, I think he’ll at least tune in every now and then or watch highlights. The result (and how it was achieved) is too important to ignore. Who wins might affect Fed’s ranking. Perhaps Fed’s greatest nemesis, Nadal might be getting destroyed in the final, with weaknesses being exposed and there might be a lesson or two to learn for future encounters with the man or indeed the man beating him. Perhaps the guy serving for the match turns out to have trouble closing it out and he discovers the guy is actually a choker when the chips are down.

It’s mostly an ego thing if he chooses not to watch it (or claims not to). He’s used excuses like, “I’ve got family to spend time with”. Surely he could find a few hours to spare away from the family? I mean, he would have had to if he was playing in it. And the family didn’t seem to mind on those occasions.

And anyway.. who says you can’t spend time with your family whilst IN FRONT OF your TV? Maybe they can all enjoy it together.

Fed is often gracious, but his ego was always hard to keep in check. Sometimes the things he says in the presser, after a win or a loss is baffling enough for me to think it was “lost in translation” except that he is very fluent in english.

grendel Says:

This watching the finals business has come up again, although there is no argument in favour of lambasting Federer for it. None.

I haven’t the slightest doubt that plenty of top 1, 2, 3 players do not watch a slam final live. Tennis is their profession, not an agreeable passtime as it is for us. Then again, journalists are not above being provocative, and someone with Federer’s experience with journos will understand very well when one is trying to wind him up. In such a circumstance, a literal response is not especially likely. Finally, of course Federer will watch videos of the final, probably highlighted versions which will have useful information on his rivals.

All this is absurd. How Federer, or anyone else, chooses to spend his time is his business, and his alone.That Federer, like all the top players, has a huge ego is not in doubt. He would not be where he is otherwise, nor would Nadal, Djokovic and so on – and nor would we, the spectators, have the pleasure of watching the extraordinary products of these extraordinary egos – so don’t lets have any humbug here. We, the spectators, the fans, whatever, absolutely collude in the making of these egos. Maybe our own egos are a little feeble, and are in need of reinforcement or something – I think, actually, that was the meaning of Murray’s anguished rant against his box.

But anyway, how Federer elects to spend his time is not even remotely germane to this business. Or, for that matter, how he chooses to respond to journalists who are trying to get under his skin.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Its understandable that Fed wouldn’t watch finals after getting knocked out, I think anyone would find it painful.

However, Federer has talked many times about being a tennis junkie. He watches tons of tennis, and closely follows the challengers and futures events.

Skeezerweezer Says:


Agree with your 1:17 post. So are we now judging Rog on how he should spend his private time? He should be doing this or that? Who are we to say? TV has a point also, and the media shoildn’t be askin such dumb questions right after a tough loss.

WTF Says:


Whether Fed watches other matches is indeed his business. But it doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it. He is not a low profile person. He’s an athlete, and he’s famous. He chose the life, and he’s subjected himself to public scrutiny whether he wants it or not. He knew what he was getting into. People WILL talk about him whether he likes it or not, and neither he nor you can stop it.

He is not obliged to be a humble person, but nor am I obliged to keep quiet about him. Don’t like it? Get used to it. Or block your ears. He is not exempt from criticism, and as long as he’s in the spotlight, people will talk about all aspects of his life. As a celebrity, what you have for lunch can be scrutinized. Is that fair? Of course not. But if people find you interesting or important, everything you say or do will be in magazines and articles. Unless you take away people’s freedom of speech, it will happen.

grendel Says:

Of course Federer can be subject to scrutiny like anyone else, and to gentle mockery too – that is civilised. I absolutely agree that someone who enjoys the spotlight as much as he does needs to be able to take the rough with the smooth. There are plenty of things you can criticise Federer for.

On the other hand, just because a person is very famous doesn’t mean to say that anything goes. Some criticisms may not be justified. They may fail to hit the mark. I happen to think this is the case with your position, WTF, on this issue of watching or not watching slam finals. To be fair, I can see that there is a certain apparent plausibility in the criticism – but it is my belief that the plausibility is only apparent. And these criticisms are all the more insidious (if they are mistaken, that is) and need to be nailed. That’s my position – sorry if I said it too forcefully. And I accept that my interpretation may be wrong, of course.

Sol Says:

The fact that Federer would not watch slam finals once he gets beaten and that he almost defiantly reiterates he has more important things to do instead, only demonstrate that he craves a complete disconnect from his most recent loss.

Watching those finals might be too painful a reminder he’s not participating. It’s only human. But he choses not to say so and instead comes up with family quality time explanation.

On the other side of the spectrum, Nadal was also hounded by media with the same question and he calmly answered many times that he watched with interest both 2009 RG and Wimbledon finals. He was also captured at some tournaments while watching from the stands the other semifinal after he was kicked out from his own.

Unlike Federer, Nadal is apparently able to disconnect quickly from a loss and proceed to study the game of his direct competition in those matches and even enjoy the tennis.

Different people, different reactions. Some people apparently like their fave athletes to be sour pusses. To each their own.

grendel Says:

“Unlike Federer, Nadal is apparently able to disconnect quickly from a loss”. “Apparently” is the key word here. Actually, Nadal is devastated by losses – but he tries (in public) to downplay this fact. He is also well schooled in public relations – I’m not saying this is his natural personality. But it is clear that Uncle Toni is a big influence here. Federer, perhaps recklessly, appears to set little store by PR. So comparisons, if they are to be realistic, need to be well thought through.

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