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Breaking News: Cahill Out 03/11/2009 - 2:34 PM

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by Pete Bodo

Well, it seems like it's official - Chris Clarey is reporting that the coaching relationship between Roger Federer and Darren Cahill is dead in the water. Apparently, Cahill had second thoughts about the degree-of-commitment involved, especially in terms of international travel for at least 20 weeks of the year. This is a fairly strange development and I have to wonder if there isn't more to this story than meets the eye.

For one thing, I have to assume the Cahill had a pretty good idea of where Roger Federer lived and trained long before Roger agreed to work with him (in Dubai) on a trial basis. Wouldn't this have been discussed in the first stages of this potential partnership, and certainly before Cahill actually went to an audition in Dubai?

I suppose there's an outside chance that Cahill found life in Dubai a flat-out nightmare. This wouldn't surprise me, although the immediate reaction to this observation might be:  You'd think a guy living in Las Vegas would have no problem with that kind of environment.

Sure, but. . . When i last visited Andre Agassi in Vegas(about a year ago), he went out of his way to impress on my the degree to which Vegas, as a city, has totally outgrown but still must live with the "Sin City" stereotype. Many consider it a great place to raise a family, and I'm not sure comparisons with Dubai are in any substantial way accurate.

Still, how much time would Cahill have been required to spend in Dubai?

There's also the possibility that Federer and Cahill just didn't get comfortable with each other, on court. Perhaps they didn't see eye-to-eye when it comes to strategic issues, especially Cahill's notions about what The Mighty Fed might need to do about turning around his record against Nadal. That's not necessarily the kind of discussion either man wants to get into.

And here's another thing, and one I touched on in my Gilded Cage post of yesterday: Federer is thought by many to be a control-freak. Perhaps Cahill decided that he would have to sacrifice too much of his independence and autonomy in order to be taken into the Federer cabal - said by some to be  clutch of "yes" men.  And let's face it - the omni-present Mirka, valuable as she may be to TMF, could be a formidable hurdle. Perhaps it was a mistake to have the audition in Dubai, and a part of me things Federer and Cahill should have gone off to a different location to get a feeling for each other.  A caveat: I don't know how many of Federer's inner circle were around in Dubai during the tryout.

Beyond that, I don't care how many amazing meals Cahill enjoyed in Dubai, or how great the valet-service was at the hotel. Cahill never struck me as a particularly impressionable guy (in terms of aspirations to the high life), and what opulence he experienced (and with which he found himself surrounded) might have been more off-putting than attractive. I can imagine a pretty uncomplicated Aussie dude waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, 700-thread count cotton sheets sopping wet, and feeling as if I were being absorbed into some alternate reality that threatened to suck away my very identity.

When you're a guy with as much going on as Cahill, you have to ask yourself: Do I really want to sacrifice so many of my options (including my ability and desire to speak to whoever the hail I want, any time I want, about anything I want) just to be associated with some other guy's quest to become the GOAT?

This, I think, is a very serious and legitimate concern. Legions of people couldn't imagine anything better than carrying Federer's water, but Cahill probably isn't one of them. He has a life of his own. The degree to which that life would be compromised by working with Federer may have gnawed at him - regardless of how he feels about Federer as a person or player. But why that wouldn't have occurred to Cahill much sooner in the process is mystifying - unless he embarked on the tryout thinking, What the hail, it's an experiment. Maybe Roger will be so impressed with my skills that he's bend a little on the requirements. Or I'll be so impressed by him that I'll bend on mine.  At any rate, this visit could be valuable to me in terms of my reputation and my work as a commentator. . .

One thing is for sure: coach-player relationships have to succeed on a number of practical levels in order to be sustainable and effective. When Paul Annacone hired on with Pete Sampras, he was a married dad who had to think about his financial future. But Pete was a fellow American (living, as Annacone did, on the east coast) and, significantly, something of a lone wolf. There were none of the kinds of complications cited above. Plus, the two men had been friends through Pete's previous coach, Tim Gullikson (whom Annacone replaced when Gullikson was diagnosed with brain cancer). Bob Brett coached Boris Becker under similar terms, and the same is true for the Brad Gilbert-Andre Agassi relationship. Those partnerships made sense in a variety of ways, and didn't pull either party far out of his comfort zone.

To some degree, the decisions Federer made about where to live and train may present more formidable obstacles than we might expect, and demand of a potential coach the kinds of sacrifices and adjustments that candidates who have known significant success, and have options, may not be disposed to make. When you think about it, Federer's coaches have been either obscure (and perhaps right-guy, right-place( types, or grizzled war dogs who had done a lot of their career heavy lifting (Tony Roche and Jose Higueras). Cahill doesn't fall into either category.

Now I have another theory here, and I'm advancing it as just that:

Perhaps Roger Federer was not entirely content with either what Cahill brought to the table, or the terms under which he wanted to work (the reasons might have been anything from those cited above to a disagreement over salary, or Cahill's insistence that he not have to go through Mirka to get to Roger). Federer's inner sanctum then recognized that while being the one to pull the plug would make Federer appear to be in one in control, it would also raise potentially uncomfortable questions: Why is Federer being so stubborn? Is the guy too picky? Is he afraid to change his game, or give the highly-regarded Cahill enough control to make a difference?

Wouldn't it make far more sense to let Cahill be the one to scotch the deal?  In so doing, it takes significant pressure - and attention - off Federer's shoulders. The story now becomes, Poor Roger, Cahill turned him down! The theme generates more sympathy and no second-guessing of Federer's motives or state of mind. Spin it this way and you also save Cahill potential embarrassment, and protect him from insinuations that he somehow didn't make the grade.

In other words, everybody wins.

That narrative might not be honest, but it's painless. I'm curious to hear what Roger has to say about all this at Indian Wells.


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Posted by 03/11/2009 at 09:06 PM

The only thing Federer needs a coach for is to advise him on how to take a loss like a man.

Posted by VE 03/11/2009 at 09:14 PM

I've only read the first page of comments so far, but as the role of Mirka keeps coming up, this isn't about Mirka being a strong woman or a woman at all as many would want to accuse Pete of saying. I recall Pete writing virtually THE SAME THING regarding the relationship of Carlos Rodriguez and Justine Henin, re: her marriage to Pierre-Yves Hardenne. Being tightly bound to any one person makes it difficult for someone else to truly make their way into that group. It's that simple, yeesh!

Posted by Jazz 03/11/2009 at 09:15 PM

Federer taking a loss like a man? Are you kidding me? that will never happen. A 2-year old can take losing better than Fed. Actually, this is probably the best reason of all for Federer to get a coach.

Posted by Annie 03/11/2009 at 09:16 PM

And didn't rafa have a championship point in the 4th set of the 07 wimby final? we could do this all night.

Posted by Russ 03/11/2009 at 09:16 PM

nT @ 4:08: If Mirka's the gatekeeper, does that make Roger the keymaster? Is Rafa Zuul?

Posted by CurleyKew 03/11/2009 at 09:19 PM

If Roger keeps losing, perhaps Mirka will jump ship and saddle up to a player who is winning.

Posted by 03/11/2009 at 09:20 PM

What an appalling peice of.... I can't call this journalism, so.... You manage to insult Federer in a record number of ways while swimming in pure speculation and insinuations. Shocking shocking ordinary stuff Bodo.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 09:23 PM

Annie

You mean Wimbledon 2008. Yes he did, and he won in the end.

I was only responding to tony snedker's speculation.

Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 09:24 PM

Russ I sure wish it made me Sigourney Weaver.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/11/2009 at 09:28 PM

nT: I'm pleasantly surprised (and maybe a little disappointed) to see you holding back on this Pete vs Mirka debate. I assume it's not worth your while.

Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 09:32 PM

Mr & Mrs D, I am perhaps smug in the knowledge that Mr. Bodo will never ever get that one on one with Feduhruh now... coz that Mirkuh is just, well ... you saw the video I posted earlier.

Posted by Pete 03/11/2009 at 09:37 PM

A few things:

I find it ironic in the extreme that none of the Fed fans here take exception to what I think is an almost arrogant explanation of the situation. Jay-zus, Cahill makes it sound like he did Roger a huge freaking favor by agreeing to this audition, then changed his mind in what has to be a pretty fickle move (given my claim in the post that Cahill knew where Dubai is on the globe, and knew he had kids). It's like it's all about Cahill and I find that deeply weird.

Hey, maybe Cahill's wife threatened to leave him if he took the job. File that under the heading about truths you absolutely need to spin in a way that isn't too embarrassing for you. Is that scenario plausible? If it's true, and you were Cahill, would you stand before the world and admit it? And for gosh sakes, the Alexises of this world must learn to read in a way that doesn't take this to mean that I think Cahill's wife scotched the deal.

And to those who are hounding me about "speculation" etc. I never pretended my post is anything other than conjecture and analysis; the piece is flush with it. I felt I had to get a reaction piece published ASAP, and this is where my thoughts - along with a pretty intimate knowledge of some or all of these characters, and how pro tennis players think and work - led me. So kill me.

And on Pat Cash. He is not a journalist in any way shape or form. He's a celebrity tennis player who gets paid to air his opinion to a writer/editor who then turns it into a column.

Personally, I believe the most valuable observation in the post is that Federer may be paying a price for setting up shop in Dubai (I think it was in the post; if not maybe I said it the comments). I assume from Cahill's interview that if Roger set up shop in a more convenient location it might have been a go. How often does a potentially career-altering partnership fall apart on this basis?

Posted by Annie 03/11/2009 at 09:38 PM

oh I mistakenly thought rafa had a championship point in the 07 match and then went on to lose it.

Posted by Texastennis 03/11/2009 at 09:39 PM

Amazing number of posts very quickly...

A couple of observations:

1) Agassi is a famously generous employer, Fed maybe not so much (a la Roche) and I don't mean that as a negative, just that the Agassi pay rate might have been one others aren't willing to match even if they have the $$

2) Cahill does seem to second guess himself. After Agassi retired, he and his family went back to Australia for maybe a year and then returned to Las Vegas. Maybe the Dubai outing was a shorter version of the same.

3) Cahill apparently has a busy and lucrative set up doing whatever various things he's doing now. Coaching Fed is maybe an appealingc hange and a nice ego boost, but once he got out there he might have thought for any number of reasons that in fact he wasn't up for that instead of what he's currently got going.

4) I was surprised to hear of Agassi planning to start playing the Champions tour as well as WTT and the Wimbledon exo, all coming out just as the Fed-Cahill Dubai story got going, but Agassi also said he'd be training with Cahill. Maybe it wasn't clear where all this would be going on. Did Cahill think Fed might consider a US base? I've got to think Agassi's still Cahill's #1 client, considering his base in LV, much commented though (although unspecified) close business as well as personal relationship with Agassi etc.

5) Mirka - always getting the blame. Remember Cahill's used to coaching a guy whose wife won 22 grand slams. I think he could have handled that.

6) Fed needs a coach, If not Cahill, then who?

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/11/2009 at 09:43 PM

Mr. Bodo: I didn't realize Cahill and his wife were having marital troubles.......I'm kidding, I'm kidding!

Posted by Tony 03/11/2009 at 09:43 PM

what all this discussion has told me is that, indeed, Roger Federer does live in a gilded cage... I wonder whether he has changed, and changed a lot, and who has influenced that change for the most part? I think Mirka certainly... Why is he in Dubai? Dubai means something; it tells me that the Federers want to be part of the elite club, for Dubai is all about wealth, not about culture, or history, or class. When I think of Federer now, I can't help but think of Dorian Grey... Something has changed. The guy has I think become obsessed with himself, with his legacy, with his stature. And Pete was right. Perfection has led him to build a gilded cage around him...gilded with gold, but a cage nonetheless. I think the only way the Federer can spring back is if he tries to recover the former simplicity and exuberance he had as a younger player. The problem of hype that celebrity brings is that Federer may have ended up believing all of it...

This is the reason why I am hoping that Nadal remain the simple guy from Manacor and not end up another celebrity a la Federer...

Posted by Russ 03/11/2009 at 09:45 PM

Pete-- haven't you learned by now that it's totally unnecessary to bait Fed fans?! We frazzle enough already ;)

Posted by anobservation 03/11/2009 at 09:48 PM

Federer can never have a coach for he can get along with nobody except himself and Mirka. His ego, alone, could not handle a coach.

Posted by Tony 03/11/2009 at 09:49 PM

The Swiss have a reputation for being stingy...and materialistic. The Swiss economy is built on rapaciousness (their banking system) and on stinginess. It could be that the Fed can be generous with such as Roche. But Cahill does not have the stature of Roche, and with these difficult financial times, I wonder...

Posted by Pete 03/11/2009 at 09:51 PM

Let me re-phrase my first and most important point in a clearer fashion: I am amazed that Federer fans aren't all up in arms about the stark reality that the most basic headline to this story is "Cahill says No Thanks To Roger Federer" (to whom he previously said, "you can't afford me.")

This tells me a lot about how desperate and depressed so many Federer fans are, and the degree to which they thought that Cahill was some kind of magic bullet for TMF. Instead of being bummed out and defensive, if TMF were my guy, I would be very angry at Cahill, and suspect him of crass opportunism and self-promotion - at TMF's expense.

And look, TMF fans, as much as Roger needs a coach, this undercurrent of feeling that all of a sudden Cahill will restore TMF to pre-2008 glory is just wishful think. He's a friggin' coach, not a magician. And at the end of the day messers. Nadal, Murray, Djokovic and Tsonga will have a say in all this too.

Posted by jkla 03/11/2009 at 09:52 PM

Who cares whether Federer has a coach or not? Bottom line, he can't beat Nadal - with or without a coach.

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 09:55 PM

what all this discussion has told me is that, indeed, Roger Federer does live in a gilded cage... I wonder whether he has changed, and changed a lot, and who has influenced that change for the most part? I think Mirka certainly... Why is he in Dubai? Dubai means something; it tells me that the Federers want to be part of the elite club, for Dubai is all about wealth, not about culture, or history, or class. When I think of Federer now, I can't help but think of Dorian Grey... Something has changed. The guy has I think become obsessed with himself, with his legacy, with his stature. And Pete was right. Perfection has led him to build a gilded cage around him...gilded with gold, but a cage nonetheless. I think the only way the Federer can spring back is if he tries to recover the former simplicity and exuberance he had as a younger player. The problem of hype that celebrity brings is that Federer may have ended up believing all of it...

This is the reason why I am hoping that Nadal remain the simple guy from Manacor and not end up another celebrity a la Federer..."

Another lol! Federer trains in Dubai becuase of the conditions, it's hotter than heck, which is really helpful for the Australia and US Hardcourt swing, it's location is also strategic for his traveling ... of all the sports celebrities in the world, none seems less affected by fame than Federer... he's not the one chasing acting roles,modeling shoots, etc.. he's the one practicing, training, playing playing playing, as he's done almost his whole career. Sheesh, your viewpoint of Federer seems about as wrong as it can be from everything I"ve read about the guy for many years now, from his own very consistent behavior, and everything people who really know him have said. What guy caught up in the glam celebrity life sticks with the same non supermodel girlfriend he's had since he was seventeen? His first and ONLY girlfriend I might add. Don't you think a Brazilian supermodel might be more in order for the kind of person you are describing above?

Posted by Pete 03/11/2009 at 09:56 PM

CL, gol-darn it!! You're spreading pure mis-information in your recent comment, so I am going to delete it. I said that I DISCOUNT complaints about Mirka from people who have been rebuffed, not that my knowledge of Mirka comes from them. I don't like grinding other people's axes from them. My knowledge about the Mirka-Roger situation comes from people who are observors or engaged with Fed at some level, but who have no "self-interest"to serve as far as I can tell.

Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 09:56 PM

But Mr Bodo, we don't need your take on this any longer as we have the words of both gentlemen in regards to what took place. Or perhaps your insider information is so inside that even the people involved don't know what you know.
Or they are big fat liars and we should take your word for it.

Posted by Syd 03/11/2009 at 09:57 PM

oh, dear God. Now we have:

Parsimonius Fed
Henpecked Fed
Washed up Fed
Metrosexual Fed
Poor chooser of training grounds Fed (sorry Pete)
Lying Fed (his back is so NOT hurt)
Nadal in Head Fed
Rejected Fed (Darren you are mean)

Posted by fmolinari2005 03/11/2009 at 09:58 PM

Great. Of course an expert/ insider should have all the right to gossip around. That never backfired ...ask Marta Stewart. As Colbert would say: truthiness is what counts. Truth is for sissies who read "books" and care about "facts".

For the record: great job on the geopolitical side of this entry. Roger indeed should consider training on a country a US citizen thinks is right.

About Mirka. Look. Sports is for men. Real, muscular, sweaty, yummy men. Women belong to the kitchen.

All in all, a great way to write an entry. I am off to read Sampras'biography now ...

Posted by VE 03/11/2009 at 09:58 PM

Oh btw Pete, don't feel as if you need to defend yourself. Not that I wouldn't react similarly if this were VE's Tennisworld, I'm just saying that you have a right to your opinion. That opinion's based on your perspective of being far closer to those in the know than most of your readers (myself included). From my vantage point, any or all of what you said could possibly be true, public statements notwithstanding.

With all of that said, tennis, anyone?

Posted by jkla 03/11/2009 at 10:00 PM

Pardon me, but what does "TMF" stand for? I used to enjoy watching Federer, but he has really become too into himself, cries like a baby when he loses and never gives credit to his opponent, it seems to always be about himself. At Wimbledon last year, he said "it's ashame to lose because of a little bit of light", and at the Australian Open he said "the best man does not always win". These statements turn me off about Federer. I like Nadal because he is a much better winner and loser, he is gracious in winning and in defeat, he is humble and doesn't lead this lavish lifestyle, he likes the simple life he has in Manacor with his childhood friends. If Federer gets a coach, I doubt it will help him, he used to win all the time without a coach. More importantly, he needs to try to act more like a "winner" off the court and take a page out of Nadal's book.

Posted by Ryota 03/11/2009 at 10:00 PM

Where did the news come from that Cahill was going to be Federer's coach anyway? I didn't see anything official out there so I don't get this brouhaha over this "failed" relationship.

Federer has won 13 grand slams and close to 60 titles - majority of which he didn't have a coach. Stop second guessing the guy! If he doesn't win his 14th and 15th slam, would it really be so bad?

Posted by Antoinette 03/11/2009 at 10:01 PM

Perhaps the reason Federer fans are not up in arms against Cahill is the fact that it was Cahill who made the overture to Federer and then decided that he could not commit to what Federer wanted. So if Cahill engaged in all this as a form of self promotion at Federer's expense then it is a bad reflection on him. The fact that Federer does not seem distraught by the turn of events would indicate that he did not see the advent of Coach Cahill as the miraculous event some people touted it to be.

Posted by koalakoala 03/11/2009 at 10:01 PM

Hi Rosangel, it would be greatly appreciated if you refrain from using F-word to refer to Federer.

Did this man do anything to you to make you speak of him with such a disdain?

Thanks.

Posted by sally 03/11/2009 at 10:02 PM

oh pete, your writing and opinions are wonderful. if people have a problem with them, they can leave. it's that simple. it is your blog after all.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 10:04 PM

Annie

No, in the 2007 Wimbledon final, Nadal went 0-1 down, then levelled sets to 1-1, went 1-2 down, levelled again at 2-2, then lost the last set 6-2. Kind of the same pattern as the Australian final open, but the other way around. He was always playing catch-up.

Posted by sally 03/11/2009 at 10:04 PM

oh yes, nadal is the bestest person in the world. when will he be appointed pope?

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:05 PM

Ah Peter ...you have perfected the art of kicking a sleeping dog. Nice. Very nice. I suppose it is slightly better than dead horse flogging, though you seem to be doing a bit of that as well.

THIS Fed fan was hopeful about Cahill but did not expect miracles. Only a fresh pair of eyes, really. I am actually mostly concerned about the state of Fed;s back, not his coaching situation. At least for right now. And sorry, I don't meet you standards for high dudegon re Cahill's behavior. Seems ok to me. If he'd rather romp with his kids than hang in Dubai...***shrug*** I take no offense.

Maybe part of the reason that I am not upset is that I actually BELIEVE what both Fed and Cahill SAID about how things did and didn't pan out. Seems perfectly reasonable to me, As a matter of fact, I believe what they said more than all your speculation and used tea bag readings.

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 10:06 PM

Posted by Pete 03/11/2009 @ 9:51 PM

Let me re-phrase my first and most important point in a clearer fashion: I am amazed that Federer fans aren't all up in arms about the stark reality that the most basic headline to this story is "Cahill says No Thanks To Roger Federer" (to whom he previously said, "you can't afford me.")

This tells me a lot about how desperate and depressed so many Federer fans are, and the degree to which they thought that Cahill was some kind of magic bullet for TMF. Instead of being bummed out and defensive, if TMF were my guy, I would be very angry at Cahill, and suspect him of crass opportunism and self-promotion - at TMF's expense.

And look, TMF fans, as much as Roger needs a coach, this undercurrent of feeling that all of a sudden Cahill will restore TMF to pre-2008 glory is just wishful think. He's a friggin' coach, not a magician. And at the end of the day messers. Nadal, Murray, Djokovic and Tsonga will have a say in all this too."

why would we be "up in arms" about Darren making a decision not to coach Roger if he feels like it's not in his family's b est interest??? Cahill deserves the right to do what he wants as much as Roger does. Frankly I'm pleased as PUNCH that Cahill didn't take the job, I don't want Roger with a superstar coach, just as this web blog article proves, bringing in Cahill brings in unnecessary scrutiny and analysis and pressure on Roger, that's the last thing Roger needs. Roger also needs a Coach that is in it just for him! Not somebody with a million irons in the fire and a big reputation to protect, etc like Cahill. The last thing this Federer fan feels is desperation.. to suggest a fan of that man should ever feel desperate is a joke.. he's already done many things nobody has done yet, he will probably do more things nobody has done in tennis, he's not done yet, h is health seems to be reasonably good, he's still got the fire and best of all, he's going to keep playing, no matter what. Ha! Federer is King.. he may not be winning as much as Nadal right now, but funny, Nadal just can't seem to hold the interest of folks all that long.. it's always Roger, Roger, Roger, probably becuase Federer is alot more intriguing person, has alot more charisma, nobody plays the game like Federer, or has dominated the game like him and never will and everybody knows it..Saying fans of Federer are desperate is like saying fans of Michael Jordan felt unsatisfied with his career. I never thought Cahill was a magic bullet, in fact I didn't want him as Roger's coach at all. As I posted before, Roger played some of his best, most deadly tennis with no real coach.If he's going to get a coach, which honestly I don't know that he needs, he needs somebody he trusts more than he needs a "big name"..

Posted by JE 03/11/2009 at 10:07 PM

Have not read all the posts but... I think it is Rog. TMF playing his best beats anyone but Nadal on any surface. So his question is do I bring in a coach to tweak my game, tactics etc. with the risk of playing worse for a while or do I wait for attrition to creep into Nadals' game?
At the age of 27 the answer is probably B. Next year, if things remain the same and the question really is will I ever win another major, perhaps the answer is A. He isn't desperate yet and many things can happen including illness. Why bring another personality in when Rog can convince himself if any small tactical changes are worth trying. If other people are consistently beating him in big matches the answer may also be A. My two cents.

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:07 PM

Peter - well if that is true.. about 'discounting' than I apologize, unreservedly. For that, and that alone. I'll go back and read what you said...assuming I can find it.

Posted by Pspace 03/11/2009 at 10:07 PM

""This tells me a lot about how desperate and depressed so many Federer fans are""

Pete, yep. That fits me. I find it odd when you still call him TMF.

Posted by Ren 03/11/2009 at 10:08 PM

Don't know if this is good or bad news!!!

Hah!

Good mornin' everyone!

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 10:10 PM

nT - you know, sometimes I'm really tempted to repay cruelty with cruelty, and occasionally I can't help myself. But this time my better nature wins out.

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 10:11 PM

Posted by Pete 03/11/2009 @ 9:56 PM

CL, gol-darn it!! You're spreading pure mis-information in your recent comment, so I am going to delete it. I said that I DISCOUNT complaints about Mirka from people who have been rebuffed, not that my knowledge of Mirka comes from them. I don't like grinding other people's axes from them. My knowledge about the Mirka-Roger situation comes from people who are observors or engaged with Fed at some level, but who have no "self-interest"to serve as far as I can tell. "

Well there it is Pete, you admit, your observations/ opinions about Mirka don't even come from your own personal experience. It's things you hear second hand. How do you know that what you hear isn't tinged with bitterness or jealousy or self interest? But the most important thing is "so what!" It's roger's choice to be with Mirka.. and that's all that counts. Obviously she's been great for him in many ways. She's there to be great for him, not anybody else... maybe that is the rub.

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 10:12 PM

Emphasis on "that, and that alone," eh, CL? How utterly gracious of you. I feel honored.

Posted by Ruth 03/11/2009 at 10:14 PM

I just caught up on the comments posted after I left to attend a study group, and I have to say that the last comment I read by a new (to me) commenter, Texastennis, at 9:39 and the comment by a regular TWer, Jenn, at 6:04 sum up how I feel about the topic of discussion in this post. So, I won't expound any further on this issue.

Pete: I know the old cliche about the squeaky wheel getting the oil, so I understand why you must respond to some of the very unfair and insulting charges made against you tonight.

However, I hope that you realize that, echoing something I said yesterday, at least 90% of the people who read TW are smart enough to know and appreciate the difference between the wild and crazy kind of speculation that we've seen elsewhere and the speculation, based on sound knowledge of the world of tennis and your unique insight, which informs your post about the Roger-Cahill story.

Posted by Russ 03/11/2009 at 10:15 PM

[chomp]

Pete: I'm not up in arms that Cahill said thanks but no thanks just because he said this to Fed. If the man didn't want the job for family reasons-- or any reasons, I can respect that. He's not obliged to do something he doesn't want to do. If Fed didn't think the fit was good-- that's his prerogative.

Taking on the job as full-time coach, as you've said on many an occasion-- is signing up to be the player's confidante, and companion 24-7, and means logging a lot of miles away from family. For a man with a wife and young kids, it's a big ask. As an TW-award-winning Fed Fan, sure, I'd have liked it to work-- but I don't hate Cahill for making the right decision for himself and his family.

Posted by Elena_YYZ 03/11/2009 at 10:16 PM

Texastennis @9:39 pm: loved your post, thank you!

Posted by Tony 03/11/2009 at 10:16 PM

"Mirka - always getting the blame. Remember Cahill's used to coaching a guy whose wife won 22 grand slams. I think he could have handled that."

But that's exactly the point. Mirka was a non-entity on the WTA Tour. Graf was probably the greatest of them all. So she knows what it takes... I have never come across any news item which states that Graf somehow got involved in Agassi's career, training, decisions on the court, etc. She kept to being a mere spectator, not a pseudo coach or manager or agent or anything like that.

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 10:16 PM

Posted by VE 03/11/2009 @ 9:14 PM

I've only read the first page of comments so far, but as the role of Mirka keeps coming up, this isn't about Mirka being a strong woman or a woman at all as many would want to accuse Pete of saying. I recall Pete writing virtually THE SAME THING regarding the relationship of Carlos Rodriguez and Justine Henin, re: her marriage to Pierre-Yves Hardenne. Being tightly bound to any one person makes it difficult for someone else to truly make their way into that group. It's that simple, yeesh!"

I for one, remember that stuff about Justine and her coach, and had the same distate for those "theories" as I do about all these Federer theories. Never once thought Carlos Rodriguez was any barrier between Justine and anybody she wanted to be close to, Justine Henin, just like Roger Federer, is a very strong willed person, nobody is going to keep anything away from her or Roger that they don't want kept away.

Posted by Ren 03/11/2009 at 10:16 PM

Is Roger better without a coach?

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 10:17 PM

But Cosi, for gosh sakes, who is questioning Roger being with Mirka?

All I've done is draw on my knowledge as a person in tennis, and with a very rolodex to suggest that Mirka may be a factor in all this - and note I uses the word "may" from the get-go.

You can choose to trust me - or not - when I say I am confident in my sources, and their motives, for sharing their information with me. One of the reasons I have that rolodex is because I know how to keep a confidence, and always will, even though it prevents me from telling some stories or revealing some things that would shock or amaze my readers. It's the cost of doing business the way I do it.

You can believe me or not; it's all the same to me.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/11/2009 at 10:18 PM

Ruth: "I think I love you."

....did I say that out loud?

Posted by Pierre 03/11/2009 at 10:19 PM

For someone who supposedly is so concerned with managing his image ... I can't help but notice lately...the back...the Davis Cup pullout...the Coach...the de-Coach...oh wait, I almost forgot, the Crying...

It almost makes me want to root for the guy. A few more calamities and he is going to be in Jim and Tammy Faye territory.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 10:21 PM

Texastennis

Federer has a coach.

Everyone else

What's all this gilded-cage business? From what I can see, Federer just gets on with his life. It's the journalists and fans who are running around like headless chickens. Do we know any more about Nadal, Djokovic or Roddick than we do about Federer?

All these players are just getting on with their lives, playing, training, eating, sleeping, watching videos, sending email, relaxing. It's everyone else who is so invested in every move they make. None of them are going to feel the need to report to the media everytime they go for a number 2. They do the press conferences, then they just live their normal lives like anyone else. Intimate details about their personal lives and relationships will not be shared with the public because it is none of our business. The press will only get very basic details about decisions made about tennis related matters and that's about it.

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 10:22 PM

Ruthie! Thanks. I know I shouldn't get drawn into some of this, but it's part of the job and something I sometimes enjoy as a perverse exercise in trying to hit just the right note in a response.

Posted by Tennis Fan 03/11/2009 at 10:23 PM

Mirka: Don't know anything about her except Fed seems to trust her implicitly. And is has worked. Has she wrecked his career? Don't think so. Maybe it's not perfect, but what relationship is? If she had complete control over Fed she be married to the guy. From my point of view she is taking great risk being his manager and his woman. She is heading down the path of The Donald/Ivana. How many tennis careers have been ruined or slowed by the wrong person as the trusted one including Dads, Mom, unlces, wrong girlfriend at the wrong time, etc.? Probably more that we know.


Cahill: All he has is a name. Does that mean he is a good coach? If he is, is he right for Federer? My guess is not. Fed was crying after the AO. Cahill in commentating on ESPN said he was uncomfortable with 'females' because some he had worked with did the same after tough loses. He is uncomfortable with emotion. Someone mentioned the Aussie/Euro thing. I don't think this clash of cultures can be underestimated, especially in this type of relationship. What really does Cahill bring to the table with regard to beating Nadal on clay? My guess is nothing. Agassi won RG under that other guy, I can't think of his name right now. When you think of Hewitt, do you think clay? Obviously, not. On other surfaces, does Roger really need some coaching? Wimbly and AO were so close they could have gone either way. No on can say that Rafa is dominate on either grass or hard car (as far as in relation to RF - not anyone else). Maybe age and Mono is affecting Fed. Now it is a mental and physical battle, not a coaching one.

Federer coach: Hey Fed, save a few bucks (not that you need to) and go get a tape of the NBC broadcast of the final at RG. In a pre-match interview, you got the ultimate coaching advice, probably from the only person with the true credintials where it would matter - Bjorn Borg. As far as beating Rafa at RG this is essentially what he said: You have to got out there expecting to be out there for four or five hours. You have to patient and wait for your opportunties and then be aggressive. I think this is great advice from one who knows. He could also help on grass too! Call Borg, forget the rest!

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:25 PM

Peter - at 4:28 you wrote- " May Sheesh, do I really need to answer that? People who, for instance, wanted to get Roger's ear for one reason or another (play and exo, score an interview, do a deal) but were rebuffed." Since I missed who you were responding to, I took this to mean that is who you were getting your anti-Mirka whispering from.

At 4:33 i specifically asked you to clarify what you had written...in case I had missed some "giant helping of sarcasm, " because it didn't sound kosher to me.

I apologize for missing the original question to you which put your response in its proper context.

I am genuinely sorry that you do not find this apology sufficient. Your sense of what to get and stay "up in arms about" seems highly variable.

Posted by Antoinette 03/11/2009 at 10:25 PM

So when are we going to get the speculative articles about the World #1?, Rafael Nadal...What role do those water bottles play exactly? Hmm I wonder if the change in attire to shirts with sleeves means he is losing his humilty and now does not want to distract anyone from his beatuful game by focusing too much on his lovely biceps? I wonder what the inside scoop on this is?

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 10:26 PM

Posted by battty 03/11/2009 @ 7:45 PM

Most of the anti-mirka bias from the media seems to becoming

from columnist who would prefer Fed to date someone whom they deem

to be a playboy bunny type; they can then live out

their own fantasies (married or not) by way of the Fed!"


haha, you took the words right out of my mouth, it does just seem to drive some of our pundits nuts that Roger is happy with a woman that is not a centerfold.. I guess they can't imagine how it feels to go for substance rather than the superficial. Kudos to Fed for having a relationship with somebody for the right reasons.

Posted by garlic power 03/11/2009 at 10:29 PM

This "ballet" tennis of Federer's that worked for years, isn't working now. He needs to change or modify his gameplan to take on the likes of younger, stronger, quicker guys like Nadal, Murray, Djokovic and up and comers like Tsonga, Gulbis and Del Potro. The only reason Federer cries so much as of late is because he realizes this is the first time in his career that there are "real" challengers and he can't rise up to the challenge.

Posted by Sher 03/11/2009 at 10:30 PM

wow things got a little angry around these parts in a few short hours.

I'm just staying out of it all, except to respond to the one comment Pete made:

Why am I not up in arms? I guess because I can maintain perspective. It hurts and saddens me that Cahill wouldn't want to work with Roger. But you know what? If he is the kind of a guy who would do use this as an opportunity of self-promotion, I don't even want him coaching Federer! On the other hand, I'm willing to give Cahill the benefit of a doubt -- perhaps he is taking the flak here so that Federer doesn't. Who know? Certainly not me.

Regardless, to me this does seem like Cahill is not the right guy for the job and therefore I am glad that it is over. He doesn't make me angry. What makes me angry is the assertions that will innevitably pop up that "Federer is too stubborn" to work with a coach. Look, from where I am sitting the guy keeps getting burned one way or another whenever he tries to work with these coaches. I can freely allow that some of it may be due to his personality or whatnot, but in any case, for him to reach out and work with a coach is a bigger investment than many people realize. I wish we'd all make allowances for that, rather than crying over water under the bridge.

(Anyway, 'night, I have like 2 pages to write in Italian for my language class. Brrrr.)

Posted by koalakoala 03/11/2009 at 10:31 PM

Pete

What made you think Fed fans should declare a war against Cahill? You dream we are a bunch of fanatic with no heads on our shoulders? Or you are dying to have a war so that your site can get more traffic? Should you pay some royalty fee to Federer?

A trial is a trial, an experiment that can go either way. Both Federer and Cahill have equal rights to determine how they want to run their lives and careers. It is better to turn it down straight forward than not able to make the commitment later.

No respect lost for Cahill and sorry to disappoint you, Mr Peter Bodo.

Posted by Angel of the Surf 03/11/2009 at 10:31 PM

Hiya all

Pete love this article. Thanks a lot, it is the first time in ages that I am trying to read all comments.

Everyone must be on the other thread.

Ptenisnet your comment about Nole's people on page 1 fhilarious.

I agree Cahill would of known what sort of travel etc he would be getting himself into before heading to Dubai.

Another poster made a comment regarding Brooklyn Decker interfering with Roddick and his coach Stefanki, the difference being Brooklyn has her own life and job separate from Roddick's. They are not in each other's pocket 24/7 365 days a year.

I really think Mirka needs to get her own life. But rightly this article is about Fed and Cahill.

Posted by piyush 03/11/2009 at 10:31 PM

Hi Pete Bodo,

You are amongst the best tennis journalists in the world;

the very best of tennis analysts;

as time passes, we shall quite possibly realize, by the end of the year that nadal is truly the no 1 player in the world;

andy murray may finish ahead of fed at no 2;

fed will be left grappling and struggling withjoker and tsonga;

possibly simon giles too;

and we all will realize that darren cahill coul not have taken fed ahead of murray, let alone nadal;

tennis.com is very comprehensive and detailed;

and pete bodo and his team are very organized;

thanks

piyush

Posted by Tony 03/11/2009 at 10:33 PM

"Another lol! Federer trains in Dubai becuase of the conditions, it's hotter than heck, which is really helpful for the Australia and US Hardcourt swing, it's location is also strategic for his traveling"

Really??? The Aussie Open is in the past and the US hardcourt swing is in the spring, not summer. There is of course that OTHER hardcourt swing which is postWimbledon. That one is kinda hot! But not the hardcourt swing which is coming up (basically 2 tournaments: Indian Wells and Miami).

No, I suspect The Feds have a condominium somewhere in that classless city of Dubai. Your point about Dubai being strategic is pure bull. Dubai was being built up as the playground of the rich by its sheiks. And of course, Federer is supposed to attract other rich people to the city. I wonder how much of that is "apprearance fee" as well, staying for long stretches of time on this desperate stretch of sand...

Posted by garlic power 03/11/2009 at 10:33 PM

If Nadal beats Federer at the French Open and Wimbledon again this year, I really think Federer will announce his retirement. Does anyone else feel that way? His ego couldn't take all these losses.

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:34 PM

oooh..the king of the semi colons is back. all hail. ;;;;;;;;!!!!!

Posted by Andrew 03/11/2009 at 10:34 PM

Ummm...gosh, I should feel insulted or dejected or up in arms? *confused*

I took your post, Pete, to be speculation - so I can't see why I'd want to be riled one way or the other.

When your post speculated that we might not get the full story from the two protagonists' press statements I didn't feel betrayed or alarmed. Sometimes grown people have reasons for not telling the world everything they're thinking.

We know they couldn't get it done. A fairly simple explanation is that Federer wanted about half the year, Cahill couldn't do more than a quarter, nice try, sorry it didn't work out. Cahill was the guy to say no first, but even if he'd said yes, Federer might have retained the option to pull the plug after, say, Miami.

I'm not a member of the silver bullet club. Nadal is still improving, as is Murray - not sure right now about Djokovic. There are a few other smart players coming up in the mix too.

But Mr Federer is still a half decent player, and if he applies himself, he might win a match or two. I would have given a Cahill-Federer partnership a year and a half before having a real feeling for how things might have worked out, unless Federer lost all his first round matches for the next year (unlikely) or won the next four majors (probably just as unlikely).

You never get to run history twice. Eighteen months from now we'll know how many tournaments Federer will have won; we don't get to see whether it would have been more or fewer with Mr Cahill assisting. On balance, I thought the arrangement had promise (as I did the Higueras partnership), but hey, I'll live.

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 10:34 PM

Posted by Peter Bodo 03/11/2009 @ 10:17 PM

But Cosi, for gosh sakes, who is questioning Roger being with Mirka?

All I've done is draw on my knowledge as a person in tennis, and with a very rolodex to suggest that Mirka may be a factor in all this - and note I uses the word "may" from the get-go.

You can choose to trust me - or not - when I say I am confident in my sources, and their motives, for sharing their information with me. One of the reasons I have that rolodex is because I know how to keep a confidence, and always will, even though it prevents me from telling some stories or revealing some things that would shock or amaze my readers. It's the cost of doing business the way I do it.

You can believe me or not; it's all the same to me."

Well Peter,it's certainly nothing new for persons in male dominated venues to unfairly attack the girlfriends/wives of very prominent men.. Let's not promote the Yoko Ono syndrome with Mirka Vavrinek.. You've made a number of comments on your blogs about her, it's as if you are uncomfortable with her relationship to TMF.. All I'm saying is, his relationship with her is his business and his business alone. I also honestly don't think that Mirka can make Roger do ANYTHING! If he had truly wanted Cahill on Cahill's part time coach conditions, he would have signed up.

Posted by Russ 03/11/2009 at 10:35 PM

Hi piyush,

You are amongst the best tennis posters in the TWorld

thanks

russ

Posted by vetmama (Fed's uncoachable!! And he cries too much!!) 03/11/2009 at 10:35 PM

How can we be angry at Cahill when we can never know what really happened, or who said/did what?

Posted by Tim ($4.98 for cupcakes) 03/11/2009 at 10:37 PM

um...

CRAP!

Posted by garlic power 03/11/2009 at 10:38 PM

angel of the surf: agree. This Mirka is a "hanger-on", she never had to work, she just sits there chewing gum 365 days of the year, never leaves Fed's side and probably he hands his paychecks over to her. I can't see how he doesn't get tired of her hanging around him all day long, for every minute of the year. If he ever got a coach, the first thing the coach would say is "perhaps Mirka is too distracting for you - maybe she can stay away for a while" - and maybe that's what Cahill suggested and Fed and Mirka gave him his walking papers. I think that is what happened.

Posted by geikou 03/11/2009 at 10:39 PM

Okay, I'm gonna delurk a moment for this one. I've been following this all day and kept mum till now.

Speculating on the reasons for the sudden breakup before we got direct word from Federer and Cahill and had only heard from such as Godsick? Okay, fine. I seem to recall that a lot of the people here (me included) had been wondering immediately since the news broke if there wasn't more to the story.

But then we get direct quotes from both Cahill and Federer...and what does Mr. Bodo do? Speculate some more. Maybe Cahill's wife threatened to leave him? Um, I might accept that there is insider info on Mirka, but Mrs. Cahill? Please. That's *totally* baseless and utterly uncalled for.

You know, sometimes people do tell the truth. Is there more to it than these guys are saying? Maybe. Is this a blog that feeds off speculation, both from Mr. Bodo and from the commenters. Certainly. But it seems like Federer's statements are scrutinized more than any other players' and I find the double standard irritating to no end. We criticize him all the time for being *too* honest. Now we say he's not.

Some people only hear what they want to hear and won't stop till they get it. Was it after the French Open last year when a journalist asked Federer if he still believed he could beat Nadal on clay/at the French (can't remember which)? Federer said an unqualified yes. The questioner persisted, Really? To which Federer replied something along the lines of (paraphrasing), "What do you want me to say? No? Then no. But I said yes."

This seems like one of those moments with certain people.

Posted by tony snedker 03/11/2009 at 10:39 PM

tennis player

nadal is superior to federer;

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 10:40 PM

Really??? The Aussie Open is in the past and the US hardcourt swing is in the spring, not summer. There is of course that OTHER hardcourt swing which is postWimbledon. That one is kinda hot! But not the hardcourt swing which is coming up (basically 2 tournaments: Indian Wells and Miami).

No, I suspect The Feds have a condominium somewhere in that classless city of Dubai. Your point about Dubai being strategic is pure bull. Dubai was being built up as the playground of the rich by its sheiks. And of course, Federer is supposed to attract other rich people to the city. I wonder how much of that is "apprearance fee" as well, staying for long stretches of time on this desperate stretch of sand..."

Gee, was there something you missed about Federer training in Dubai at the end of the season, which means the next tournament up is the brutally hot conditions of Australia?? And now, hardcourts here start in SPRING, which is right now, the March double, which can be pretty hot and humid, especially in Miami. Seems to me your distate for Dubai is more at the core of your odd comments than anything to do with Federer. If you have a problem with celebrities being "used" to attract peopel to Dubai, then take that up with Tiger woods (starting a golf tournament there) Boris Becker (building a big tennis club there) or Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt ( bought an island there) All Roger Federer does is train there for a cumulative two months out of an entire year,hardly a big promoter of the place compared to others, eh? There were tons of "rich people" already there before Federer ever bought a condo there... game over! not so nice try.

Posted by Angel of the Surf 03/11/2009 at 10:40 PM

Cosi I have just read your post about Fed not being caught up in the glam world. Hellooo where have you been, Fed and Mirka are always at fashion shows and he states that he loves fashion etc. That to me is living in a glam world.

Yes he does train hard so do all the other players.

Pete - stop defending yourself over the article. You are a journalist and if people don't like what your write then they can just sod off. You cannot please everyone.

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:41 PM

Hey Tim!!! Be of good cheer.

Posted by Tim ($4.98 for cupcakes) 03/11/2009 at 10:42 PM

plyush, u really need to grasp the fact that Federer has THIRTEEN Grand Slams...your hardest deepest wishes cannot change that, nor will the 1,234th post about how Federer is finished and can't beat Nadal...

:)

Posted by Andrew 03/11/2009 at 10:43 PM

BTW, if you want people who are up in arms about how mean Cahill is to Roger, well, the mothership is at your disposal.

I think most of us Federer fans here don't see it as "Cahill disses Fed." At the risk of repeating myself, two professionals had a go at crafting a working partnership, couldn't make it work, seem to have shaken hands and parted on good terms. Doesn't feel like the Crash of 2009.

I wasn't heartbroken by the AO F 2009 loss, I wasn't shaken to my core by Federer's exhibition of distress during the trophy ceremony, and I'm not calling for an intravenous drip over today's doings.

I may punish the scotch later tonight, but each to his own... :-)

Posted by Tim ($4.98 for cupcakes) 03/11/2009 at 10:45 PM

geez Fed is such a drama queen, Nadal won't get any ink this week, I think Fed is just doing this for all the attention :)

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:46 PM

Vetmama - ah but we do know...unless we are willing to assume that both Killah and Fed are liars. Both have made public statements and both have said pretty much the same thing. And what they said made perfect, relatively straight forward undramatic sense to me. I think you really have to WANT to read between the lines to make much more ado about all this.
(And to be clear... I don't mean 'you.') the links to Killah's statement and Fed are back a page or so if you want to read them.

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:47 PM

Andrew - is the mothership at anyone's disposal? I can't get the site to open.

Tim lol.

Posted by tony snedker 03/11/2009 at 10:47 PM

tim @ 10.42

fed's 13 slams are easy era slams

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:47 PM

Also...Andrew ...as long as you punish the Scotch and not the cat.

Posted by Russ 03/11/2009 at 10:47 PM

Like, totally, Tim!

Posted by Andrew 03/11/2009 at 10:48 PM

CL: it was until a short while ago. I'm having trouble getting in too.

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:49 PM

Andrew - thanks..glad its not just my browser being lazy...

Posted by Antoinette 03/11/2009 at 10:49 PM

@ Andrew 10:43 pm

Indeed.

Posted by Tim ($4.98 for cupcakes) 03/11/2009 at 10:49 PM

lol totally Tony, so are Sampras' 14, he had NO competition, Ivanisevic, Pioline, Courier, Chang, what a bunch of chumps! Fed would have 20 Slams by now in that era...

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 10:50 PM

Vetmama, maybe "angry" is too strong a word. But I'll reiterate: If you didn't know who Federer was, you'd think he was some desperate schmo who just got turned down by the one person who could transform his life and career. Or something like that. Suddenly, Darren Cahill becomes the coach who could afford to turn down Fed. If I were a Federer fan, I'd be thinking, "what's my guy done to deserve a bait-and-switch trick like this?" It wouldn't be fair, of course, but then what diehard fan really is (as so many of today's comments demonstrate). Personally, I feel kind of bad for TMF. He's beleagured enough with looking like he's been left at the altar by a guy whose track record doesn't necessarily warrant the kind of, what - deference? - he's been getting. Maybe I overstate the case, but this episode really seems weird to me, and I understand I may be wrong about that.

Posted by tony snedker 03/11/2009 at 10:51 PM

Russ & Tim

however great fed might have been with his 13 slams in the roddick era, nadal is better in 2008 an also 2009 so far;

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 10:51 PM

Posted by Angel of the Surf 03/11/2009 @ 10:40 PM

Cosi I have just read your post about Fed not being caught up in the glam world. Hellooo where have you been, Fed and Mirka are always at fashion shows and he states that he loves fashion etc. That to me is living in a glam world.

Yes he does train hard so do all the other players.

Pete - stop defending yourself over the article. You are a journalist and if people don't like what your write then they can just sod off. You cannot please everyone."

Angel, you've seen him at a few New York fashion week deals, so what? It happens around the time of the USO, he gets invited by Anna Wintour,b ig deal. What man doesn't like to look at fashion models on the runway anyway? obtw, he turned down going to the event and hanging out with Anna Wintour last year, had to leave to attend to tennis matters. If Roger was caught up in the glam celebrity life of a pro athlete, as I said before, woulnd't he already have dumped Mirka and run through at least three or four Brazilian or Venezuelan models by now? Would he still have his parents living in his main house in Switzerland? WOuld his girlfriend be managing his career? Would his parents be handling his financial affairs? Would he still have the same close group of Swiss friends that nobody really knows to hang with as since his junior years and before? Woulnd't he just move residence to LA, California and start hanging and partying with movie producers and make the tabloids here a little more with some good old fashioned bad boy celebrity behavhior? I think considering his influence and stature and good looks,Federer has practically been a church boy at this point, not too glammed out of a celebrity.

Posted by Sher 03/11/2009 at 10:52 PM

Andrew, you are too reasonable for your own good! :)

[We criticize him all the time for being *too* honest. Now we say he's not.
Some people only hear what they want to hear and won't stop till they get it. Was it after the French Open last year when a journalist asked Federer if he still believed he could beat Nadal on clay/at the French (can't remember which)? Federer said an unqualified yes. The questioner persisted, Really? To which Federer replied something along the lines of (paraphrasing), "What do you want me to say? No? Then no. But I said yes."]

geikou, agreed. This is partly what hurts me the most in all the articles. I have followed Roger for years, and if anything he is too honest. When it comes down to who to believe between a faceless journalist on google or a statement from Federer, I come down 100% on Federer's side, and that is not stary eyed wonder talking.

Posted by Andrew 03/11/2009 at 10:52 PM

Off to my own tennis game. If there's any more sturm und drang, I'll catch up with it later.

Posted by tony snedker 03/11/2009 at 10:53 PM

tim:

sampras had to contend with the all slam winner agassi;

Posted by Sher 03/11/2009 at 10:53 PM

"what diehard fan really is" or "what a woman really is" or "what a man really is" isn't something that can be summed up in a sentence or even a page.

Posted by Ruth 03/11/2009 at 10:54 PM

Mr. and Mrs. D: Thank you so much for your 10:18.

Pete: I'm enjoying your responses. Even though I think that you don't need to respond,I understand why you must -- if you know what I mean. :)

Posted by tony snedker 03/11/2009 at 10:54 PM

tim & russ

fed will keep losing to murray

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 10:55 PM

Angel - thanks for that, darlin'. And I don't really feel a need to defend myself, I just sometimes think it's good to confront some of this stuff and let all the other readers - that vast army of lurkers - decide. And I think it's good for the site.

Andrew - in Birmingham, Master Ace told me that he considered you the ideal fan among those who prefer one player over all others. That's true, and I know you're far too rational to get up in arms over anything. . .

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 10:55 PM

tony snedker

In your dreams.

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