Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation
by Sean Randall | October 2nd, 2012, 10:47 am

Perhaps to keep pace in the No. 1 race with rivals Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, Roger Federer has confirmed his participation in the Shanghai Masters next week.

“It will be fantastic to return to Shanghai and the Shanghai Rolex Masters,” Federer said. “I love the city and especially the fans. I’ve enjoyed great success at the tournament, dating back to the Tennis Masters Cups. I hope all the fans will come out to enjoy the matches.

“Shanghai is one of my favorite cities in Asia, and I look forward to getting back to the Shanghai Rolex Masters. I love the passionate fans, and the facilities and tournament are amazing”

Federer missed last year’s Shanghai event due to an assortment of injuries. And after a busy Olympic summer and then Davis Cup last month there was a chance that he’d pass up the tournament again.

Federer has never won the event. He was a finalist in his last trip losing to Andy Murray in 2010.

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50 Comments for Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation

bstevens Says:

If Fed is 100% healthy and motivated, then I have no problem with his decision to play Shanghai. If however he is not 100% and just playing for the ranking points then that is not a good sign. Fed’s longetivity is due in part to smart scheduling and knowing when to take rests. He mentioned only a few weeks ago that he was “tired” and I hope that he has since recovered and is ready to finish the year strongly.

lazlo Says:

Which ‘rests’ is he taking compared to the others?
AFAIK he is playing the same number of tournaments. Shanghai, Basel Paris YEC

sienna Says:

Yes I agree. If there is any problem fysic or mentally then he should have skipped shanghai.

But I am sure he will skip Paris if he feels like it.
So that might be a better way of planning the restof the year .
Basel paris wtf are back to back.
Surely there is no way any playerwill win 3 of those big events back to back .

trufan Says:

Shanghai, Basel, Paris, then London are all fast indoor courts, best of 3. Most of his matches will last 60, 90 minutes, maybe 2 hours max. Even if he wins ALL 4 tournaments, he plays 20 matches in 5 weeks, and at an average of 1.5 hours per match, its about 30 hours of match play. Given that its in AC environment indoor (no sun, no wind), he should be fine. 30 hours of match play is like a slam and a half worth of outdoor play.

He SHOULD play in Shanghai, unless he is injured. He has had some break, perhaps not enough for his age, but still, he has played only two matches in the last one month. This 5 week push could really fetch him a title or two – another masters title, and another YEC, and more weeks at No 1, year end No. 1 – all minor additions to his amazing record, but additions nonetheless. Why shouldn’t he? Then he can rest all he wants.

This is HIS time – the fast indoor courts. Djokovic and Murray have got to be tired too – though they are 6 years younger, so their bodies may be in better shape. Djokovic has got to be low on confidence as well – losing his last two matches against both Federer and Murray.

Dave Says:

NI HAO. Federer and his large entourage are not going to take a 6,000-mile 12-hour flight to Shanghai (and the same for the return trip)… other than to try to reach the finals or win the Shanghai Masters 1000. That’s the same court where Roger won two World Tour Finals (TMC) year-end championships from three consecutive finals 2005 to 2007 (the difference is that Shanghai Masters is played as an outdoor event with the roof open).

The Chinese news media — which confirmed since September 23 that Federer was playing Shanghai — reported that Federer reserved hotel rooms for the largest entourage he has ever brought to Shanghai, Mirka’s mother included. Roger has gotta impress the in-laws.

Based on his track record, it was highly unlikely that Federer would pass on the chance this year to end the year No.1 or risk missing 300 total weeks at No.1 (thus, he needed to play Shanghai). Despite’s revelation at Davis Cup that he’s “wounded, tried and exhausted” — which he probably always is (but he’s probably just fed up of being taken for granted by the news media, the Australian Open he had been negotiating for higher prize money, the Swiss tennis federation expecting him to play Davis Cup, the few Federer-haters, etc.)

As the Oregonian’s Douglas Perry explained: “While his lips say no, one suspects his heart says yes, yes, yes. Every time he’s faced travail, whispers that he’s slipping, he’s suited up for war. He loves to prove the detractors wrong.” Federer can see the sixth year-end No.1 ranking within reach, which will tie him with the record for year No.1 (unshared) with Sampras, Pancho Gonzales, Bill Tilden and William Renshaw). Any other healthy and motivated great player would try to seize that opportunity for tennis greatness.

In Fall 2009, Federer was beset with several injuries after a busy summer returning to No.1 and winning four titles, yet still played enough during the Fall to ensure he clinched the No.1 ranking (that was the first year since 2011 that Federer failed to win a title in Fall) — Roger shut down like clockwork soon after it became mathematically impossible for Nadal to surpass him. In an April 2012 interview to Swiss press, Federer admitted his feet were hurting when he played five consecutive events in spring this year (February Davis Cup, Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami) — what he did not admit was that he still did it anyway because he needed the points in order to challenge for the No.1 ranking.

It made no sense for Federer to play Beijing 500 since he will be playing Basel 500 and already has 450 points from the Olympics (his four maximum countable ATP 500 events wil be Rotterdam, Dubai, Olympics and Basel). So this trip to Shanghai is specifcally to try to keep pace or gain year-to-date points over Djokovic. Federer knows he has the best match-winning record over the past 52 weeks on hardcourts, indoors and outdoors in the tour — so he knows that if he executes he has a good chance to overtake Djokovic in his remaining five events. Of course he has to execute, so we’ll see. This year Federer (March), Nadal (June), Djokovic (September) all traded places for most year-to-date ranking points. After Cincinnati, Djokovic and Federer were neck-to-neck (separated by merely 145 YTD points). Djokovic has traditionally not played as well in Fall — his best Fall (in terms of titles and points) happened in 2009 when Federer, Nadal and Murray were all off form and/or playing with injuries.

Federer played the Shanghai Masters only once in 2010 (he skipped in 2009 and 2011 because he played Davis Cup). 2010 Shanghai Masters was Federer’s first tournament back after losing to Djokovic at 2010 US Open (where Roger had two matchpoints). Federer had the toughest draw: Isner (20), Seppi (58), Soderling (5), Djokovic (2) and Murray (4). Djokovic had just won Beijing without dropping a set, yet Federer beat him in straight sets. In the finals, Federer lost in straight sets to a fresh Murray. Murray hadan easy draw, beating Juan Monaco in the semifinals (No. 1 Nadal had lost to Juergen Melzer in R16) and was in perfect condition for Shanghai (having had a few rounds of match practice at Beijing the week before).

Murray is the two-time defending champion at Shanghai (Davydenko won the inaugural 2009 Shanghai Masters, beating Nadal). In its first three years in 2009-2011, Shanghai was awarded ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year, as voted by the ATP players.

A key reason Federer skipped Shanghai last year was because, the week after losing the 2011 US Open semifinals, Roger played three consecutive days of four-set matches in Davis Cup at Australia on grass. No doubt Federer had to heal some minor injuries after abusy summer. That’s a 21,000-mile, 44-hour round flight trip with jetlag — Australia is the worst possible Davis Cup venue for a European player. That Davis Cup tie probably burned 10 to 12 days in Federer’s schedule because of the travel, jet lag and recovery. As well Federer wanted to rest, regroup and put in a proper training block befpre starting his surge back to No.1 in Basel, PAris and WTF.

Federer vs Djokovic in 2010 Shanghai Masters semifinals

Federer vs Nadal in 2007 TMC semifinal at Shanghai

Federer vs Ferrer in 2007 TMC final at Shanghai

Alok Says:

Fed should be more tired than Murray and djokovic because he played DC and they didn’t.

the DA Says:

Why leave out the final?

Federer vs Murray in 2010 Shanghai Masters Final


Dave Says:

the DA says: “Why leave out the final?… Oh.” Why leave out your reading and/or comprehension deficiencies:

The Dave: “2010 Shanghai Masters was Federer’s first tournament back after losing to Djokovic at 2010 US Open (where Roger had two matchpoints). Federer had the toughest draw: Isner (20), Seppi (58), Soderling (5), Djokovic (2) and Murray (4). Djokovic had just won Beijing without dropping a set, yet Federer beat him in straight sets. IN THE FINALS, FEDERER LOST IN STRAIGHT SETS TO A FRESH MURRAY. Murray had an easy draw, beating Juan Monaco in the semifinals (No. 1 Nadal had lost to Juergen Melzer in R16) and was in perfect condition for Shanghai (having had a few rounds of match practice at Beijing the week before).”


Compared to Federer, Andy Murray’s path to the final was much easier: Yan Bai (465), Jeremy Chardy (59), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (13), Juan Monaco (41), Roger Federer (3). No. 1 Nadal had lost to Juergen Melzer in R16. And Murray played a warm up event (Beijing) unlike Federer.

Btw, 23-year old Murray also skipped Davis Cup the entire year in 2010 (missing two ties for Britain).

Federer vs Nadal in 2007 TMC semifinal at Shanghai (Part 2)

In any case, it’s not your business what I choose to put in my post. After all, your posts leave out everything worth reading :)

[In fairness, I should mention that 29-year old Federer also skipped Davis Cup for the only season in his career — after 11 consecutive seasons of playing Davis Cup since 1999. The only modern great player with a better record is Stefan Edberg with 13 consecutive years… so Federer deserved a break from Davis Cup.]

Alok Says:

@Dave, your posts are just fine, and you cover all the bases. What can we say abhout a DA?

Murray has conveniently opted out of playing DC for the same country who given so much monetary help, citing that he has no help from other team members for DC. Meanwhile the 31 y/o Federer has got to win nearly all of the DC ties by himself, playing 3 days in a row.

roy Says:

”so Federer deserved a break from Davis Cup”

roger certainly did…after doing the bare minimum in the competition all through his prime in order to concentrate on slams and no.1.
that’s not the same as a fully committed approach to davis cup.

just ask berdych, stepanek…nadal,ferrer…roddick,bryans…hewitt…nalbandian… the list goes on.
guys who show up when it’s inconvenient.

federer fans are known for their delusions, but pretending this man has been a davis cup hero is laughable.

he actually would have won at least one davis cup by now if he had been, considering he was almost unbeatable indoors for years, had another top20 singles player with him, and given enough runs, could have gotten plenty of decent draws and home ties, avoided spain on clay enough times, and beaten any other team the majority of the time.
you will take losses, but at least one trophy was very doable.

the funny thing is, federer fans claim he is the greatest ever etc. and is such a davis cup stalwart, but then come unstuck trying to explain why he has no davis cup.
they pretend he has no backup. when stan is a top player and was quality from 19 yrs old in fact.
they pretend two guys can’t carry the team. that you simply can’t play three rubbers.
when the czechs do very well.
when nalbandian,djoker, hewitt etc. have a history of playing three rubbers with great success.

a guy this dominant, with top 20 backup, with doubles form good enough for olympic gold…the only real explanation is he didn’t put enough into davis cup.

that’s fine. but then you don’t get to pretend you’re a team player/patriot/dc hero etc., and neither do your fans.

skeezer Says:

the DA tries to pick pocket Dave, but gets “takin out to da Barn”!

skeezer Says:

“federer fans are known for their delusions”

Sure roy, 17 Slams and #1 at 31 is a pipe dream, another delusional false truth…..wait….is it really your fave we are talking about?

Ones career is not just about Davis Cup, your delusional.

Go ahead and hang your hat on one of 2 things Fed doesn’t have, davis cup and a gold medal. So what is lacking in every other top Player? Wayyyy more than the Maestro. Try again. Big fail. -1.


Michael Says:

I think Shanghai is very crucial in Roger’s calculations to retain his No.1 spot. A win at Shanghai will definitely help him in the sweepstakes.

the DA Says:

haha…he never fails to take the bait. :)

Dave Says:

the DA: So you’re looking foolish because you had to swallow your own bait… yet, in your self denial you delusionally pretend that I took your own bait? Lol.

Dave Says:

roy: If you haven’t done your homework, you should not make fictional accusations against Federer to the group of decent Federer fans here. After reading my two rebuttals, go look into a mirror: you will feel an itch developing on your forehead as the words “delusional and ignorant Federer-hater” pop up on your forehand. And you will hear the echoes of a 100 million Federer fans laughing at you …lol.



roy’s mega-delusion #1: “they pretend he has no backup. when stan is a top player and was quality from 19 yrs old in fact.”

Stan Wawrinka was useless to Federer during his prime years because he could not beat any top 100 player he faced. This is not Junior Davis Cup.

– Young Wawrinka displayed the following high quality at age 19: Wawrinka lost all three singles matches played in two ties at age 19.

– Wawrinka started playing during Federer’s prime (2004 to 2007), when he was ranked between No. 184 to No.30. In those four years, Wawrinka played 6 ties (4 home ties, 2 away ties). His singles record was 4-6 and doubles was 0-1.

– It’s actually worse than it appears because Wawrinka failed to beat any top 100 player between 2004 to 2007. Wawrinka lost to six top 100 players: No. 79 Sjeng Shalken, 76 Peter Wessels, No. 72 Victor Hanescu, No. 34 Radek Stepanek, No. 21 Djokovic, No 10 Berdych. The only four players Wawrinka beat were outside the top 100: No.262 Alan Mackin, No. 150 Chris Guccione, No. 116 Peter Luczak, No.110 Andy Murray on clay in Switzerland.


roy’s mega-delusion #2: “he actually would have won at least one davis cup by now… had another top20 singles player with him… they pretend two guys can’t carry the team. that you simply can’t play three rubbers… when the czechs do very well… with top 20 backup, with doubles form good enough for olympic gold…”

Someone tell the bartender to stop giving roy anymore water. He’s pis*ing fiction from his drunken ignorance:

– Wawrinka’s DC record (17-20 win-loss in 17 DC ties) does not compare with the versatile Radek Stepanek (24-12 in 16 DC ties). 33-year od Stepanek — ranked No. 9 in ATP doubles and No. 40 in singles — remains a more versatile and effective second player for the Czech Republic than Wawrinka in his prime is for Switzerland. A secret to the Czech Rep’s success is Stepanek, because he wins matches, is a good doubles/singles player, and he riles up the other team.

– Federer-Wawrinka doubles is not a guaranteed win. Wawrinka’s doubles record is only 2-9 (his two wins came from partnering Federer). Wawrinka-Federer now have a losing 2-3 record in Davis Cup doubles (they lost their last three Davis Cup doubles matches against Australia, USA and Netherlands). Partnering Wawrinka has worsened Federer’s doubles record from 9-5 to 11-8 (Federer played doubles in 19 of 22 ties).

– delusional roy’s “quality player” Stan Wawrinka’s singles record is only 15-11. The only top 40 players that Wawrinka has beaten are No. 13 James Blake and No. 40 Nico Almagro. That’s it. How is Wawrinka going to win even one singles match against the top teams?

– Federer and Wawrinka won Olympic gold partly because the Olympics was held in the middle of Stan’s peak as a top 10 player, while Federer was in his mononucleosis year. Stn fell out of the top 10 since October 2008, has never returned to the top 10 and has been inconsistent since 2008. Even though Wawrinka is under contract to play Davis Cup for Switzerland and is paid well.

– If Switzerland loses the doubles and Wawrinka loses both singles, the Swiss team loses the tie 2-3 even if Federer wins both singles. Example: In their September 2007 Davis Cup tie, No. 44 Wawrinka lost to No. 34 Radek Stepanek in straight sets and also lost to Berdych in straight sets. Berdych-Stepanek beat Federer-Yves Allegro in five sets. Despite Federer valiantly winning both singles against Berdych and Stepanek, the rest of the team could not do their part — it’s a team game.


If Switzerland has not won Davis Cup after 13 seasons of Federer playing, it is not going to happen. Winning Davis Cup is like Russian roulette – even if Switzerland beat the second ranked Czech Rep, they could be drawn against several deeper teams in the latter rounds.

Federer’s Davis Cup record is better than most of the great players in the modern era (those who won at least 4 slams). He is close to overtaking some of the three or four players better than him.

Federer has done enough for his country and should retire from Davis Cup.

Part 2 coming next.

Dave Says:

roy: Part 2 of your education is here… hopefully it removes your delusions and ignorance.


roy’s mega-delusion #4: “just ask… nadal,ferrer… the list goes on. guys who show up when it’s inconvenient.”

Since 2006, Nadal has played only 8 ties (38%) of Spain’s 21 DC ties, and skipped 13 ties. Nadal skipped Davis Cup entirely in 2007, 2010 and 2011. During this period (2006 to 2012), David Ferrer carried Spain by playing 16 ties (76%) of those 21 ties. In his career, Nadal skipped every DC away tie outside Europe: 2008 Argentina DC final), 2008 Peru, 2007 USA (quarterfinal), 2011 USA (quarterfinal).

Let’s compare Federer and Nadal:

– Federer has played 37 sets (10 matches) in Davis Cup over the last 15 months since July 2011. Nadal has also played 37 sets — Rafa played 37 sets (13 matches) in 72 months since October 2006! 30 to 31 year old Federer’s efforts in Davis Cup are much more exhausting in the last 15 months than it would be for 22-to-25 year old Nadal in his prime over 72 months since 2006!

– Since 2006, both Nadal and Federer played only 8 ties. But Nadal played only 16 matches and most of his ties were in Spain on clay (6 of 8 ties), he missed all four ties outside Europe. Federer played 20 matches and half of his ties were away (4 of 8) as far as Australia.


roy’s mega-delusion #3: “(federer did) the bare minimum in the competition all through his prime in order to concentrate on slams and no.1.”

Federer’s DC record from age 17 to 26 (1999 to 2007) is superior to the records of the 25-to-26 year old Nadal, Djokovic and Murray who played their first DC tie in 2004, 2004 and 2005 respectively.

We can compare the first 9 DC seasons: of Roger, Rafa, Novak, Andy (it’s 8 seasons for Andy, as his first tie was in 2005):

– Federer (1999 to 2007, age 17 to 26): 4.89 rubbers/matches per year (44 rubbers/matches over 9 years); played 16 ties (84% of Switzerland’s 19 ties); played 9 consecutive DC seasons (did not miss his first 11 consecutive DC seasons, until 2010). Federer played his first 13 consecutive ties from 1999 to 2004 inclusive (he won his first 4 grand slams without missing Davis Cup)

– Nadal (2004 to 2012, age 17 to 26): 3 rubbers/matches per year (27 rubbers/matches over 9 years); played 14 ties (just 52% of Spain’s 27 ties); played 6 DC seasons (skipped 2007, 2010, 2012)

– Djokovic (2004 to 2012, age 16 to 25): 3.33 rubbers/matches per year (30 rubbers/matches over 9 years); played 17 ties (74% of Serbia’s 23 ties); played 8 DC seasons (skipped 2012)

– Murray (2005 to 2012, age 17 to 25); 2.75 rubbers/matches per year (22 rubbers/matches over 8 years); played 11 ties (61% of Britain’s 18 ties); played 6 DC seasons (skipped 2010, 2012).


roy’s mega-delusion #5: “when nalbandian,djoker, hewitt etc. have a history of playing three rubbers with great success”

Djokovic??? lol, lol, lol, lol, lol, lol, lol, lol. Djokovic’s played only four doubles matches out of 17 ties (23%). His doubles record is a mediocre 2-2, despite partnering Nenad Zimonjic — the world’s No.1 doubles player from 2008 to 2010. Djokovic worsened poor Zimonjic’s record as Serbia’s record holder for most doubles wins (he also has Serbia’s record for most ties played and most years played)

I notice you left out Roddick from this list: he played ZERO doubles.

Federer plays doubles in relatively more ties than both Hewitt and Nalbandian.

– Federer has played 19 doubles in 22 ties (86% of 22 ties) with an 11-8 record. When Federer shows up to play, he is expected to play doubles. He has played doubles in every tie since 2000 (except 2009 when he had a back, leg, shoulder injuries after US Open).

– Hewitt played 15 doubles in his 33 ties (45% of 33 ties) with a 12-3 record. Some of his partners were Patrick Rafter, Todd Woodbridge, Paul Hanley, Wayne Arthurs

– Nalbandian played 19 doubles in his 24 ties (79% of 24 ties) with an 14-5 record. Argentina has decent doubles partners for Nalby such as Guillermo Canas, Jose Acasuso, Calleri, etc.


roy’s delusion #1: “just ask berdych, stepanek…nadal,ferrer…roddick,bryans…hewitt…nalbandian… the list goes on. guys who show up when it’s inconvenient.” (the bryan brothers are irrevelant since they only play oe match: doubles)

Lol, you’re trying to list the very, very few players who you think have a better Davis Cup record than Federer. yet only one player has played more matches than Federer. Only three players have played a few more ties than Federer. Only one player has played more DC seasons than Federer. You proved to us what a patriotic and selfless guy Federer is, lol.

Regardless, comparing their career records, Federer compares favorably with most on your list:

– Federer played 58 matches in 22 ties (73% of Switzerland’s 30 ties), played in 13 of 14 Davis Cup seasons (skipped 2010)

– Ferrer played 25 matches in 16 ties (76% of Spain’s 21 ties), played 7 of 7 Davis Cup seasons.

– Nadal played just 27 matchs in just 14 ties (just 52% of Spain’s 27 ties); played 6 of 9 Davis Cup seasons (skipped 2007, 2010, 2012)

– Stepanek played 36 matches played in 16 ties (67% of Czech Rep’s 24 ties), played in 8 of 10 Davis Cup seasons (skipped 2005, 2006)

– Nalbandian played 48 matches played in 24 ties (77% of Argentina’s 31 ties), played in 10 of 11 Davis Cup seasons (skipped 2009 season)

– Berdych played 48 matches in 22 ties (96% of Czech Rep’s 23 ties), played in 10 of 10 Davis Cup seasons

– Roddick played 55 matches in 25 ties (78% of USA’s 32 ties), played 10 of 12 Davis Cup seasons (skipped 2010, 2012)

– Hewitt played 66 matches in 33 ties (85% of Australia’s 39 ties) , played in 14 of 14 Davis Cup seasons

You have to compare Federer with other Big 4 singles players, not with Stepanek or doubles players or players who have dropped out of top 10 (Hewitt, Nalbandian, Roddick). Federer’s record is close to John McEnroe’s record at age 31.

Reagrdless, earlier this year, I checked the Davis Cup records of Federer’s entire generation of top 10 players (2003 to 2007). I think only Hewitt and one other player has played more Davis Cup matches than Federer. Less than a handful have played a few more ties than Federer. And only Hewitt and maybe one other have played more seasons.

The dirty secret about Davis Cup that most people don’t realize is that the regular Davis Cuppers are not playing for free. Some players are making better money playing each week of Davis Cup than they are playing on an average week on the ATP Tour — well-paid players like Hewitt, Nalbandian, Berdych, Stepanek are not going to miss Davis Cup. David Ferrer did not intend to play Davis Cup this year until his new captain gave him a nice raise. The regulars are under contract to their country federations to play Davis Cup. Recently Serbia’s ‘patriotic’ Davis Cuppers such as Tipsarevic, Troicki and Zimonjic asked for more money per year from Serbia’s tennis federation to continue playing Davis Cup (e.g., Tipsarevic asked for extra 100,000 euros or US$130,000 per year). When Dolgopolov did not get what he wanted, he did not play Davis Cup for Ukraine. Federer is not under contract to play Davis Cup for Switzerland, so whenever he plays it is a sacrifice, he gets paid basic reimbursement, and he loses money.


roy: Federer is patriotic, selfless and a true hero you should learn to admire. And next time, learn to be more humble.

Sienna Says:

This was GREAT.

Thank you for providing new insights like the payments for the more regular players.

Tz Says:

Great post Dave!

Steve 27 Says:

Since 1990 only Agassi(Miami), Federer(Indian Wells)and Nadal (Montecarlo and Rome) win the same Master 1000 three years in a row. Can Murray do it this year in Shanghai?

trufan Says:

Beijing and Tokyo air will cause Djoke and Murray to be sick by the time they get to Shanghai. Federer will swoop in and take the title.

Seriously, if Federer wins Shanghai, Djokovic will have a hard time getting the No. 1 ranking back before next year. RIght now he is 990 points ahead in the race – If Fed wins Shanghai, he shortens the lead to at most 590. Assuming Fed wins Basel, that lead now becomes 90 points. Even if Djokovic wins beijing, its still 590 points. Federer will easily win at least 600 more points than Djokovic in Paris/London, where 2500 points are up for grabs. By winning Shanghai, Fed keeps the No. 1 race on his racket.

Shanghai is crucial for the year end No. 1. If djokovic wins, he extends his lead to at least 1390 – then he has to literally crash out at both Paris and London for Fed to have a chance at being No 1. Then it remains on Djoke’s racket.

unbiased Says:

no matter what fed acheives,the haters will never quit condeming him

grendel Says:

Federer, of course, can afford to waive fees for the Davis Cup. He is an extraordinarily rich man (see for instance, :

The players mentioned by Dave are by no stretch of the imagination poor. But none of them are remotely in the same financial league as Federer, so you can understand if they feel the need to bargain where Federer doesn’t.

To talk about Federer “losing” money is no doubt literally correct, but for someone as rich as Federer this is pin money which he’ll barely notice. Meanwhile, the reputation of Federer is almost unimaginably large in Switzerland. I happened to be sat next to a Swiss during the Wimbledon final,and he commented that in Switzerland, there was Einstein – and Federer. And since Einstein was very much an international figure…….Whether Federer likes it or not, he has therefore a huge responsibility to his country. His situation in this respect is truly unique. That word is overused, but in this case, it is justified. There is no comparable situation.

Making moral judgements – for instance, calling someone “selfless” – is always a hazardous business. Personally, I have always thought of Federer as a very normal young man, not especially “this” or especially “that” – except in the realm of tennis. There of course, he is – again -unique.

alison Says:

Grendel wanted to read your post but its vanished.

alison Says:

^Sorry its up now^.

rogerafa Says:

The no. 1 race is on Novak’s racket, not on Roger’s. Novak will likely win Beijing, which has a pretty weak field compared to Tokyo, and extend his lead to 1490 points. That will be almost insurmountable unless Novak’s form dips big time and Roger cleans up everything. I think Novak has planned his schedule very well this year. I did think he should not have played Toronto but those cheap 1000 points are now proving to be the difference between him and Roger. That is the advantage of being young. He is also skipping Basel this year. He probably has his eyes set on winning 1000 cheap points again since Paris is not likely to have the strongest field this year. That should allow him to enter London without being very tired. He could also take a wild card at Basel or Valencia if his Asian campaign is not as productive as he has planned it to be but that could compromise one of the last two events of his season.

Roger can not skip Basel since it is his home event but that would almost inevitably mean either skipping Paris or not giving his 100% there. Otherwise, London gets compromised. Winning Shanghai is absolutely crucial for Roger if he entertains any thoughts of finishing as no.1. This is also likely to be the only event before London where he could “deny” Novak some points himself.

trufan Says:

This is indoor tennis on fast courts, best of 3. These guys probably practice harder than that on most days. 3 consecutive weeks in Europe are not going to be that tough for Fed, considering the first one is in his home town and he will have a few easy rounds. In Paris as well he is likely to get a few cheap and easy matches. The London matches are every other day.

If Fed wins Basel, it neutralizes Djoke winning Beijing (if he wins it). That’s why Shanghai is crucial, and no wonder Fed made the trip. Shows his intentions clearly. If he wins Shanghai, I still think he is in better shape because the surface suits him better (and his serve is better than Djoke’s).

Anyway, we’ll know in 10 days.

xmike Says:

dave’s posts are the best tennis writing anywhere on the web, period!

thanks for all the “in the nutshell” research and for the taking the time and trouble to write and share them with the rest of us

alison Says:

^I will second that along with Grendel^.

Dave Says:

thanks, xmike and alison. If so, you might be interested in the following:

Federer’s Davis Cup record is among the best of his generation of top 10 players:

– 24 different players were in the year-end top 10 in the five years of Federer’s prime (2003 to 2007). The 24 players are Federer, Roddick, Henman, Agassi, Coria, Nadal, Nalbandian, Hewitt, Safin, Davydenko, Djokovic, Ferrer, Ferrero, Moya, Philippoussis, Gonzalez, Robredo, Blake, Gaudio, Grosjean, Gasquet, Ljubicic, Ancic, Schuettler.

– Federer’s 2.64 matches per tie is the best (Safin is next closest at 2.26).

– Only one player has played more matches than Federer’s 58 rubbers/matches: Lleyton Hewitt (66 matches).

– The only five players who have played more ties than Federer’s 22 ties are Safin (23 ties), Gonzales (23 ties), Nalbandian (24 ties), Roddick (25 ties), Hewitt (33 ties).

Federer’s Davis Cup record surpasses most of the great modern players (with at least 4 grand slam titles). Only Vilas, Edberg, McEnroe, Becker and Wilander have played more matches and ties than Federer. Federer is projected to surpass most of them by the time he retires.


Based on grendel’s logic Federer has “huger responsibility” to the world since Federer’s reputation and popularity transcends Switzerland — he is a global icon, an international figure, like Einstein and Mandela. Swiss television announced “The whole world loves Roger Federer,” when reporting the results of the poll indicating Federer has the second-best worldwide reputation of any public figure (behind only former South African president Nelson Mandela). The US-based Reputation Institute surveyed 50,000 people in 25 countries on how popular, respected, admired, and trusted were 54 public figures.

In the bigger picture, simply because Federer has a huge reputation in Switzerland (and the Swiss people expect Federer to give to them) does not impose the burdens and obligations of a “huge responsibility to his country” on Federer. It’s Federer’s free will on whether and how much he chooses to give to the Swiss people (he would still enjoy that huge reputation, regardless). Just because you’re the most popular person walking down a street lined with panhandlers, does not impose a huge reponsibility on you to donate your money to them. Whether you choose to do so is another matter.

Of course rich Federer can “afford to waive fees” for Davis Cup, but he’s still entitled to be compensated for value he creates. We know that Britain’s Sunday Times ranked Federer fifth richest athlete of all time (behind Arnold Palmer, Michael Jordan, Michael Schumacher and Tiger Woods). [In grendel’s link, I don’t buy Tony Godsick’s convenient comments to the Swiss media that Federer being Swiss makes him appealing to commercial sponsors (otherwise more Swiss icons would have an advantage over counterparts from much larger economies)]. The bulk of Federer’s wealth comes from outside Switzerland.

But far greater than money are the intangible sacrifices that Federer makes whenever he plays Davis Cup. That’s because of the burden and consequences of Davis Cup on his ATP Tour goals. Playing Davis Cup is worthless to his ranking (the 25 points he gained will be worthless after Basel) or his title ambitions (he’s unliikely to win Davis Cup with the current team) — yet Federer has said that each Davis Cup tie costs him one Masters 1000 event (Federer did not play three Masters events over the past 52 weeks: Shanghai, Monte Carlo, Toronto 3,000 points). The burden of Davis Cup is relevant given that 31-year old Federer has played so much (he has played about as many matches as 25-year old Djokovic in his prime over the past three seasons).

It’s clear that Federer does not consider Davis Cup a priority nor does it give him value that he prefers. He has said this directly/indirectly in numerous interviews. For example, Federer explained in January 2010 (L’Equipe): “I consider that a Davis Cup round amounts to take out one Masters 1000″ (i.e., for each Davis Cup tie he plays, Roger has to sacrifice one Masters 1000 from his schedule) and “People have to understand that it’s just not possible to do everything. Had I made another choice, maybe I wouldn’t have won (2009 French Open) last year. Do people prefer me to play the Davis Cup or to hold the (Grand Slam) record? Don’t Swiss people prefer having me as the world No. 1? If I play it and then it costs me in the rankings, people will always be there to tell me: ‘Ho, hum, you’re not No 1 anymore!’ ”

It’s beside the point that Davis Cup regulars (e.g., Stepanek, Berdych, Hewitt, Nalbandian, Ferrer, Roddick) “are by no stretch of the imagination poor. But none of them are remotely in the same financial league as Federer…” In economic terms, there’s an opportunity cost for Federer to play Davis Cup while for these guys there are only benefits. These guys are not highly successful on the ATP tour (even if they once were, e.g., Hewitt) so they are attracted to the financial reward, success and other tangible/intangible benefits they get from Davis Cup. Do this mental exercise: wipe away the Davis Cup records of the players mentioned — now how do you perceive each of them without their Davis Cup auras? Imagine Nalbandian as if he never ever played Davis Cup, etc. WIth DC, they seem like lesser players. On the other hand, remove Davis Cup from Federer’s aura, it’s negligible. So these lesser players are motivated to play Davis Cup for reasons other than what motivates top players like Federer.

Though grendel judges that ‘making moral judgements – for instance, calling someone “selfless” – is always a hazardous business. Personally, I have always thought of Federer as a very normal young man, not especially “this” or especially “that” ‘ let’s bear in mind that grendel too is making a personal judgment himself.

Although one part of me agrees with grendel on using loaded terms such as “patriotic” and “selfless”, the other part of me has a ‘huge responsibility’ to deliberately use such terms in order to debunk the false narrative that Federer is selfish and unpatriotic while Djokovic and Nadal are patriotic and selfless. A quick Google of [ “Davis Cup” patriotic OR patriotism ] and [ “Davis Cup” selfless OR selfish OR self-centered ] shows that this is an issue. For example, Tennis Magazine’s Peter Bodo wrote in April: “Some Davis Cup stars wear their patriotism on their sleeves, in the manner of Novak Djokovic…” L’ Equipe magazine questioned Federer: “You withdrew from the Davis Cup 1st round… Some said it was self-centered and unpatriotic. People thought that after having beaten Sampras’ record you would be able to play the Davis Cup”

Dave Says:

And thanksmuch, Sienna and Tz.

grendel Says:

“Based on grendel’s logic Federer has “huger responsibility” to the world since Federer’s reputation and popularity transcends Switzerland”. That is quibbling, imo. Still, I don’t doubt that in a way, Federer does feel a responsibility to a world which has granted him such extraordinary priviliges. Even so, patriotism – whatever you think of it, and Dr.Johnson famously remarked of it “that it was the last refuge of a scoundrel” – carries a special resonance, we all know that.

Also, “responsibility” is a difficult and complex concept. For instance, I think it is likely (no, I don’t know, but what I am suggesting is complimentary) that Federer does feel the burden of being such a uniquely famous person of such a tiny country. Even so, you were right to pick me up on my saying “Federer has a responsibility…” That was careless, since I don’t believe anything so simplistic. I certainly think he “feels” a sense of responsibility – and nor do I think that is a matter of “free will”. Powerful feelings like these are involuntary, although the degree to which you exercise them leaves perhaps some role for “choice”.

“[In grendel’s link, I don’t buy Tony Godsick’s convenient comments to the Swiss media that Federer being Swiss makes him appealing to commercial sponsors”. No, and nor, in that link for instance, does Fabien Ohl. From my point of view, that is a distraction and an irrelevance – I simply posted the link to give who ever wanted it some idea of how wealthy Federer is. No doubt any other of a number of links would have done.

“Of course rich Federer can “afford to waive fees” for Davis Cup, but he’s still entitled to be compensated for value he creates”. That is rather straining at gnats. He is “legally” entitled, of course. But the fee is meaningless to someone with his income – and it is you who originally made an issue of it, actually calling it a “sacrifice”.

That Federer has had to do some juggling w.r.t the Davis Cup of course is true. There is indeed a conflict of interests, and Dave is convincing that this is stronger in Federer’s case than that of other players. That is where the business of responsibility comes in. It is no simple matter to assess, and I certainly wouldn’t try.

But:”In economic terms, there’s an opportunity cost for Federer to play Davis Cup while for these guys there are only benefits”. By opportunity costs, do you mean Federer could be earning money elsewhere? If so, I repeat this is just unimportant for a man so incredibly rich. Where the business of wealth is concerned, the world has treated Federer very kindly indeed.

These guys “are attracted to the financial reward, success and other tangible/intangible benefits they get from Davis Cup”. The word “intangible” covers many sins, but anyway this is a partial view. Of course the motivations of “these guys” is multi-varied, as it is with all of us, including Federer. Thus “these guys” are motivated by notions of patriotism and honour, too, as well as the things Dave mentions. In what ratio? Well,obviously that must vary from player to player.

w.r.t. to the mental exercise (when you say:”WIth DC, they seem like lesser players”, I take it you meant “without”) I daresay it is a good one for some people, but personally (and I stress this is only personal)I attach little importance to the Davis Cup – not as a judgement, I hasten to add – it just doesn’t particularly appeal to me. My views of all these players are thus not even touched by the Davis Cup – but I daresay others will have different impressions.

“let’s bear in mind that grendel too is making a personal judgment himself.” Yes, that is true and pretty unavoidable. Utter detachment etc is not possible, but “personal judgement” is not quite the same as “moral judgement”. If you make any observations at all, you can’t help but make, at least implicitly, some sort of judgement. You can soften this by the language you use – thus I say I “think”, stress it is “personal”. Implicit in this is an acceptance that others will think differently.

As for the desire ” to debunk the false narrative that Federer is selfish and unpatriotic while Djokovic and Nadal are patriotic and selfless” that is understandable, so long as it is understand that the debunking comes from a man standing firmly in Federer’s corner. No doubt there are knowledgeable posters, and Dave is certainly knowledgeable, who could do the same for Djokovic and Nadal.

jamie Says:–31327590

Federer has been threatened to death by a crazy Chinese for one week. The
Chinese police are giving him superior protection, his practise will be
closed to the public and they will not let fans approach too near from him.

A Chinese webposter with the pseudo “Blue cat” started on the 25th of
september posting on a frequented Chinese sports website a sentence “let you
know that I’m going to kill Roger Federer” with a photoshop of a beheaded
Fed. Then he kept on every day and the Chinese police was alerted.
Fed landed on a small airport rather than in Shanghai main airport.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

This is so sad. I hope they arrest the culprit, lock him up and throw away the key. Even if he’s an unstable person it’s still not nice to receive death threats.

wilfried-b Says:

Some very good comments, Dave.
Marc Rosset’s latest blog “Jouable, à condition que…” also sheds some light on what I would call Switserland’s “Davis Cup problem”:
(…) « Sinon, rien à signaler, à part que notre paire de double est toujours aussi misérable et qu’on ne gagnera jamais le Saladier d’Argent avec deux joueurs aussi peu complémentaires. Je l’avais déjà dit, je le répète : si on veut un jouer gagner la Coupe Davis – si du moins cet objectif est encore d’actualité ? – on devra pouvoir compter sur un double de qualité. Or, ce n’est pas en jouant une fois tous les tremblements de terre que Stan et Rodgeur pourront créer une équipe qui tienne la route. A l’époque de nos exploits avec Jakob, on écumait plusieurs tournois par saison et avions réussi, à force de matchs en commun, à former une équipe, une vraie. Mais bon, comme on dit, il est difficile de faire boire une Nadège, pardon, un âne qui n’a pas soif : autant Rodgeur que Stan n’ont aucune envie de jouer ensemble sur le circuit… Bref, on est voués à être bons en simple car le double semble perdu d’avance dans ces conditions. En trois mots comme en mille, c’est pas gagné… »

rogerafa Says:

The opportunity cost for Roger is more in terms of lost rest or training. This affects his regular schedule and results which affect his ranking points. Since he is such a big contender for whom the stakes are so high, his opportunity cost is much greater and goes much beyond money compared to other players.

Dave Says:

jamie, at this moment no one knows if the death threat cam from a a Chinese poster. What we know is the threat came on a popular Chinese site. But the post could have been posted inside China (the poster still may not be a Chinese person) or posted in another part of the world. This unknown poster may be anyone from a crazy dangerous person… to a fanatical fan who is trying to disrupt Federer’s performance in Shanghai and run at the year-end No.1 finish (e.g., a fanatical fan of Djokovic, Murray or even Nadal). In any case, such a death threat is a very serious police matter: if anyone here suspects any poster who might make such a death threat you should contact ATP officials at least, or even the police.

According to news reports, this is the online death threat:

“On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination,” read the message, posted under the name ‘Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07’ on
The user also posted a doctored image showing a decapitated Federer on his knees on a tennis court, with a masked executioner dressed in black and holding an axe posing next to him.

I’ll reply to grendel and wilfried’s posts later. Death threats take priority.

Wilfried, Marc Rosset’s opportunistic comments don’t tell the whole story (e.g., Rosset and Hlasek’s doubles ‘exploits’ and the fact that they still failed to win Davis Cup after they got to the finals with a good draw).

sienna Says:

I am sick from the deaththreat.
I hope Roger is not affected by it.

Are mirka and the twins there ?
They better go back home. Even more stuff for Fed to worry about.

Let us not get fooled in this crazy world where people start to shoot at random in malls and high schools.

What is going on? Obama lets Romney kick his behind in the first debat and a deaththreat for TMF.

alison Says:

Dave i wouldnt like to think anyone on this forum would be capable of saying something like that,however its a wicked world we live in so you dont know what people are capable of,ive never had a death threat,but i had an ex boyfriend who stalked me,when he couldnt get the message that the relationship was over pretty scarey stuff at the time, luckily he got the message in the end,however Roger has the financial means necassary to afford 24 hour protection if need be,must be very frightening for a man with a wife and two small children though,i wish Roger and his family all the best.

the DA Says:

“to a fanatical fan who is trying to disrupt Federer’s performance in Shanghai and run at the year-end No.1 finish”

haha….a conspiracy theorist to boot. Unfortunately I think that was actually written in all seriousness.

Alok Says:

How about stop being a DA and show some concern for another human being.

Dave Says:

alison: omg, I hope that stalking threat has ended. Sorry to hear bout it.

This death threats must be causing some anxiety to not just Federer but he also brought a large entourage (besides Mirka and the girls). Now they’ll be locked down and can’t visit the city Shanghai freely (they probably made the trip expecting to see the sights). Federer has landed in Shanghai but there’s been a news blackout on his arrival in China.

Alok: normal human beings show compassion and corn for other human beings. I think we can reach the logical conclusion that the DA is not a human being.

alison Says:

Dave thanks but it was many many years ago now,just an ex boyfriend who could not get that the relationship was over,thankfully though he got the message in the end.

Dave Says:

wilfried-b: thanks, and for the info as well. Marc Rosset is lying if he thinks that he and Jacob Hlasek are a quality doubles pair (see below). What Rosset also does not reveal is that it probably made financial sense for them to play Davis Cup for the steady compensation they got (in 1992, the year they reached the Davis Cup finals, Rosset was ranked No.35 and Hlasek 36). Though they both briefly reached the top 10 at different times in their careers, they were not great players. Despite this, Federer has already played as many matches (58) as Rosset, and Federer’s 22 ties is close to Rosset’s 26 ties.

Rosset-Hlasek got to the 1992 Davis Cup finals because they had a ‘lucky draw’ and circumstances: Netherlands, France and Brazil were weak teams (France’s had Guy Forget played only doubles, presumbly injured). Rosset-Hlasek lost to the only to decent doubles teams from France and USA. Their loss to the inexperienced team of young Sampras and 33 year old McEnroe was pivotal in Switzerland’s loss.

The Rosset-Hlasek win-loss is only 7-5 (they played between 1990 and 1996). Their losses were to quality doubles teams. Their wins were against weak teams.

Marc Rosset and Jacob Hlasek’s five losses to better or average teams:

– 1994 SUI d. ZIM: BLACK, Byron/ BLACK, Wayne 3-6 3-6 4-6

– 1993 IND d. SUI: KRISHNAN, Ramesh/ PAES, Leander 7-6(4) 6-7(10) 5-7 6-2 3-6

– 1992 USA d. SUI: MCENROE, John/ SAMPRAS, Pete 7-6(5) 7-6(7) 5-7 1-6 2-6

– 1992 SUI d. FRA: FORGET, Guy/ LECONTE, Henri 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-7(5) 4-6

– 1990 YUG d. SUI: IVANISEVIC, Goran/ PRPIC, Goran 6-3 3-6 4-6 2-6

Marc Rosset and Jacob Hlasek’s seven wins against weaker teams and players (even Mansdorf and Haarhuis were outranked by either Rosset or Hlasek):

– 1996 SUI d. MAR: EL AAREJ, Mounir/ TAHIRI, Mehdi 6-2 6-2 6-0

– 1995 SUI d. NZL: DOWNS, Steven/ HUNT, Alistair 7-6(5) 6-1 6-1

– 1994 SUI d. INA: SUSETYO, Donny/ WIRYAWAN, Bonit 6-3 7-6(5) 6-2

– 1993 ISR d. SUI: BLOOM, Gilad/ MANSDORF, Amos 6-2 6-2 6-2

– 1992 SUI d. BRA: MOTTA, Cassio/ ROESE 6-3 6-4 6-3

– 1992 SUI d. NED: HAARHUIS, Paul/ KOEVERMANS, Mark 6-2 5-7 6-3 6-1

– 1991 SUI d. NZL: EVERNDEN, Kelly/ STEVEN, Brett 4-6 7-6(4) 6-3 6-4

In 2003, Rosset was the playing team captain who played doubles. the key reason Switzerland lost their Davis Cup semifinal against Australia is that the great doubles team of Rosset-Federer lost a five setter against Todd Woodbrige and Wayne Arthurs. The next day the exhausted Federer lost a five setter against the rested Lleyton Hewitt (Federer had straight setted Philippoussis the first day). Switzerland had a poor second singles player (Kratochvil) so they had to win doubles and Federer both singles. The moment they lost the doubles, the tie was likely lost. That was Rosset’s last ever match in Davis Cup although he retired from the ATP in 2005.


Grendel, I’ll try to write more later when I have time. I know we’ll start off quibbling about the meaning of quibbling, lol.

Unfortunately, most of your points are weak or questionable.

For example, when you write “Still, I don’t doubt that in a way, Federer does feel a responsibility to a world which has granted him such extraordinary priviliges” all you’re revealing is your own mindset about yourself, what you feel that Federer should feel. You’re not a mind reader (so you don’t really know what Federer really thinks) and Federer has never said in recent years that he plays Davis Cup because he feels a responsibility to Switzerland, despite that being a sound bite that the Swiss news media would eat up. What Federer has said is that he plays Davis Cup because it’s the only time he gets to spend with his buddies on the team like Stan and Marco (I’m not even sure this is the whole story). As you can see, we’ll be debating on speculations that are really reflective of our own attitudes and preferences.

You’re right that I had meant to write: “Without DC, they seem like lesser players.”

I hope I can find time later today to write more on your reply.

Dave Says:

alison: that’s good to hear that it finally worked out. You should not have had to experience it, though.

Anyway, thought you might like this:

Toni Nadal reveals why he succeeded as a coach

alison Says:

Thankyou Dave and thanks for the link,very interesting.

grendel Says:

@Dave :” You’re not a mind reader (so you don’t really know what Federer really thinks)” -this is your standard response, generally a self-serving one. It is not about reading the mind of Federer, of course. It is about responding to how the normal man would feel in such circumstances. My contention has always been that Federer is indeed a very normal man. I am not sure if you understand what that is, though. To call a poster “not a human being” as a logical response to something he said, even if it is meant frivolously, is kind of disgusting, and so over the top that one has to wonder. It is also dripping in malice.

You’re adducing the buddies quote from Federer is either naive or disingenuous – hard to tell with you. I believe Federer when he said that. But I also believe that underlying Federer’s whole approach going back many years is a sense of responsibility and this again because Federer is a normal man, and that would be a normal response. It would also be normal not to make a song and dance about it.

wilfried Says:

@ Dave
Thanks for your reply, Dave.
I agree with you that the intangible sacrifices that Federer makes whenever he plays Davis Cup are far greater than just the money aspect. There’s not much to gain for Federer in Davis Cup ties, only critics and opportunity costs as you have put it very well in your comment.
But Marc Rosset’s short blog reveals in my opinion (without explicitly talking about it) some underlying problems in the Swiss Davis Cup “team” that at surface don’t appear to exist.
First of all Marc’s comment that you can’t force a donkey to go drink out of the well seem to imply that neither Federer nor Wawrinka are ready to make the slightest change in their tour schedule in order to be able to prepare together for a Davis Cup double match (which in Mark Rosset’s view is the clue to eventually winning a Davis Cup). Federer admits that the Davis Cup isn’t one of his priorities, but what about Stan’s priorities ? Is he not the guy that left his (beautiful) baby’s mother and separated from her to maximize his personal ambitions on the tour because he considered her has an obstacle to realize his career objectives? Doesn’t that reveal something about the guy’s priorities at that particular time at least… ?
Second, Roger’s comments in the past with regard to Stan’s performance in the Davis Cup have not always been diplomatic enough. You can’t afford such a thing though in a hypersensitive country like Switserland, a federal state composed of different communities , with 4 official spoken languages (in different parts of the country), where these communities don’t really constitute a unity, not to say that many French speaking Swiss don’t really like the German speaking Swiss (for whatever reason it may be).
Davis Cup is a team competition. If you don’t dispose of a real team spirit in your team, you won’t win. You may have the best football players in the world, but if these players play to “perso(nal)”,to individual, they’ll lose as a team.

the DA Says:

“normal human beings show compassion and corn for other human beings”

hehe…and you deduced this because I questioned your theory about a fan being behind the threat? This from the poster who scolds others for a lack of “facts”, “logic” and “common sense”. Priceless. BTW, I’m not lacking in compassion. I’m very concerned about your state of mind.

“To call a poster “not a human being” … is kind of disgusting”

Thanks grendel. I quite agree.

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