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The Silk Shirt 11/17/2009 - 12:42 PM

92896493
by Pete Bodo

You gotta love The Mighty Fed. Just about the time that everyone is trying to adjust to a world in which Roger Federer doesn't - or maybe, no longer can - win everything in sight, he comes out with this (in an interview with Paul Kimmage of The Times of London):

"I'm midway [through my career]. It feels like the second part of my career right now, although I am trying to avoid saying that because the second part sounds like ‘neehhhhrrrrr' [motions straight down]. You can definitely play your greatest tennis until 32 or 33, it's just a matter of how you look at it. I've always been a big believer in looking at the big picture. It's not about, ‘What will we do tomorrow?', it's about, ‘How will my life and tennis look in the next five years?' And I still have the same vision, so that's going to help me."

I had laugh out loud when I read that - especially the "neehhhrrr" bit. Anybody want to talk about handling pressure with grace? Actually, the entire piece is a good read; you could call it TMF's Sermon on the Mount - a discourse on how to handle being the guy with the target on his back in perpetuity, a meditation on the importance of taking joy and pleasure out of even a stressful life, an exposition of the workings of the mind of a confident, imperturbable genius. This guy needs a coach! It may be the dumbest thing I've ever said (but stick around, there's always tomorrow).

If you want to understand Federer, you really need to start with the fact that despite his resemblance to a regular if very nicely-dressed guy, he really is different; you have to throw out everything you known about other guys who have walked in similar shoes.

For example, look at the contrast between the way Federer and his pal Pete Sampras drove on to greatness. Having written Pete's book, A Champion's Mind,  with him a couple of years ago, I feel pretty qualified to make this comparison. Pete took his mission to make the most of his God-given talent as a challenge, and decided a few years into his pro career that he was willing to make the sacrifices required to fulfill his destiny. His drive to secure that sixth-consecutive year-end number 1 ranking (a first-order record that is now safe even from Federer,which makes it hard to imagine anyone every toppling it) almost wrecked him; the day he won his record, 14th singles title, he was ready to quit. Sampras had as deep and abiding a love for the game as any player who ever laced them up, but he grew tired of having to wear the hair shirt.

Federer's shirt, by contrast, is made from silk. And you can't help but notice how much, well, easier, it all seems for him. In the interview, he even mentions how he decided to take pleasure out of the things that drive so many pros batty - the travel, the itinerant lifestyle, the 24/7 bugle-call of competition. Once Federer decided that winning majors and making a run at the record established by Sampras was a worthwhile goal, he essentially shrugged and decided: Well, it's going to be a bear, but I may as well have fun doing it. . . 

And that's a conclusion that escaped most of our other, recent male tennis icons. Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lend and Sampras were all about the discipline of greatness (anyone else notice that the word "discipline" just doesn't appear to be part of Federer's vocabulary, and probably won't be, until his twins, Wimby and Rolanda (sic) start school?). Jimmy Connors was all about bringing the poor schmo across the net to his knees, begging for mercy. John McEnroe's schtick was, as that successful but cheesy reprise of the famous James Dean Rebel Without a Cause poster (on behalf of Nike) demonstrated, mostly about being the misunderstood, alienated genius. And what is Roger Federer about? Try enjoying life; having fun. Nike probably rejected the idea of a poster: We can't dress Roger up like Cyndi freakin' Lauper!

Andy Roddick, 16-14 in the fifth in the Wimbledon final? Hahahahaa! Isn't this great! Rafael Nadal, beating him to a pulp on the red clay?  Man, this is going to hurt in the morning, but it's kind of cool seeing all those Spanish princes and stuff here . . . Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open? Alright, I had him, but you can't win 'em all and did you catch that serve of his, pretty awesome, huh?

I can think of only one aspect of Federer's legacy that may be negative. It's going to make you wonder why all those other guys seemed so tortured, why everything had to be so danged dramatic, like in some stupid Ken Russell flick.  No matter what Andre Agassi might say, it's possible to love this game, from beginning to end. The "sacrifice" narrative is a gripping, honorable one, great fodder for hero-worshippers, role-model seekers, and amateur psychologists.

But what about the "fun" narrative?

Federer has made his life in pro tennis seem a little like the story of a a teen-ager who got to go snowboarding instead of back to school for the entire month of January. Sure he wiped out a bunch and got a little tired as Februrary bore down, but it sure beat struggling with geometry.

It turns out that even that tearful, post-Australian Open final moment earlier this year wasn't nearly as traumatic as some wanted, or hoped, it was. When Federer, wiping way a tear, said,  "God, this is killing me. . .", he was referring to having to make a speech while in the grip of turbulent emotions, not the actual, emotional pain of losing. It was more like having to talk to your mother on the phone while sitting in the dentist's chair, having a cavity drilled, than having to address the mourners at your best friend's funeral. 

I thought this nugget from the interview especially telling:

He (Federer) begins with a story about a script he received for a commercial for Nike with Tiger Woods in 2007. "We had these different lines," he explains, "and I was reading through it and said" ' I’d like to take the text where it says, ‘I love winning’. And they said, ‘Well, that works perfectly because Tiger says he hates losing’. So that’s a part of it, I suppose. I feel I’m the ‘love winning’ rather than the ‘hate losing’ type.” 

This is a pretty radical confession, given what we know about most great players, who fall almost exclusively into the Woods camp on the subject. And it's easy to underestimate how difficult it is to take the Federer stance on this, either naturally (which almost never happens) or through a lot of hard work on the mental aspects of competition. For you risk a lot more when you hitch your wagon to the idea of winning instead of the fear of losing, in roughly the same way that it's a lot easier to avoid doing bad than it is to actively do good.

The desire to win is driven by hope and optimism; the hatred of losing draws to a greater degree on fear, a constant looking over your shoulder. The guy who hates losing stands in danger of becoming a hoarder, a miser. The guy who loves winning stands a chance to become rich and make others wonder how come he's so "lucky."

And let's be frank about this: haven't we all thought, at one time or another, that Federer is lucky? That he's got that "easy" game, that rational, even-tempered nature, all those cupcake draws, all those unworthy Grand Slam final opponents, greasing the skids for his slide to tennis immortality. If Nadal wouldn't have come up lame at Roland Garros, Federer would still be chasing Sampras! Yeah. Cry me a river, begrudging his success. Then try opening your eyes, unclencing your fists, and relaxing that frown on your face.

As Roger well knows, life can be fun. And so can tennis.

PS - This is also your Watercooler post for today.


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Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 07:34 AM

btw, for a very good look at the progress of the tournament, including all that messy stuff like set and game stats, Wikipedia keeps a pretty well instantly updated page on the tournament here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_ATP_World_Tour_Finals_-_Singles

You'll notice they've already plugged in the draw.

Posted by Carol ( 2010 Nadal Reign) 11/18/2009 at 07:35 AM

Murray, del Potro just come from injuries and Verdasco still has knees problems and even Costa says that playing in London could be pretty dangerous for him

Posted by Angel of the Surf 11/18/2009 at 07:38 AM

I can't understand how people can have food phobias like not eating fruit and veges.

Posted by Samantha Elin 11/18/2009 at 07:39 AM

Don't feel Caro playing doubles full time is a good idea, with her tendency to overplay, but it may help her net play.

Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 07:42 AM

LOL, JohnC, actually I see everybody on this thread is just using the word humorously. It might even become one of those TW catchphrases like "Weak Era".

Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 07:42 AM

"I can't understand how people can have food phobias like not eating fruit and veges."

Is that a coded message for someone, Angel?

Posted by Angel of the Surf 11/18/2009 at 07:51 AM

No JohnC I am watching a tv program about fussy eaters and I don't get it. There is a guy who only eats cheese and peanut butter sandwiches and a couple of other things.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 11/18/2009 at 07:55 AM

Based on Rafa's current form, there probably were no potentially easy draws for Rafa at the year end tournament.

And that's as it should be, when you have eight of the top nine players in the world in the tournament.

If Rafa gets blown out before the semis, that will give him plenty of time to rest and reacclimate himself to Davis Cup clay. Not such a bad thing.

Still not sure if Juanqui or Chokebredo will be the alternate for the Spanish Davis Cup team in the finals. Could be important if Verdasco or Rafa pull up lame at the YECs or Ferrer's recovery from
his recent physical ailments is not complete.

Posted by Nic 11/18/2009 at 08:13 AM

msf - I thought the report was that Tommy was going to be the alternate

Ange- I think I've seen that show. Funny how they relate fruit and veg as dirty because it comes from the ground, also they don't like to touch raw meet, but processed and packaged food is safe.

Maybe this is an opportunity for Rafa to get his own back against Sod? Silver lining people.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 11/18/2009 at 08:22 AM

Nic:

I thought someone (Mr. X?) posted a couple of days ago that Robredo would be the alternate.

However, when I googled the matter today, all the articles I found said Costa had not made a decision re the alternate.

One additional area of confusion for me is that the Davis Cup rules posted on the Davis Cup site don't expressly use the term "alternate" in conjunction with players on the teams.

Hopefully, some clarification will be forthcoming.

Posted by Master Ace 11/18/2009 at 08:30 AM

Just in case you have not read or commented yet, here is the result of the draw:

A - Roger, Andy, Juan Martin, and Fernando
B - Rafael, Novak, Nikolay, and Robin

Doubles
A - Nestor/Zimonjic, Bhupathi/Knowles, Cermak/Mertinak, and Fyrstenberg/Matkowski
B - B Bryan/M Bryan, Dlouhy/Paes, Kubot/Marach, Mirnyi/Ram

Posted by Kwaku (the poster formerly known as Kofi) 11/18/2009 at 08:32 AM

Hi! Just arrived and won't stay long, but...
I just heard in the radio that Rafa is with Nole, Koyla and le Sod, right? I thought --the worst opponents he could face! All four of the others (Verdasco, Murray, even Delpo and of course Federer) would have been easier for him, at least and with his current form... (and why can't they do a YEC on clay every now and then?)
So WTF, I see it very difficult for Nadal this year...

Posted by Kwaku (the poster formerly known as Kofi) 11/18/2009 at 08:34 AM

BTW nice post, Pete.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/18/2009 at 08:38 AM

Hello all,

Just checked in to see the draw and Master Ace has thoughtfully provided it. Voila!

Hopefully, there will be no more talk of cupcakes, draw fixing, or minions.

Posted by Nic 11/18/2009 at 08:47 AM

I'm really enjoying Mr X's 'minion' dialogues. Up there with the rants against the evil Lord Tiriac of the Blue Clay.

Posted by Master Ace 11/18/2009 at 08:50 AM

Nic,
I think Mr. X's Tiriac(BKA - Evil Blue Lord) one is barely better than the Minion and the fixing of the draws.

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 08:55 AM

hi, everyone

Kolya and Sod in the same group? dang it... I was worried that will happen... Kolya is in tough group... Sod, who's very uncomfortable for him, Djoko, who's been playing very well, and Rafa, well strangely enough I feel like it's the easiest opponent out of the group...

not happy about the draw :-((

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 09:01 AM

don't know if these pics were posted, but here is more pictures from Caro's vacation in Mauritania (along with Radwanska sisters and Kerber)
http://tinyurl.com/yf4nxp8

Posted by Tennissy 11/18/2009 at 09:03 AM

why can't they do a YEC on clay every now and then?
I second the motion. Not only on clay, YEC should be held on grass.

Posted by Tfactor 11/18/2009 at 09:03 AM

Well I'm ok with the draw, at least ranking wise seems balanced. As for Rafa I think most of these guys give him trouble on hard court so I don't think he'd do well (regardless of the draw).

Where are the conspiracy theorists? I know I'm pretty bad at spotting conspiracies, but there must be one somewhere, I'm sure ;-)

Posted by ladyjulia 11/18/2009 at 09:06 AM

I see Rafa got Soderling. I have no idea who will win that one, considering that it is now played on Soderling's best surface.However, Rafa will be set for revenge and can surely find a way to beat him.

Roger has Murray, who will have the home court advantage..still it will be a three setter, and Muzz can win if he holds his nerve.

On paper, there are a lot of scenarios..but in reality, anything can happen. Which is why we watch and frazzle.

Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 09:07 AM

Never understood why Kolya struggles so much with the Sod. In theory, he should be able to use the angles to make Robin move around the court, which is his weakness.

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 09:19 AM

"Never understood why Kolya struggles so much with the Sod"

me too, but he does

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 09:20 AM

Jankovic and Janovic are in Cannes, on vacation...

http://tinyurl.com/yggagb6

Posted by Tfactor 11/18/2009 at 09:25 AM

Well I just realized I was late to the party and quite a bit of draw talk happened before I arrived.
I'm with MSF,
"Based on Rafa's current form, there probably were no potentially easy draws for Rafa at the year end tournament.
If Rafa gets blown out before the semis, that will give him plenty of time to rest and reacclimate himself to Davis Cup clay. Not such a bad thing"

I don't think it's going to be pretty for Rafa but at least he doesn't have to travel very far to and from the tournament which would have been a concern for DC.

Posted by Master Ace 11/18/2009 at 09:25 AM

Sokol,
This offseason is already different for Jelena as she is actually relaxing instead of worrying about number 1 like she did in 2008. On the 9:01 AM post, vacation should be almost over for the wondering 4.

Posted by greenhopper 11/18/2009 at 09:28 AM

"B - Rafael, Novak, Nikolay, and Robin

B - B Bryan/M Bryan, Dlouhy/Paes, Kubot/Marach, Mirnyi/Ram"

blurg!

Posted by Tennissy 11/18/2009 at 09:31 AM

"Never understood why Kolya struggles so much with the Sod"
The answer is pace. Sod plays very aggressively killing ball with brutal force barely giving koyla time to react.IMO

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 09:31 AM

"vacation should be almost over for the wondering 4."

it probably is, looks like they had a lot of fun... good for them...

Posted by Master Ace 11/18/2009 at 09:31 AM

Greenhopper,
Under the doubles, I think the Bryans have the most problems as Max/Andy have their number and Lukas/Leander, despite probably playing the least matches, have won 2 out of the biggest 4 events of the year.

Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 09:36 AM

Tennissy : You are right, Kolya prefers players who hit with a bit of topspin (Rafa, Djokovic) compared to the flat, go-for-broke hitters (Soderling, Blake).

Posted by manuelsantanafan 11/18/2009 at 09:37 AM

According to this website, Robredo is the alternate or reserve player for Spain in the Davis Cup finals:

http://blogografia.com/confirman-equipo-espanol-de-la-final-de-la-copa-davis-2.html

I have no idea how accurate the story is.

I do hope that Juanqui shows up to support his teammates. However, he has been known to be somewhat of a prima donna.

Posted by Vie 11/18/2009 at 09:45 AM

The in-form players to torture Rafa's side.

The injured/recently injured players to give a little poke to Roger's.

Hope not another disaster or coronation coming.

I'll root for Murray or Djokovic after Rafa.

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 09:52 AM

I'll cheer for Kolya, Novak, Juan Martin in this order... :-)

Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 10:00 AM

I can see both Fed and Rafa finishing second in their groups behind Murray and Djokovic. Not sure about Del Potro's fitness, but if he's fit, he's a big threat as well.

Posted by Andrew 11/18/2009 at 10:08 AM

Morning, all.

Interesting draw. If you are a Federer fan (like me) you may have been saying to yourself "Murray gives Federer fits, while Federer owns Davydenko and Soderling. Therefore..."

Not to be, I guess.

The unspoken question, I think, hanging over the entire proceedings, is which player shows up? The listless Federer of Basel F and Bercy R32, or the fellow who's tanned, rested and ready to go? The never say die jack in the box punching knee kicking Vamos!, or the run from side to side 3m back before knocking a 2H BH in the net with a look of disgust? The baby seal clubbing from a great height FH, or the I can't believe you bagelled me twice BH? The don't worry, I've got all day and I'll feed you tons of junk before the 100 mph DTL BH winner, or the Andy!!! Focus!!! face ripper offer? And so on.

Pretty good mix. Sorry Roddick couldn't make it.

Posted by arbiter 11/18/2009 at 10:10 AM

Rafa's group is much stronger than Fed's...but we knew that was going to happen, didn't we? Everyone wants Murray in the finals, so they have put 2 injured players and so-so Fed in his group. Nice.

Posted by Tfactor 11/18/2009 at 10:11 AM

Well it must be just me, but I don't see Rafa getting through at all. Nole and Davy had very convincing wins against Rafa recently and the RG victory must have given Soderling quite a confidence boost against Rafa, regardless of surface.
Furthermore, looking at H2H on hard court:
Nole-Rafa 5-3 (Rafa's last victory at Olympics 2008)
Davy-Rafa 3-1 (Rafa's only victory in 2006)
Soderling-Rafa - Haven't played on hard court.

Posted by Vie 11/18/2009 at 10:12 AM

Novak (check),
Sod (good chances against Rafa and Kolya),
Kolya (matchup problem with Sod),
Rafa (stylistic/matchup problems with all 3 in his group).

Roger (check),
Murray (recent injury lay-off),
Delpo (recent injury lay-off, and still with niggles),
Verdasco (playing with injury).

Realistically,
Roger vs Sod & Novak vs Murray in semifinal

Posted by Tfactor 11/18/2009 at 10:16 AM

That said, I don't think it would have been much easier had he gotten the reverse draw. Conclusion: Bring on DC, bring on clay! :)

Posted by jewell, at work. 11/18/2009 at 10:18 AM

Hi everyone. :)

Poor baby seals. :(

Whose FH is that? (I know I should know, but I don't.)

Ha ha, I wondered when someone was going to seriously suggest a Murray FTW conspiracy. :)

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 10:19 AM

I can't worry much about WTF yet, as I'm frazzled over futbol match today Russia-Slovenia, which will take place in Slovenia, for a chance to go to World Cup 2010. I hope Russia can make it...

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 10:24 AM

interesting choice for draw ceremony was chosen in London :-)

http://tinyurl.com/ylo67gy

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 10:26 AM

"interesting choice" ahould have been "interesting place"

Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 10:28 AM

"I hope Russia can make it... "

+1, I want to see that little genius Arshavin at the World Cup and Hiddink teams are always fun to watch.

jewell, I think the baby seal clubbing FH is Del Potro's.

Posted by sokol 11/18/2009 at 10:29 AM

"I want to see that little genius Arshavin at the World Cup'

yeah, he's really something :-)

Posted by jewell, at work. 11/18/2009 at 10:32 AM

yes...double bagel, great height, cuter than a polar bear...or is it stronger?

Cheers, VC!

Posted by greenhopper 11/18/2009 at 10:33 AM

MA, the Bryans hate Leander and will def. be frothing for revenge. D/P finished last year with no wins, can't do worse no?

Posted by ladyjulia 11/18/2009 at 10:41 AM

"Murray leads the respective head-to-head records against all three of his group opponents."

That's a really interesting stats. Atleast in Muzz's favor.

Posted by Master Ace 11/18/2009 at 10:42 AM

Greenhopper,
Yes, Leander and the Bryans have a "storied" past. Daniel and Nenad has got to be the overwhelming favorites to win next week as they won 9 titles and dominated their main rivals(Bryans) winning 5 out of their 6 meetings(only win by Bryans was at Sydney)in 2009.

Posted by thebigapple 11/18/2009 at 10:47 AM

Andrew, I am completely with you 10:08.

Fed's form is worrying and his level of interest is doubtful. I am trying not to hold a grudge against his two adorable babies but it seems to me that he has not won anything since they arrived. His sting seems to have been plucked. I suspect he does not give a hoot about winning the YEC.

And his draw is bad. I would have loved to see Daydenko and Sod in his half. Instead he gets Murray - that sod. I just hope he manages to win at least two of his matches. Not good, not good.

Posted by Cotton Jack 11/18/2009 at 10:51 AM

EXCITED!

Posted by stats 11/18/2009 at 10:53 AM

Actually on hard courts Nole leads Rafa 6-3 and not 5-3.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/18/2009 at 10:54 AM

thebigapple,

Federer won Cincinnati after the twins were born..he also played very well there.

I see Roger is getting bad press as well as good press this week.
Bad press is ofcourse regarding his H2H with Murray where he says the offensive player has the match in his hand...which is probably true, but then goes on to say that its up to him whether he loses or wins against MAndy.

Good press is from Querry..who says he received an encouraging email from Federer that made his day.

Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 10:54 AM

Murray always scares me, he seems to carry a grudge whenever he plays Federer...

Posted by Tfactor 11/18/2009 at 10:55 AM

Actually on hard courts Nole leads Rafa 6-3 and not 5-3"

Which only reinforces the point I was trying to make :)

Posted by thebigapple 11/18/2009 at 10:56 AM

Thanks for the reminder ladyjulia, that makes me feel much better.

Sorry babies, for a while there I had my evil eye on you.

Posted by Vie 11/18/2009 at 10:58 AM

thebigapple: "I would have loved to see Daydenko and Sod in his half. Instead he gets Murray - that sod."

Murray can only be exchanged for Djokovic. Which would you prefer for Fed?

Posted by roadrunnerz 11/18/2009 at 11:04 AM

I'd take Nole over Murray for Fed. He's bound to hit a wall at some point and I see it happening at the WTF. (Those initials kill me...I hope it's not what I'll be muttering when I watch Fed play...)

Agree with VC that there seems to be some lingering grudge between Fed and Murray. There's always some (albeit subtle) media snark between them. I do think Murray's out for revenge, just as Fed was in Cincy, much as he likes to deny it.

As a Fedal fan who'd like to see them face each other in the final, I'd love for Fed and Rafa to switch places in their respective draws.

Posted by Andrew 11/18/2009 at 11:05 AM

jewell: "The baby seal clubbing from a great height FH, or the I can't believe you bagelled me twice BH?"

From a great height/I can't believe you bagelled me twice = Torre De Tandil.

Posted by jb (Chocolate FTW!) 11/18/2009 at 11:07 AM

considering these are the top 8 players in the world, i's say there IS no easy draw, despite everyone being a bit banged up.

i think the only lopsided draw i can remember at the masters cup was several years ago when ALL the top hard courters were in 1 group; think RAndy called it the 'group of death'...

sigh. missing RAndy already; though happy for Sod he got in after the great strides he made this year.

Posted by thebigapple 11/18/2009 at 11:07 AM

Give us Nole for Fed.

Posted by Vie 11/18/2009 at 11:08 AM

roadrunnerz: "... I'd love for Fed and Rafa to switch places in their respective draws."

+1

Posted by thebigapple 11/18/2009 at 11:09 AM

yes, I would like all of Rafa's draw for Fed.

and I agree, Nole is going to start losing soon.

Posted by Vie 11/18/2009 at 11:18 AM

Fed fans scared of recently lacklustre Murray nore than Djoko who's in form and confident. Well, what is it. Why do same(?)people "trash" Murray then?

Posted by roadrunnerz 11/18/2009 at 11:19 AM

Fed sent Querrey a get-well e-mail?

Heh.

There he goes, exercising that "soft power". Love it.

He needs to head the ATP when he retires.

Posted by Arun 11/18/2009 at 11:21 AM

lol roadrunnerz.

Posted by thebigapple 11/18/2009 at 11:22 AM

People trash Murray because his game is infuriating. His publicity is built on unrealized British fantasy. His self-regard is annoying. His palid persona is pathetic. His contract to be the new Beckham is msiguided. His public comments on TMF are disrespectful.

And we think TMF gives him no love - so he get none from me either.

Besides that he is OK and a very talented player.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/18/2009 at 11:24 AM

roadrunnerz,

Querry says he also heard from Roddick and Blake. From ESPN:

"Querrey heard from Roddick and Blake after the accident, but he was most excited about an e-mail from Federer wishing him well.

"That was the greatest," he said, smiling. "I was so happy. It made my day. It was almost worth it.""

Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 11:25 AM

Nobody's trashing Murray on this thread, Vie.

"Fed fans scared of recently lacklustre Murray nore than Djoko who's in form and confident."

Could have something to do with the fact that Murray leads Fed 6-3 in the H2H, while Fed has the H2H advantage against Djokovic.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/18/2009 at 11:26 AM

"His public comments on TMF are disrespectful."

thebigapple, are you sure? I have never heard anything from Murray where he is disrespectful of RF.

Posted by thebigapple 11/18/2009 at 11:30 AM

Yes I am sure. I cannot bother to find any proof :)!. In my leaky memory he seems to talk smack on TMF. Or maybe it is just his presumptous declarations that he can be the #1. That is just rude!


Posted by Tfactor 11/18/2009 at 11:30 AM

I happen to think Fed playing his game can beat (and has) any and all of these guys on any given day. Of course anything can happen, he can have an off day and/or opponent can play his best, etc.
The same cannot be said about Rafa who -at least on hard court- has not been able to beat any of these guys since the Olympic games in 2008.

Posted by zenggi 11/18/2009 at 11:31 AM

Good morning,

What Roger did sending an e-mail to Sam Querrey is called "Federer's sprezzatura".

No comments on the draws from me. Let the WTF begin and we'll see what excuses we can find if our favourite doesn't win a match.

Posted by Or 11/18/2009 at 11:31 AM

Roger need to be careful, Murray may show up with a super aggressive mindset to their match.

Posted by Vie 11/18/2009 at 11:32 AM

I like Murray but recently he's been pallid (the game, not the persona). Andy wants to beat Federer because it's a good measure for him to play against the best there is. I guess Fed felt threatened because young Murray did beat him. Well, they've both changed since, and you still think Fed is a lapdog to Murray, honestly?

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/18/2009 at 11:34 AM

My opinion is that Rafa will be saving his "magic" for DC. I'm not counting on anything for the WTF.

Posted by jewell, at work. 11/18/2009 at 11:42 AM

Thanks, Andrew. :)

Posted by ladyjulia 11/18/2009 at 11:45 AM

thebigapple,

I don't see how it is rude for Murray to say that he wants to be No.1.

Roger said he wanted to be No.1 when he had just won some measely title on clay (?) (in that interview where he has a pony tail and said that he dosen't see anyone dominating like Sampras) after being on the tour for almost two years and i don't think he was ranked even in the top 10.

Murray has a far stronger platform to shout that he wants to be No.1 ,IMO. He has atleast reached finals and SF of GS. Roger had not even done that. Ofcourse, Roger did not get as much press attention as Murray.

Either way, they all aspire to be No.1, and I don't think its rude or disrespectful to the top player to say what you want to be No.1.

Or...true, Roger does not have to give free coaching advice to Murray for a long career in tennis. He is not his mentor and does not need to explain to Murray how to be in control for his matches.

I know Roger predicted that Murray would peak in 2006 itself, but this is wayyy too much free advice.

Vie..its not that Fed is a lapdog to Murray, but its always more difficult playing a homeboy. Upon that, its a 3-6 H2H.

Posted by Sherlock 11/18/2009 at 11:50 AM

"People trash Murray because his game is infuriating. His publicity is built on unrealized British fantasy. His self-regard is annoying. His palid persona is pathetic. His contract to be the new Beckham is msiguided. His public comments on TMF are disrespectful."

thebigapple, seriously? Bad day or what?


Posted by thebigapple 11/18/2009 at 11:51 AM

Such a long note to me..Ouch.

Am I to read the whole thing?

Posted by thebigapple 11/18/2009 at 11:52 AM

Sherlock, let us not engage. Please.

Posted by Arun 11/18/2009 at 11:53 AM

ladyjulia: Thanks for your thoughts.
Honestly I think Murray is being thrashed more. for his game or personality or whatever.
I agree with everything you said re Murray. and the Fed. :)

Posted by ladyjulia 11/18/2009 at 11:55 AM

"Such a long note to me..Ouch.

Am I to read the whole thing?"

thbigapple...LOL!! I assume u mean my post..its also discussing Or's post. So, no..you don't have to read it he he.

Seems like the draw has upset you more than it should.

Posted by tina (channeling 7th-grade English teacher, Mr. Welles) 11/18/2009 at 11:55 AM

Apropos of nothing, a huge pet peeve:

"If Nadal wouldn't have come up lame at Roland Garros..."

Hey, my eyes read straight through all kinds of errors that can be attributed to typos or brain freezes, such as its/it's or there/their/they're -- but there is nothing that irks me as much as the complete disregard for the pluperfect verb tense, and the strong tendency in all sportswriting, in particular, to think the past conditional is somehow a replacement. Tennis players do this all the time, but I don't expect perfect English from them even when they're native speakers, because they're jocks, not writers. But this is how grammatical errors are passed around.

Mr. Welles notes: "If Nadal had not come up lame at Roland Garros, Federer would still be chasing Sampras."

Posted by CherryNYC 11/18/2009 at 11:55 AM

Hi all!! I know it's been ages for me -- I tend to fall off the TW wagon after the USO. I'm in the "why isn't the season over already?" camp.

Anyway, this was nice, Pete. Lovely interview with TMF. Truly, Fed take positive thinking to new heights -- I don't know how he does it (although a private plane and $50 million in the bank helps I'm sure) -- but I find it much more appealing as a fan than the joyless McEnroe-Connors-Lendl school.

And the unsung hero here is Mirka, IMO. Get that girl a new Vuitton!

London draw -- tough for Fed --I see DelPo as more of a problem than Murray.

Have a lovely day!!


Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 11:55 AM

"Or...true, Roger does not have to give free coaching advice to Murray for a long career in tennis. He is not his mentor and does not need to explain to Murray how to be in control for his matches."

ladyjulia : It's not coaching advice, merely an opinion on his game (which the British press seemingly can never get enough of). Federer has always been brutally honest. Bit like the "one-dimensional" comment, if you like. Anyway, isn't everybody now saying what Roger was saying 18 months back? Playing a style that bothers Federer will not necessarily win you Slams.

Posted by thebigapple 11/18/2009 at 11:57 AM

Ladyjulia, good comments at 11;45...well, up to the point that I managed.

Posted by Tfactor 11/18/2009 at 12:00 PM

Ouch! I think the moderators had requested for everyone to be more tolerant with grammatical and spelling errors since some of us are not native English speakers :(

Ps I'm pretty sure there are mistakes in the sentence/paragraph I just wrote so I better stop now

Have a good one everyone!

Posted by Good plan 11/18/2009 at 12:00 PM

'There he goes, exercising that "soft power". Love it.'

Yes, all part of Fed's plan to get the 'soft awards' next year as well :)

Posted by TripleF-FedFanForever 11/18/2009 at 12:01 PM

Given what happened in Cincinnati and what's at stake (and how close last year's WTF was):
Roger will take care of Murray.
Roger will find it funny to play and beat DP - as DP is either playing possum or he is just worn out.
Verdasco will roar and do the eye thing (and yes, the outspread palm thing as well) for a point or two but as usual he will overdo his shots and will get lost in his own theatrics.
I see Roger moving into Semis.

On the other hand:
Oh Rafa! Rafa! Rafael Nadal!
You opted out last year and now you have to play 3 matches and how interesting all your 3 matches are going to be!
Soderman...Revenge!
Davy...Revenge!
Nole...Revenge!
How many revenges yea?
I see blood and guts all over the indoor arena.

I think this RR presents one of the most interesting perm&combo in long long time - especially given this year's results with the top #2 guys.

CAN'T WAIT TWibes...am frazzling already!

Posted by jewell, at work. 11/18/2009 at 12:01 PM

"People trash Murray because his game is infuriating. His publicity is built on unrealized British fantasy. His self-regard is annoying. His palid persona is pathetic. His contract to be the new Beckham is msiguided. His public comments on TMF are disrespectful."

Poor Murray. :(

Posted by BlueDog 11/18/2009 at 12:02 PM

Mr. Welles notes: "If Nadal had not come up lame at Roland Garros, Federer would still be chasing Sampras."

Yea? Well, Mr. Welles is obviously just a KAD with no knowledge of tennis!

note: the missing of tina's point is purely intentional and only done for comedic purposes.

Posted by Master Ace 11/18/2009 at 12:06 PM

Jewell,
Satisfied with the ATP draw? AS you probably know, my WTA mind is on vacation.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/18/2009 at 12:12 PM

Arun..yes, i noticed that, its probably best to blame the British press for that.

VC,

True, Federer is being honest (as he has always been)..but, as a Fed fan, don't you think it will be better if Federer does not tell Murray what can make his game better? Murray already has the variety, the legs, the determination..he loses to Verdasco because of his passiveness.If he includes aggressiveness, its a deadly combination. Add confidence after one GS, and Murray will feel virtually unbeatable.

As you can see, I am not a Muzz fan..I'd rather Roger and Rafa dominate.

Roger is giving out the recipe...its like saying "Hey, you know how you can beat me and others in GS?". Sure..everybody knows being aggressive will win matches, but Murray is well-tooled where aggressiveness will be a key ingredient for prolonged success in GS.

So, its more than an opinion...IMO...its more like advice and its very good advice for sure. That's why i said he is doing a coach's job for Murray.

Posted by tina 11/18/2009 at 12:14 PM

The grammatical error was made by Pete - I am well aware that there are many non-native English speakers here. I have also, myself, been a teacher of English as a Second Language.

Posted by jewell, at work. 11/18/2009 at 12:16 PM

I am in the "anything can happen" camp, Master Ace...as we saw in Paris last week. :)

I'd be frazzling away whoever Rafa was playing. :)


Posted by Mr Rick 11/18/2009 at 12:17 PM

Triple F - I seriously doubt Rafa is going to be drawing much blood or taking revenge in London. I doubt he will want to risk injury or fatigue right before the Davis Cup. There are only 3 days between the two tournaments.

As usual, he'll do his best at the Finals but his last goal for the year is to do well at Davis Cup.

...and I say this knowing full well that SOME posters here are still going to say "How could Rafa lose any matches in London? His draw is totally cupcake!"

Posted by Tfactor 11/18/2009 at 12:20 PM

Regardless of who made the mistake, it's not very encouraging for me personally when people make such a big deal about grammatical/spelling errors. Of course I'm aware that's entirely my problem.

Really off now to more positive things.

Posted by Alexis 11/18/2009 at 12:20 PM

The draw is what it is. The groups are what they are. Both Roger and Rafa have great chances to exact some revenge. Should be fun.

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