Quotable Quotes: I WANT A PROPER DISAGREEMENT, DAMNIT!
Roger: “The clay court season will not be judged here, but in Paris. We will see what happens in three weeks. It’s unfortunately — or fortunately — like that. If we win all the tournaments like Rafa now and then go out in the first round of the French, everything will be questioned.”
Rafa: “Well, that’s a respectable opinion that I don’t share. And not because I have won the three (Masters 1000s) leading up to it, which some might think, but because I think it is unfair to think the whole clay season is decided by one tournament.”
Yo Fed and Rafa, if this is your idea of an argument, YOU FAIL.
It’s not so much a matter of right or wrong in this instance as a difference of outlook for two players at different stages in their careers.
For Fed, now that he’s in unchartered waters, his career seems to be solely defined by his slam records in the media. It’s hardly news to anyone that tennis-wise, he’s been building his game to peak in 3 periods of the year for the last few years. And mentally, (he’ll never admit this) non-slam tournaments are the equivalent of cashed-up practice sessions to him these days, or on the odd occasion – like yesterday or Cincinnati 09 – a chance to work on some H2Hs.
Naturally, losses at smaller tournaments don’t alarm him the way it alarms poor old Dootsie. What does alarm him is his form going into a slam, the records at stake, each and every possibility realised or unrealised on the big stage.
It is however, one of the few times he has expressly given voice to a Serena-like attitude that has been developing for quite some time.
For Rafa, he is still in the part of his career where the whole season matters, not just in stretches. And for a relatively young player, it’s the right outlook to have. If everyone took Federer, Kim or Serena’s approach to tennis, I’d only be blogging 10 weeks a year.
But for the likes of Federer or Serena? With records on the line, history to be made, expectations at ridiculously high levels and their own career longevity surely at the back of their minds, this is the exact attitude I want them to take.
By the way, yay or nay I asked. The ayes have it. There is a new theme on Picket Fence, click over and see for yourself, if you’re reading this in a RSS reader.