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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 TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 10:57 PM

Cosi - did you miss Gaven Rossdale and Gwen Stefani in Fed's box all of Wimbledon last year, and did you forget that he stays with them, or has in the past, when in LA? No biggie for me, just sayin'.

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 10:59 PM

Peter - did you read what I wrote at 10:25 or I am for the silent treatment?

Posted by Tim (God Bless America) 03/11/2009 at 11:00 PM

Cahill, what the Frig?? no one else is even close to being able to coach Fed, so he's screwed now, another year of the lone soldier, mixing brilliance with shanked backhands on break points with nadal, stubborn and unrelenting ...

yeah yeah I know Fed fans just turn everyone off and are impossible and obnoxious, unlike say, Nadal fans, maybe? grrrrrr... now we have to tolerate weeks more of 'whats wrong with Fed' posts and speculation, there is no other possibility for a coach out there, Fed is on his own... I DO agree with Pete on one thing==there's more to this than meets the eye...

Posted by Antoinette (nalby for president) 03/11/2009 at 11:00 PM

So I guess we will have to wait for the new your call post in the morning to get back to tennis...while this debate has been somewhat interesting I was disappointed that it continued for so long and despite the fact that we have now heard from both parties and the non-deal is a done deal.

Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 11:01 PM

"If I were a Federer fan, I'd be thinking, "what's my guy done to deserve a bait-and-switch trick like this?"

Clearly if you were a Federer fan you would be one of the loons at the mothership busy trashing the joint.

Vetmama, quit it with that cool calm head will ya?

Posted by Russ 03/11/2009 at 11:01 PM

and tony snedker will keep losing to piyush sharma.

piyush sharma had to contend with the grand slam poster NP.

tony snedker is posting in a weak era. sharma was better in 2008 and 2009 so far.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 11:02 PM

I remember Pete Sampras' wife had to endure much of the same speculation about her negative effect on his career. It seems to be almost inevitable that tongues will start wagging in this direction at some point with outside observers, however unfounded.

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

russ you are the pilot of the Roflcopter

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 11:04 PM

Tennis player - good point. And one that a certain Peter Bodo raised in his recent book about Mr. Sampras. How very hurtful and difficult to deal with Sampras found such comments.

Tim...nah... the thing is, there is LESS here than meets the eye.

Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 11:05 PM

"It seems to be almost inevitable that tongues will start wagging in this direction at some point with outside observers, however unfounded."

Tennis Player I think part of the problem is that no one wants to wag their tongue anywhere near Mirka. Brooklyn sure. Mirka not so much.

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

Russ and don't forget FADE Erer...

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

Just a few thoughts: I can't see how Federer can come out and face everyone after that crying episode at Australian Open. Isn't he embarrassed by that? I have never seen any sportsman behave this way. Could you imaging if McEnroe cried after losing to Borg or Connors and vice versa? It totally took away Rafa's "moment" of celebration. There was never an apology from Federer during his press conference. He only was saying how the best man doesn't always win. Secondly, I want to gag myself everytime Nadal "apologizes" for beating Federer. He should have grinned from ear to ear about beating this ungracious, sore sport, a guy who never cared about his opponents whenever he would win a match. So I could care less whether Federer gets a coach or not, he had many years of dominance and now it's time for him to step aside, gracefully, and let the younger, stronger players have the spotlight.

Posted by Antoinette (nalby for president) 03/11/2009 at 11:08 PM

NT

lmao @ your 11:05pm. I agree with you that is a big part of the problem, she is Federer's dreamgirl and they dont seem to get it.

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

Tim hope you are ok and not driving Starbucks mad. nT I see you have changed your nick shame about that as I loved Killah nick.

Andrew please do harm with the scotch bottle instead of the cat. Even though I don't like cats I wouldn't like to see the thing hurt.

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

" 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..."

Well, Pete, actually...Me.:)

Sure I feel maybe Darren should have worked things out before he got all of us excited about the possiblities. But I know that things are rarely what they look like from a distance.

I have small children and I work waaay too much right now. I thought things were tolerable with me working 6 days/60 hours/week until my 8 year-old started crying when I said goodbye yesterday morning. These kind of things make you come up short, and are hard to plan for.

I don't know the finer reasons why Cahill went through the motions and then pulled out, but life's not perfect. And neither is Darren Cahill.

Posted by Tim (God Bless America) 03/11/2009 at 11:11 PM

CL, less than meets the eye? you dont just go train with Fed in Dubai, announce youre showing up in IW, then drop out all of a sudden, without something going on ... despite his clear apathy towards all things Fed, Pete makes a good point about Cahill knowing all this ahead of time...what else happened?

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 11:12 PM

Posted by Peter Bodo 03/11/2009 @ 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."

LOL, nice try Pete. I hope nobody falls for this one! he's "pathetic", beleagured Fed now because Darren turned him down,before he was the stubborn control freak Fed, with a Yoko Ono girlfriend who caused this thing to not work out with Darren. Which one is it, Pete? Check your rolodex, call your insders and let us know! Tell me honestly, is it Fed you really dislike, or just his fans that you begrudge? I'm sorry we love him so much Pete, because I know it bugs you, we just do...and he deserves it. You can't change it either, no matter how many less than flattering theories, opinions, whatever you post about him. We'll never love Roddick like this.. or Rafa for that matter, or Djokovic, or Murray, or the next one or the next one no matter how high you build them up,especially after one of them gets a win over Fed. Nadal has done a great job the last couple of years, been a stellar player, but he's no Federer in more ways than one, even his own uncle keeps saying so, so enjoy Roger while he's still around instead of trying to beat him into the ground, he gets your column alot of attention, more than you're going to get with the rest of them, unless they do something outright crazy, which is unlikely. Most of them are too mock 'humble", too unemotional, too unstylish, too brutish in the way that you prefer a tennis player to be, and dare i Say it, but in essence too lacking in pizazz and too ordinary in character and presentation to bring you this much buzz!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 03/11/2009 at 11:12 PM

My goodness has all hell broken out here?

Pete gee I empathize with you fully.Gee wont be doing anuthing like this in a hurry again.Thats for sure.

Sticks and Stones may brake by bones,but names will never hurt me.

Well I am not staying around here.Talk about things being taken out of all proportion..

Posted by Tim (God Bless America) 03/11/2009 at 11:13 PM

can the same person stop posting under like three different names, including anonymous, its so obvious and totally irritating...

Rafa, you should be ashamed of yourself! :)

Posted by vetmama (Fed's uncoachable!! And he cries too much!!) 03/11/2009 at 11:13 PM

CL
Go stand in the corner.

:-)

Posted by BeeBee 03/11/2009 at 11:14 PM

Perhaps Federer doesn't need a coach at all. The secret might be that he should start pulling undies out of his butt after every point. I think Nadal has some type of stragegy chip up his tush and that's the key to winning.

Posted by Sher 03/11/2009 at 11:16 PM

vetmama, love your 11:10.

and LOL at your signature!!

Posted by Pspace 03/11/2009 at 11:16 PM

Regarding an apology for the tears etc:

"""
"Embarrassing" was how Federer described his breakdown, saying that tears were fine after a win but not after a loss. But the outpouring did have one positive, he added, allowing him to get out the worst of his emotions immediately.
"""

http://tinyurl.com/czqbc3

Regarding praise for Rafa:
""
"I love playing matches against him, especially those five-setters, seeing if I can hang with him physically without a problem," Federer told reporters on Wednesday. "He's the greatest challenger I've ever had."

"I am really motivated because I don't know how much better he can play. I don't know how much better I can play but I am right there and he's playing the tennis of his life."
"""

There's more in the article.


http://tinyurl.com/a9z2nk

I'd linked to these a while ago on YC. In case, it's relevant.

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 11:19 PM

Cosi - did you miss Gaven Rossdale and Gwen Stefani in Fed's box all of Wimbledon last year, and did you forget that he stays with them, or has in the past, when in LA? No biggie for me, just sayin'

Okay, you might have somethign here if you could present a photo of Roger and Gavin and Gwen all partying like mad,stumbling out of a club drunk to the gills at three am with P. Diddy pulling up a limo for them to get into... as it is,Roger's friends with a couple of famous musicians and some fashionistas, so what., From what I"ve seen of Gavin and Gwen they are pretty normal, Gavin is mad about tennis, and Gwen seems to be a hands on mother of two children, one of the last photos I saw of Gavin, Gwen, Roger and Mirka was at a FAMILY ZOO, not exactly Paris Hilton type activities there. Roddick on the other hand has in the past been linked with Paris Hilton at the clubs.. hmmmm

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

Is not Menka his coach? (that big girl that sits in the stands)? Menka was once a tennis player, no?

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 11:20 PM

Cosi, you sound a little hysterical. Get a grip.

Others: so let me get this right, the Federer fans at the rf.com are trashing Cahill but none of Roger's fans here are? Kind of interesting, if that's true. Maybe I'm the stand-in for Cahill here? Is this "transference?" Where is Rafadoc when we really need her?

Posted by Sher 03/11/2009 at 11:21 PM

Ah, Pspace, I see IW has finally arrived, what's with the effusive praise from both camps and all :)

'really good night now.

Posted by Pspace 03/11/2009 at 11:23 PM

Pete, It's quite simple. The real believers (at RF.com) still go to church ;-). We deal with the devil.

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

"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?"

My guess is they tried to keep it hush-husb before a decision could be made and like most stories it got out in the press prematurely, leaving a PR problem necessitating a cover story.

Posted by Tim (God Bless America) 03/11/2009 at 11:24 PM

cmon we all know u think Fed is a cappucino drinking girly man, cries at the drop of a hat, yeah, we get it, hang him at sunrise!

Posted by Russ 03/11/2009 at 11:24 PM

Wait. Rafadoc's a she?

Posted by Rosangel 03/11/2009 at 11:27 PM

koalakoala: the F-word is sort of an inside joke. Since I'm not a fan of Federer (and that, by the way, does not equate to "I hate Federer" - I don't) , there is almost always a host of people who take exception to whatever I say about him, if they think it's uncomplimentary.

Pete: I like this comment of yours "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? "

In this instance at least, I have zero sympathy for anyone as rich and famous as Federer who has freely chosen to set up in a place like Dubai. I don't like the tournament; I don't like the regime, and there is no way that if I were in Federer's shoes that I would ever make the choice to set up in (and to some extent lend my image to) a place (the UAE) where, among other things, women undergo stuff like so-called "female circumcision".

So if it's cost him, that's some small justice.

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 11:27 PM

Pspace, you're a good man. On that note, throw your final shoes, I'm about to close 'er down.

Posted by vetmama (Fed's uncoachable!! And he cries too much!!) 03/11/2009 at 11:28 PM

Ankle-biting, Pete.

Take a deep breath. :)

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 11:29 PM

Posted by Peter Bodo 03/11/2009 @ 11:20 PM

Cosi, you sound a little hysterical. Get a grip.

Others: so let me get this right, the Federer fans at the rf.com are trashing Cahill but none of Roger's fans here are? Kind of interesting, if that's true. Maybe I'm the stand-in for Cahill here? Is this "transference?" Where is Rafadoc when we really need her?"

LOL the only thing that is hysterical about me is my urge to laugh at some of this! Fact is I am laughing. Pete, you've had your fun... let us have ours. Again, why would we want to trash Cahill? Do we have to trash somebody? Maybe some of us are just mature adults, and don't have a need for manufactured drama about this meeting between a coach and player that just didn't pan out. Now if you keep trying to turn this into major drama, where none probably exists, I'm goign to have to assume it is you that is suffering from some hysteria. ;-)

Posted by vetmama (Fed's uncoachable!! And he cries too much!!) 03/11/2009 at 11:30 PM

"throw your final shoes"

Where's AmyLu when you need her?

Posted by rafadoc 03/11/2009 at 11:34 PM

*puts on superwoman psychotherapist cape*

ahem....yes....Rafadoc is a she :)

Pete...you are pretty much a victim of transference and the classic defense mechanism, projection. My recommendation....nod and say something like "I see" . :)))))

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

Ros: Right. Federer's probably lucky his hands weren't lopped off as punishment for withdrawing from a tournament in "a place like Dubai".

Posted by FedRafa 03/11/2009 at 11:36 PM

I think perhaps Federer should hire Justin Gimelstob as his coach.

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 11:37 PM

You're on fire tonight, Vetmama. I should write outrageously speculative posts based on gossip I picked up in the street from unreliable sources and continue to trash TMF because his girlfriend isn't a Playboy bunny and continue my personal mission to destroy Roger and stand guilty of not writing about Rafa and his water bottles and trash Dubai because I'm an American bigot and otherwise make everyone's life a little more interesting a little more often. . . .

Night everyone!

Posted by Annie 03/11/2009 at 11:37 PM

The only people that knock federer on this blog are the trolls that come on and say things. The rafa fans are crazy about their boy but have only nice things to say about federer. But the fed fans here get way too defensive for what's warranted and the arguments go round in circles sucking poor pete into the vortex. Also into the vortex go as many hits at nadal as they can fit in, like he can't hold our interest here or he has no charisma, and the whole thing lacks any reasonableness after awhile.

in psyche speak there may be some transferrence going on here with pete and cahill but there's also alot of anger at nadal for screwing up fed's perfect plan.

Posted by adicecream 03/11/2009 at 11:38 PM

Oh my. Too bad none of us, even Federer, is perfect.

Posted by Rosangel 03/11/2009 at 11:39 PM

OMG, there are some real crazies out tonight....

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 11:39 PM

I can't go to sleep until I say hi to Rafadoc. . . You've just earned (or been sentenced to) status as TennisWorld's official psychotherapist (and no, there is no fee attached to the honor). Keep the cape on, babe, IW is coming on fast!

Posted by rafadoc 03/11/2009 at 11:41 PM

I'll take it Pete and the cape is fitting quite nicely tonight. *winks*. Sleep well. :)

Posted by Sher 03/11/2009 at 11:43 PM

[ The rafa fans are crazy about their boy but have only nice things to say about federer. But the fed fans here get way too defensive]

But we are trying really hard to be as good as the nice Rafa fans. Don't we at least get some credit for trying?

;-)

Posted by Rosangel 03/11/2009 at 11:44 PM

Um, Russ, seriously, Federer has such a positive image with so many tennis fans, and, as Pete says, he matters to the sport...the decision to own a place and train in Dubai, and his association with the place should be unworthy of him.

I seriously wish that the ATP and the WTA would get the hail out of the place as well, but that's a separate issue.

Posted by TENNIS.com 03/11/2009 at 11:46 PM

Personally, Ros, I think it's because reason is to the crazies as garlic is to vampires. Just makes them crazier. Two can play this game, if you know what I mean. . .

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 11:46 PM

Posted by Annie 03/11/2009 @ 11:37 PM

The only people that knock federer on this blog are the trolls that come on and say things. The rafa fans are crazy about their boy but have only nice things to say about federer. But the fed fans here get way too defensive for what's warranted and the arguments go round in circles sucking poor pete into the vortex. Also into the vortex go as many hits at nadal as they can fit in, like he can't hold our interest here or he has no charisma, and the whole thing lacks any reasonableness after awhile.

in psyche speak there may be some transferrence going on here with pete and cahill but there's also alot of anger at nadal for screwing up fed's perfect plan."

Annie,it's not trying to get a hit in on Nadal that makes me say he lacks charisma, IMO he just does lack charisma, and you don't see nearly as much interest in all his goings on as you do Federers. It's just a fact. When writers start micro analyzing every situation involving Rafa like they do with Fed, then, maybe then I might believe Rafa has the same level of interest as a player and personality that Fed does.

Posted by NikkiStix 03/11/2009 at 11:47 PM

I can't read through all the pages of posts, but I think it's a rather interesting article. I think Cahill should have known whether or not he wanted this job before meeting with Federer in Dubai. Why is Federer looking for a coach? I think it would be a detriment for him to start tinkering with his game. I'm not so sure Federer will win any other grand slams and he might just fall 1 short of Sampras's record. I think Nadal could possibly catch Sampras Grand Slam title. He is definitely ahead of schedule and only 22 years old. Nadal is good, and if he can remain healthy, he might even surpass Federer. I don't think Federer needs a coach and I don't think anyone will ever know the real reason it didn't work out between Federer and Cahill.

Posted by AmyLu 03/11/2009 at 11:49 PM

*pokes head in*

Thanks for the shout out vetmama -- it made me laugh. :)

*now retreating once more*

Posted by Angel of the Surf 03/11/2009 at 11:50 PM

Night Pete, hopefully you won't have any weird dreams about Fed, Cahill, Mirka and Yoko Ono.

Annie now I get what you were talking about on CNote's blog.

Posted by rafadoc 03/11/2009 at 11:51 PM

Annie: your 11:37 makes so much sense...and the regular Federer fan posters offer respect back to us Rafa fans. As far as trolls...your last paragraph...well, just...word!

Posted by rafadoc 03/11/2009 at 11:53 PM

Cosi...for serious...Rafa-no charisma?...what world do you live in? :)

Posted by rafadoc 03/11/2009 at 11:53 PM

Sher...you are the coolest ever! No worries. :)

Posted by rafadoc 03/11/2009 at 11:55 PM

*gasps*

Seriously....a tumbleweed queen possibility...on this thread?

Posted by rafadoc 03/11/2009 at 11:56 PM

Wow...this may be my best intervention ever. *ponders*

Posted by Joe 03/11/2009 at 11:57 PM

Well said Annie, you are right, Federer is not the only one crying all the time, but his fans too, it's a little annoying
Yesterday someone sent this link, Federer fans deserve it

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/136331-top-20-ways-roger-federer-can-beat-rafael-nadal

Posted by rafadoc 03/11/2009 at 11:58 PM

None of you are going to hold me to that silly 2 minutes in between posts rule, are you? *looks for Gauloises*

Posted by Russ 03/11/2009 at 11:58 PM

NikkiStix: I enjoyed your chapters of the book by far the most. How are Tommy, Mick, and Vince by the way?

Posted by Rosangel 03/11/2009 at 11:58 PM

I think I'll refrain from joining the absurd "Nadal lacks charisma" discussion, except to say that large sections of the crowds love him where I come from, and he's one of the best photographic subjects I've ever had the privilege of having at the other end of my lens....as far as "people" subjects go, my little nieces are the current others.

Posted by Hart (Nostradamus-like Prognosticator) 03/12/2009 at 12:00 AM

There is a two-minutes between posts rule? how did I miss this? Man, I'm doomed. :)

Posted by rafadoc 03/12/2009 at 12:02 AM

Hart....if you want to be the tumbleweed queen you have to have 5 consecutive posts with 2 minutes in between (credit to Gauloises). I have taken the crown on several occasions
;-)

Posted by gary 03/12/2009 at 12:04 AM

I'd disagree with those who say Steffi had noting to do with Andre's decisions. Wasn't long after they hooked up that Ugly Brad was gone - and am I the only one who saw the nasty looks she would give him?
But seriously, Mr. Bodo, thank you so much for stirring up the TWibe's hornet nest this evening. I haven't had this many laffs since your "OMG - Uncle Tony is an atheist" piece several months ago.
Buenas noches........

Posted by Rosangel 03/12/2009 at 12:05 AM

OK, I'm taking some bait....some empirical evidence here - if you do a google search for the words "Nadal" and "charisma", there are about 52,000 results.

If you do a search for "Federer" and "charisma" the sum is 34,900.

Being talked about and charisma are not, by definition, the same thing.

And no, I'm not suggesting that Federer lacks charisma. I used to think so, but I saw it differently once I'd had some opportunities to photograph him, especially in Madrid last year.


Posted by Jenny 03/12/2009 at 12:06 AM

When Cahill is doing t.v. commentary, who does he like better Nadal or Federer? I thought he was always saying how much he likes Nadal, but maybe that's other commentators like Fowler and Pam Shriver. Who does Cahill like?

Posted by Hart (Nostradamus-like Prognosticator) 03/12/2009 at 12:07 AM

Thanks for explaining Dr Rafadoc. :) No shame in the tumbleweed queen. Maybe you just have tons to impart to us at that particular moment... ;)

Posted by gary 03/12/2009 at 12:07 AM

*Him (meaning Brad Gilbert.)

Posted by Rosangel 03/12/2009 at 12:07 AM

BTW, if you use the two players' first names as well, Federer comes in with 17,500 results, and Nadal with 22,000 results.

Posted by Jenny 03/12/2009 at 12:08 AM

I know that Brad Gilbert likes Nadal, maybe Cahill is the Federer fan.

Posted by Cosi 03/12/2009 at 12:08 AM

Posted by Rosangel 03/11/2009 @ 11:58 PM

I think I'll refrain from joining the absurd "Nadal lacks charisma" discussion, except to say that large sections of the crowds love him where I come from, and he's one of the best photographic subjects I've ever had the privilege of having at the other end of my lens....as far as "people" subjects go, my little nieces are the current others. "

You know, nobody said Rafa doesn't take a nice photo, but his interviews.. not exactly setting the world on fire in any language. and his style of play, not exactly Nijinski on grass or clay, just meat and potatoes, bam bam bam,with a load monotonous groan to boot, he's a grinder par excellence, since when did that become exciting? IF he's exciting to watch, it's only because of what his opponent brings to the table.,he refuses to even take on the mantle of number one, and keeps deferring to Federer as the "greatest" in all his interviews, how can a guy that doesn't even seem to WANT to be the top dog in the public eye and keeps hiding from pressure by ducking behind Federer be considered charismatic as a sports personality? Now don't get me wrong, I love Nadal for alot of reasons, but he's not charismatic, or very exciting or intriguing as a persona at this point. Perhaps some day when he gets out of the grasp (if he ever does) of his seemingly very dominating uncle, some real personality will creep in there for us to see. his game is another thing, that isn't going to change I don't think. He will continue to win by bludgeoning people to death, not pretty, but it gets the job done.

Posted by Pspace 03/12/2009 at 12:10 AM

Rosangel, But among those 52K hits, 1290 show up for Nadal "lacks charisma". And, in some of those, it's Murray who's the uncharismatic one. Several of those articles reference both Nadal and Federer. I'm not saying that Nadal is uncharismatic. Just that those stats don't provide evidence either way.

Posted by rg.nadal 03/12/2009 at 12:11 AM

Hello all!

Posted by Joe 03/12/2009 at 12:12 AM

Besides to be a great player with a great technique and mentality, Nadal has a lot of charisma, to deny this is silly

Posted by Cosi 03/12/2009 at 12:13 AM

Posted by Rosangel 03/12/2009 @ 12:07 AM

BTW, if you use the two players' first names as well, Federer comes in with 17,500 results, and Nadal with 22,000 results."

Okay now this does reek of desperation. But I'll play along, I just did a Google article search on Federer.. got 925 results, did one on Nadal, got 830 results, and of 228 articles listed for Nadal, the first word in the headline on those articles on Nadal in the google seatch started with the word "Federer"

Posted by Jenny 03/12/2009 at 12:14 AM

Nadal not charismatic? I beg to differ. I think Nadal speaks English better than lots of people can speak Spanish. His interviews might not be the best because of the language barrier, but he is quite charismatic. He is also one of the most exciting players I've seen. He can run from side to side and catch up to balls that no other person would get near and winds up winning the point. He makes his opponent hit 2 or 3 winning shots within a point - just to win that point. The guy gets virtually every point. His game is exciting because he gives 110% no matter what the score is. Off the court, he has a "winning" smile and is one of the most likeable athletes I've seen in any sport.

Posted by Cosi 03/12/2009 at 12:15 AM

Posted by Joe 03/12/2009 @ 12:12 AM

Besides to be a great player with a great technique and mentality, Nadal has a lot of charisma, to deny this is silly"

You know, Steffi Graf had both great technique and mentality and results, and I can't remember her being known for a very charismatic personality...

Posted by Russ 03/12/2009 at 12:17 AM

Ros: Methinks you are invoking an asinine debate here. Rafa fans obviously think Rafa has charisma. Federer fans obviously think Fed has charisma. So what exactly are you trying to prove? Breaking kayfabe, I think there's not much not to like about both of 'em and they are great for the sport. What purpose is a Google pissing contest serving?

Posted by Jenny 03/12/2009 at 12:17 AM

Why is it always Federer OR Nadal? Why can't people just appreciate these 2 athletes for what they bring to the sport? Imagine if tennis didn't have the Nadal/Federer rivalry? I think tennis ratings would be non-existant.

Posted by Pspace 03/12/2009 at 12:20 AM

""Breaking kayfabe""

Treason!

Posted by Rosangel 03/12/2009 at 12:20 AM

Pspace: and there are 1,140 for "Federer lacks charisma" :)

The point is, to their fans, neither player lacks charisma. No-one's opinion on this subject is definitive, by definition, no? Different strokes and all that.

Whatever the ultimate numbers on these searches, there's plenty of empirical evidence that there are people who find both players charismatic.

Posted by David 03/12/2009 at 12:20 AM

... and Nadal working hard RIGHT NOW, thinking of the next ball to return. My God, I´ve just watched the OZ final again and I wonder if there will be a real challenger for that F****** LION. Any prediction?

(Sorry for my English)

Posted by Rosangel 03/12/2009 at 12:22 AM

Er, Russ, ultimately my point is the same as yours. It's in the eye of each beholder.

Posted by 03/12/2009 at 12:23 AM

?

Posted by Papo 03/12/2009 at 12:27 AM

What a great thread! Fun to read and looks like people had fun posting, he he.

Thanks Pete ; )

BTW, in case anyone's interested, Steve Tignor picks Rafa for IW. He also picks Murray over Federer in the semi.

http://tinyurl.com/dc7fjg

Bring on Indian Wells! VAMOS RAFA!!!

Posted by Joe 03/12/2009 at 12:28 AM

Cosi, what is your point? to have great technique and mentality doesn't mean "charisma". I said Nadal "besides" technique and mentality has charisma

Posted by Spacenoxx (El Stupido aka The Moron From Majorca) 03/12/2009 at 12:29 AM

Cosi 03/12/2009 @ 12:08 AM

Yeah Cosi, I comepletely agree with you regarding Rafa's English not setting the world on fire. The dude has been on the circuit with english speaking peers for what 7 years now and he still cant manage to frame one coherent sentence. He isnt winning any popularity contests there.

He should try and follow Roger and start crying when he loses. Thats sure to gain him some popularity :-)

Posted by Pspace 03/12/2009 at 12:29 AM

Rosangle, To continue this silliness just a bit, since it's fun :-) ...my google result is 622 for Federer "lacks charisma". Note that quotes are around the last two words to ensure that it's charisma that's lacking, and not something else, e.g., Wilanders.

Posted by rg.nadal 03/12/2009 at 12:30 AM

David: Rafa playing great right now, as seen from his win at AO and the recent DC wins did him well. I think he played well in rotterdam too, till the final at least. Here in Indian Wells, he should be careful of Del Potro, whom he could meet in the quarters. I would love to see Rafa win over Potro.

Posted by Pspace 03/12/2009 at 12:31 AM

Again apologies for mangling the angel.

Posted by Cosi 03/12/2009 at 12:31 AM

Posted by Rosangel 03/12/2009 @ 12:22 AM

Er, Russ, ultimately my point is the same as yours. It's in the eye of each beholder."

Most everything posted here is in the eye of the beholder, And in the eye of this beholder, Nadal is not nearly as interesting as a persona, and his game is not nearly as flashy and artistic by far. Not intending to offend,just giving an opinion. Like I said before, when writers start doing the cloak and dagger stuff with all Nadal's business no matter how trifling or straighforward the way they do with Roger, then your boy will have 'arrived". at this point, he doesn't appear to be there yet.

Posted by Rosangel 03/12/2009 at 12:31 AM

And, BTW, I said what I said about photographing Rafa (all mine are action photos, on a number of occasions taken from close up with a media pass) because I personally find him compelling to watch when he's playing tennis. i.e. charismatic.

Posted by yello fuzzy 'jumping into the fray' 03/12/2009 at 12:31 AM

Cosi
I love Nadal for alot of reasons, but he's not charismatic, or very exciting or intriguing as a persona at this point

I say the same thing about Roger, I don't see his passion, he's bland like Sampras, without the humility of Pete...I always thought Roger was cold and dispassionate(arrogant ) and that generally works for him. Rafa is charismatic and and intriguing personality IMO.
Rafa is fire and Roger is ice, this assessment also reflects where they come from.
it's in rogers nature to be more reserved, and rafas to express , to burn fist pump

Posted by Rosangel 03/12/2009 at 12:39 AM

Pspace: you'll no doubt be delighted to know that searching for Federer "lacks Wilanders" throws up zero results :)

Posted by Cosi 03/12/2009 at 12:40 AM

Posted by spacenoxx (Golden Rafa - Numero Uno) 03/12/2009 @ 12:29 AM

Cosi 03/12/2009 @ 12:08 AM

Yeah Cosi, I comepletely agree with you regarding Rafa's English not setting the world on fire. The dude has been on the circuit with english speaking peers for what 7 years now and he still cant manage to frame one coherent sentence. He isnt winning any popularity contests there.

He should try and follow Roger and start crying when he loses. Thats sure to gain him some popularity :-)"

Actually, the more Roger loses, the more fans he seems to get, which is strange. He gained forty thousand registered members on his website within a few months of losing Wimbledon, and many thousand upon losing at the Australian Open and crying. In fact, his episode at the Australian Open was deemed so compelling that they were playing audio of the ceremony on the radio in the midwestern United States,obviously Federer rates and rates high, because he's not the first to cry, but our local broadcasters found it interesting enough to tell us about it that the very mighty Fed had an emotional break down at the AO. I might add too that Roger Federer's web site has over two hundred thousand registered members, that's a heck of a lot of people interested enough in him to actually register to his site. I don't look at alot of sportsmen's websites or celebrities, but two hundred thousand members has to be quite a large membership for any famous person's website.

Posted by crazyone 03/12/2009 at 12:41 AM

rg.nadal, I would be SHOCKED if Del Potro managed to make a dent on Nadal in anyway at this point in time.

Posted by David 03/12/2009 at 12:43 AM

"Cosi" says about Nadal at 03/12/2009 @ 12:08 AM

"... and his style of play, not exactly Nijinski on grass or clay, just meat and potatoes, bam bam bam,with a load monotonous groan to boot, he's a grinder par excellence, since when did that become exciting?"

LOL!! You are funny!! Believe it or not, Nadal is the reason, as much as Roger, that people who never liked tennis or ignored it for years are involved again. But don´t get angry, you can keep on belitte Nadal until he wears a Cardigan or passes the CAE...

Posted by Angel of the Surf 03/12/2009 at 12:44 AM

Why has this thread turned into a debate Rafa and charisma? Can we stick to the topic please people

Posted by Pspace 03/12/2009 at 12:44 AM

Rosangel, phew! I was scared to try that one :-).

Posted by Joe 03/12/2009 at 12:45 AM

spacenoxx, who cares about Nadal english!!, at least he can speak three languages, you probably just one. We care about his great game!!. I think you are going too far....

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