Fandom Politics in a time of mourning.


A few quick thoughts before I leave it to PJ to update the Wimbly fall-out.

Haven’t seen the match yet. I’ll give it some time before I do. By “some time”, I mean … a few years.

I found out the results by walking past a pub with a plasma screen. Couldn’t make it to the end of the block, my feet literally refused to move anymore. It’s amazing how quickly the man is capable of sapping my energy, the same way he put a sprint in my step a few days ago when I went to see him at Wimbledon. I would give anything to be less emotionally invested right now.

Of course, when I finally doubled back to the pub, ordered myself a drink and connected to the pub wifi on my iPod touch, tennis fandom was in the thick of a wave of fury over Federer’s press conference.

So here goes:

  1. The last question of the presser: either you have the IQ of a piece of fungus, or Federer was being sarcastic. But of course, IQ and sarcasm-radar has nothing to do with it: people who want to hate on him will always jump to the worst conclusion without a lead.
  2. Surliness: I probably won’t be with the majority here – I loved the press conference. The worst part of the US Open 2009 wasn’t that he lost, it was that he lost and didn’t seem bothered by it. (Sure, the babies, Roland Garros and Wimbledon probably eased the blow back then). But this is Wimbledon, the man just lost for the second time in 7 years on his home turf. If he turns up to the press conference his usual smooth self, if he appeared to be unbothered by it, I’d tell him to retire. As long as he’s surly, sarcastic, as long as he’s out there looking for explanations, he still cares, he still wants it. There is no greater assurance for a Federer fan than that.
  3. Besides, what’s the point? I’ve watched him be magnanimous in defeat over the years, only to be preyed on the vultures the tennis media, only to be knocked down again and again by haters. It would’ve taken a lesser man less time to tell the tennis media to shove it. As far as I’m concerned, if “surly” is as bad as Federer ever gets on his worst day, it’s a pretty good reflection on his character.
  4. Bringing up an injury was an excuse, it was his way of rationalising the loss. Again, as with the surliness, it’s oddly comforting. Kim Clijsters did essentially the same thing after her Australian Open loss to Nadia Petrova. (Funny how she’s still the epitome of class and nicety on the WTA tour isn’t it?) It all comes down to this really: Roger Federer just lost in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. There is nothing rational about it. It is not okay. I am not okay and he shouldn’t be either. So if he wants to turn up to a press conference grasping for a way to explain this so that it hurts less for him and his fans – be my guest, Fed. I have no insecurities when it comes to Roger Federer – I don’t need him to say the right thing 100% of the time to be convinced that he’s a classy guy. I know that for a fact.
  5. The injury: those of us in Federer-fandom have known about his leg strapping since last week (here), and anyone familiar with Roger Federer knows how often we see a part of him strapped or bandaged: about once every half a decade, the last time being during Masters Cup 2005. That should tell you its significance. Funnily enough, not a single member of the media cared to ask.
  6. Regardless of the injury, just like there is a presumption of innocence in law, there should also be a presumption of health in sport. You’re well enough to step on court, you’re well enough to play (and you’re well enough to lose fairly). So no, Federer doesn’t get much credibility for bring up an injury after a loss, with a minor caveatthe man has never retired from a single match in his career. He could barely stand during the 2008 Masters Cup match against Murray and he still kept playing. Do you see him pulling out of Wimbledon, ever?
  7. Double standards. Hypocrisy. It runs both ways. If you’re a Rafa fan, I’m sorry, you don’t get to judge. Equally, if you’re a Federer fan who’s had a go at Rafa over the years for bringing up injuries after a loss, then you don’t get to not-judge Federer on this either.
  8. US Open. Roger will win it. And if he won’t? He’ll still walk away from 2010 with a slam. It’s what I asked for at the beginning of the year, the hardest part was telling myself not to be greedy.
  9. I realise this is where I part ways with some of you: Rafa for the tournament please. I’ve always said that if someone tapped me on the shoulder and told me the bandwagon I’m on is about to tumble off  cliff, I’ll probably still stay on it. Yesterday, my bandwagon crashed, and I have a feeling that Rafa fans know exactly what this feels like. This time last year was a low point for Rafa too. He hit rock bottom, stayed there for a while, and eventually found his way back up to the top.

The story gives me hope, that someday,as Federer fans, we may make it out of rock bottom too.

xx doots

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57 responses to “Fandom Politics in a time of mourning.”

  1. LJ says :

    Word to everything (other than maybe Rafa winning, I’d like to see Mandy take it).

    Anyone (all tennis journos included) who think that the first part of the last answer in the press was 4REALZ needs to cliff themselves.

    And puh-lease if that was considered serious surliness then then people also need to take a reality check.

    anyhoo, HUGS to all feddy fans, it’s cool, first we were afraid, we were petrified, but we will survive…

    • Sunny says :

      No disrespect LJ…

      But how can you want Mandy?!?! He wins…Feddy goes to #4!!!

      WE CANNOT HAVE THAT HAPPEN. PERIOD.

      And Doots…I can’t join you in the Rafa wishes… he wins and it just makes it that much harder for Feddy to get back to #1… he can always leap frog over Djoko if he has to…

      Best case scenario… Berdych wins… will do the least amount of damage to Feddy’s standings AND it will preserve the record that EVERY man who has won a slam since 2004 (minus FO 2004/2005) had to go through Fed to win it. We can still take away something from that…

      Imagine…in the last 6 years, you had to beat Federer either to get to the finals or beat him to win it. So it almost makes sense that Berdych takes it…would make it somehow a little bit easier…

      2nd Choice for the least amount damage to Fed would be to wish for Djoko to take it…and I NEVER thought I would EVER say that…

      I’m still too depressed to make any more comments than that…and I do have sooooo much more to say…but I fear it will compress itself into a tiny little stone in the pit of my stomach that i will carry around with me forever… unless of course, he wins US Open 2010 and then, I’ll cough that sucker up and hurl it into the ocean…

      I’ve got space under the covers over here if you wanna hide with me until the hardcourt season starts…

      P.S. I champion the idea of Fed asking Agassi to be his new coach…he needs help in his return game…and if there’s anyone who knows about late career winning, it’s Agassi. He won 5 of his 8 majors past the age of 28.

      It may not seem like it now….but we’ve got time folks,,,what we need now is belief!!

      • Isobel says :

        I hate to point this out, but the beat-Fed-and-win streak was broken at the French, when Sod beat Fed and then lost to Rafa. And 3 or 4, it matters less at this point; the consequences are the same for the draw, and he’s defending too many points over the summer to not drop further if something doesn’t give.
        I’d cheer for Rafa myself, except that he’s won this thing already; if Fed’s out, let it go to someone who hasn’t won it yet. I’m cheering for Mandy, though at this point I’d settle for Nole; he’s been growing on me lately.

        • Sunny says :

          Oops Isobel,

          I think you misunderstood me, or I think I didn;t make myself clear 😉 I meant that they could be mutually exclusive…that to even just reach the final (even if you eventually lost) you had to beat Fed to get there…I meant to say that whether you just reached the final by beating Fed OR you actually beat Federer in the final, you still had to play him at some point to get the chance to win. You had to get THRU Fed to get a chance to play for the title, which Soderling did.

          Regardless, I don’t want Mandy to win. And #3 or #4 does matter. I know that in Fed’s mind it matters, if only for pride’s sake…rankings are extremely important to him. I believe he said earlier this year that the 3 things that matter to him most are keeping his semis streak alive, passing Sampras’ weeks at #1 record, and ending the year as number #1. The lower he is the harder it will be…

          Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, i was really only saying it to try and make myself feel better, if it doesn’ give you any comfort then really you should root for Mandy… and I agree with you, Nole has been growing on me and I hate Mandy’s game. As far as Rafa not winning, I fear that if he wins the press will start rehashing how maybe Fed’s win at the FO was not as worthy because he didn’t have to play through Rafa and that maybe he wouldn’t have won last year’s Wimby because Rafa wasn’t playing and that if he had made it to the finals, he wouldn’t have won because”Rafa’s game is back”

          I don’t understand how Rafa can go on about this injury or that (of course we all know about the legitmate problems with his knees) as a reason why he didn’t play well, but when Roger talks about injuries, suddenly he’s a sore loser. If Rafa wins this thing I could see how they press would spin a story about how “heroic” Rafa is because he won while playing injured. Anyway, maybe I;m just being a sore loser and being over protective of Roger..

      • sita says :

        Even if Mandy wins the whole thing, I think he will be a few points short of overtaking Roger.
        3 or 4 doesn’t really matter anyway.

        • sunny says :

          Actually the press is reporting for sure that he will drop to #4, but maybe they are all wrong….I don’t know myself because it’s such a byzantine system it’s hard to figure out…i can only go by press reports. And i stand by what i day, I think the ranking will hurt Fe’s pride and that could effext his confidence and we all know that he is on shaky ground already. But hey, maybe it will just spur hime on even more to play better….

        • Sunny says :

          God that last posting was riddled with typos…guess I’m too upset to make any sense…

  2. pban says :

    Roger is a human being….it might be news to some not to me. I was snapping at people yesterday and he had to do an entire presscon for a bunch of bloody morons, as for the injury he mentioned it before too the press conveniently forgot in their efforts to tear him to shreds.Rafa was no better after RG09 and yet no one even cared to mention his inability to credit Sod with the win …..good for Fed that he refuses to see what the press see as the inevitable end ,that is why he is who he is and I won’t have it any different.

  3. let says :

    Have been lurking since I discovered this brilliant site just prior to this year’s AO.
    Must say that life’s cards have prevented me from seeing Fed live yet, but I am still working on that. I am devestated for him as Wimbledon is without doubt his most previous title, but I also know that he is a fighter, and that while he continues to adore the tennis “scene” and has the support of his great family, support staff and US then he will continue to give plenty of highs. Time marching on now means a few more lows but I for one am on board for the long haul, come what may.
    As to a winner I don’t really care but my preference would not be Murray.

    • dootsiez says :

      Welcome let! You’re right. You go through highs and lows as a player, and Federer has been through more highs than most. And as a fan, I’m not about to desert him now that he’s having a rough time at last.

  4. iced says :

    Very nice points throughout there, agree fully. Particularly on the injury & the criticisms he’s getting for it, whilst I don’t like if injuries are used as an excuse by anyone (if you take to the court, you’re fit enough in my book, no excuses) but I dislike the double-standards from the media/some tennis fans. I don’t want to make this a Rafa-Fed war but Rafa gets so much more belief in his injuries & the effect they may have on his game, he has a bad match & has to go 5 sets & everyone asks how the knees are, whether they affected him etc, Roger has a bad match & goes 5 sets or loses & it’s his bad form, bad timing, outhit, end of his era etc. No-one in the media seems to think that maybe Roger can get injured (maybe not in a major way but enough to put his game off the level it NEEDS to be to beat these guys). But also not saying that even if he was 100% healthy he’d have won, Berdych played extremely well yesterday & you have to give him credit for bringing the game & keeping his head, some of his play on the big points was fantastic, big serves, FHs etc, just have to say too good in those moments…but for the media to be having a go at Roger for bringing up an injury which in his mind maybe hindered his game by even a tiny amount & yet they had never asked about the strapping he’d worn previously at all & they always ask about other player’s injuries, strappings etc.

    But then I think many in the media enjoy this, they’ve been waiting a long time for Roger to not be at the top & as dominant as he has been. I mean 2008 should have been enough warning the way the media just sharpened their knives for him & I swear many were actually really despondent when he got back to #1 & broke Sampras’ record & got career slam, certainly a big feeling I got from the America media side anyway, maybe they were annoyed he’d actually broken Sampras’ record coz he’s American. Anyway meh to that.

    But either way, I’m not too concerned for Roger in the coming months/years. I’ve accepted myself that he will not be like he was 2004-2007 winning everything, beating everyone, seemingly untouchable. This is the declining phase of his career so just going to enjoy the good moments & see what happens, he’s not done by any means, got a looooooong way to go still I reckon.

  5. iced says :

    Oh and for what it’s worth I’m ok with anyone except Djokovic winning this title now…would actually kinda love Berdych to win it as that’d be a nice shock & make me feel a smidgeon better about Fed losing to the eventual winner overall, reckon Rafa’s got this one though.

    Do think Roger is also paying the price for being too good, too successful ,too dominant earlier in his career, now only maybe winning 1 slam in a year is disappointing & signs of his failure *rolleyes*. Other players would kill for just 1 slam in their entire career! Lol. It’s disappointing he lost but nothing takes away what he’s already accomplished.

  6. breadstix says :

    So well put, Doots. 🙂 Word.
    I’m sure we fans, along with Feddy, mwill make it out of this one.

  7. PJ says :

    MOTFU that is what you are. Thanks for popping in and sharing our mourning. Just wish that you’re still in Melbourne. Or that I have the moolah to fly to London so we can get drunk together.

    I hope you’re doing more okay today, bitch. ❤

  8. Deborah says :

    One of the best posts ever during this horror show. Calling Roger “low-rent” as Wertheim did after his presser shows me he is the determined to keep hatin’ on Roger even after or because he was called out for his lies about the #15 on Roger’s jacket. I hope Mirka is taking names on all these clowns. I hate they glee these so called journalists have whenever Roger stumbles. What a way to make a living. Makes me respect loan sharks.

    • evie says :

      Wertheim was still feeling sore for being called out by Fed during the presser for his stupid question. Fed said, “That didn’t happen. You watched a different match.”

      • Philip says :

        I love how Roger has a way of calling you stupid in front of everyone without actually saying anything impolite.

      • LJ says :

        oh shit that was the el Jon question? AHAHAHA no wonder he was pissed, I loved that call by Feddy. He’s question was insipid, luxilon making long balls drift in?

        • dootsiez says :

          Don’t mind Wertheim really. He’s fair mostly. The “low-rent” comment was an unfortunate choice of words. And the question was plain stupid (and random, I don’t know where he got the idea from)

  9. Dippy says :

    Since King Fed is not going to make my Sunday, for once I would like non-GS winner playing this sunday- Berdych and Murray have my vote. I am a bit sick of Nadal (yes i dont like his gamesmanship). Djoker – sorry another win will probably make his family very cocky. Murray – after 150K years, time for a Scots to win eh.

    As for Roger, I tot he handled his presser well. Nothing wrong in admit that his body is hurt since current no1 does it all the time. I am still heartbroken but live today fight trow. Let’s wish for his body to recover for USO.

  10. SJ says :

    I’m cheering for Berdy, since as I will always find him more endearing than Mandy, I’ll even take Djoker over Mandy, anyone to win but Mandy, if Mandy wins Wimbledon then tennis is ruined forever, all he is a pusher – sorry I mean tactician- at least Djoko won the AO with attacking tennis and a decent serve.

  11. evie says :

    Great post.

    I read one article in the Telegraph tearing him apart for the presser and willfully misreading the last response. If there had been a comment section, my only comment would have been: Are you dim? I’ve also seen some of the most snarky tennis blogs on the planet misread it. Hello? If you’re not clever enough to understand the transcript, spend 10 minutes watching it. It’s obvious.

    I wish he’d skipped mentioning the injuries, and then not answered the myriad of follow-up questions. It’s just throwing red meat to the wolves.

    I’m now rooting for Murray to make history for Britain. It doesn’t matter if Fed is 3 or 4. All he cares about it 1, and he’ll only get there by winning Slams and masters. He knows that.

    How strange will it be for the top two guys to have to worry about which side of the draw Fed is on? I’m going to enjoy the squirming.

    • Forehand Shanker says :

      After watching the whole video on livestream.com, I think the Telegraph journo was the one who asked him the last (nimwitted) question about Mandy’s chances after Fed said he was taking a total 2 week vacation from tennis and refused to speculate about everyone else’s chances.

  12. girl_from_mi says :

    It absolutely amazes me how you have put everything I’ve been thinking into the perfect words. Even stuff I didn’t know I was thinking! A perfect wrap-up of Fed vs Wimbleon. Thank you!

  13. sita says :

    I’d like Mandy to take it too , I hope he doesn’t do anything too stupid in his SF.
    Neutral about Berdych and Djoker – I don’t see them winning it at this point.
    And sorry to say this, but I will be the saddest person if Rafa wins the whole thing. I just don’t have it in me to see Rafa sinking his teeth once again into what has been Fed’s baby for ever since I can remember. I had a bad feeling when Fed’s jacket this year reminded me of the 2008 cardigan , I had not idea it was going to be this bad 😦

    Yes, I do garner hope looking at how Rafa hit rock bottom and found his way back , it’s scary how the fortunes have exactly reversed for Roger and Rafa from last year to this year.

    And thank you Doots , for this post. Hope you are feeling better.

  14. Jack says :

    I agree with you, doots!

    I just think the best thing we can do is stay away from tennis media, ignore all the crap being thrown Roger’s way and try to get through the rest of Wimbledon the best we can!

    As for who I want to win…..I’d be fine with any of them winning (well, not fine but I’d deal with it). But if I had to make a choice, I’d probably go for Rafa.

  15. Mia says :

    Not over it, but thankful that I have fellow Fed fans that get how am feeling. Many thanks, Doots and PJ. This too shall pass. Now if only Tomas goes the whole nine yards, I’ll be a tad less miserable.

  16. FortuneCookie says :

    I’ve been trying to keep this in perspective with,like you said,the result of one Grand Slam this year we said we’d (almost) all be happy with,and he has that
    Like with the French Open loss I’ve found it so much better not to read all the articles stirring things up and just come to my own conclusions,it seems to hurt less doing it that way…almost
    I was thinking to myself after this,can you imagine if he *HAD* lost to Falla?Some might disagree but I actually think that this loss in a quarterfinal hurts far more than that could have done,if he’d lost 1st round I honestly think fans and the media would have regarded it as such an anomaly that it would have just been attributed to a ‘bad day’,but ahhh who knows…
    Fuck you Roger Federer,I mean it…kind of…not really

    • FortuneCookie says :

      Oh and I have to admit it,despite what will happen to Roger’s ranking I’m wanting Muzz to get the title now,if only to shut up the incessant British media about ’74 years without a Brit male GS winner…Fred Perry…Bunny Austin…the war…’ You get the drift 😉
      The hype’s getting pretty intense now that Fed’s out though,and I hope he doesn’t get put under too much pressure by it,because we all saw at AO how much he *does* care about winning for Britain!

  17. schnargle says :

    De-lurking (after a few months :P) to comment.

    Thanks so much for this post Doots, it helped a little with the feeling of NYARGHSKBIDAGFIUB NOOOOO that’s still threatening to engulf me, and was like a breath of fresh air in the face of all the ‘let’s take a shit on Roger now’ articles/posts that are literally everywhere.

    What I’m still super pissed off about (apart from the obvious) is the fact that everybody seems determined to rip him apart regardless of what he does. If he hadn’t shown up to the press conference, they’d have bitched about how he’s sulking too much to even show up. If he had shown up and had been quite pleasant, they’d probably be like “He doesn’t even think it’s as big a deal as it is! ZOMG HE HAS LOST NOT ONLY HIS GAME BUT HIS MOTIVATION TOO!”

    Then when he does show up, able to discuss what happened but still clearly pissed (which is TOTALLY understandable, IMO), they rip him to shreds because of that.

    I think the reason why people are blowing the Rafa/Sod/Nole thing way out of proportion is because they’ve only read the transcript and haven’t actually watched the presser to get the vital context of expression, tone of voice etc. I first read the transcript when I was still really shaken about what happened, and my first thought was “Oh crap, what happened?”. It was only later on, when I’d calmed down, that I was like “Oh right… sarcasm.”. Things always sound much more serious in black and white – there was an incident in high school when some of the kids, who had exams coming and were really stressed, made a ‘yearbook’ where they vented about their teachers and joked about wanting to shoot their year coordinator. Long story short: the principal found out and nearly expelled some of them for the comments. Also, from what I’ve read of the backlash against Roger, most people are quoting the ‘Rafa sucks, Robin’s a joke, Novak can’t play tennis lol’ part, and ignoring when he’s like ‘Seriously everyone, respect the players!’.

    According to someone on MTF, his back was already playing up in practice that morning? Pic here: http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs018.ash2/34263_1148630172106_1718158814_291938_5853590_n.jpg

    I don’t like any of the four semifinalists, but I’m now hoping that Mandy wins, if only because he’s had to deal with shit from the British journos for years. Every time a Slam rolls around, it’s “We have the world’s best player! Fear him, Roger and Rafa! This is Andy’s year!’ (even before RG :P). Inevitably, he’ll lose, and then the next day’s papers are full of ‘Shit, Andy Murray really sucks. We’re going to have to fall back on… Ward and Boggo. British tennis IS DOOMED.’ I still can’t stand Andy, but the poor guy should probably get a Slam before the British media push him off a cliff.

  18. Philip says :

    Damn right he’ll win the US Open. I made a $100 bet with a friend literally a minute after that Wimbledon loss, that Federer will win the US Open. My friends thinks Fed is done for good. We’ll see about that.

    Fed ought to walk into pressers with a special RFF cap. Because he’s Roger F-cking Federer.

    I’m concerned that he’s having these physical issues after having a pretty light season where he hasn’t really played that much. He admitted himself he needed more matches but then he’s already got back and leg injuries.

    • dootsiez says :

      “My friends thinks Fed is done for good.”

      Your friend just bet against the AO champ and winner of 16 slams. Not a smart cookie is he/she?

  19. jfK says :

    Last year we had jacketgate. This year we have press conference gate. Roger will never win with some ppl. I’m also getting fed up with these double standards, but I’m not surprised.

    Philip, I hope youre right about the US Open. And I like the idea of the RFF cap.lol.

  20. 4pirsquared says :

    Loved the post, doots, as always. This is Elisha by the way…

    I loved his reply to the last question. It was the perfect answer to a nimwitted question. No matter the media slander he is getting over his presser, I will always, forever be Roger’s fan. And him losing here at the quarters is just as bad as Rafa losing in the 4th round last year to Bobby Sod. And it’s true that if this is his way of dealing with it: being more sarcastic/biting than usual, so be it. I’ll take it because he’s still a classy guy. He waited for Berdych to pack up his bags after the match and didn’t just storm off the court in a hissy fit. He waved to the crowd. WAVED TO THE CROWD. If that’s not classy, I don’t know what is.

    Thanks for writing up this post. You always sum things up very nicely! To the USO we go. AND I AM SO GOING TO SEE ROGER. I changed my mind. Yesterday, I was so heartbroken I wasn’t sure I could handle watching him play anymore, but I changed my mind after reading this. I’m sticking to this side of fandom for life.

  21. BS says :

    You just wrote everything I have been thinking in this post. Except you put it better than I could 🙂 He gives one press conference where he’s not his usual self, understandably so, the guy just lost and tennis journos and the media are so quick to come out and criticise him. Cut him some slack. Someone actually said to me that even the biggest Federer fan would be disgusted at his press conference! It’s so frustrating that no matter how many times he’s called the GOAT, he always gets so much criticism after he loses. Personally, I don’t like the thoughts of his ranking dropping but its not going to matter to me, I know that he and Rafa are the two best players in the world no matter what they’re ranked and I do think that Rog will get back to #1 sometime, but when is a different matter.

  22. TennisAce says :

    I love surly Fed and I agree with you that if he did not care then he would not have been surly. I think Fed has a love/hate relationship with the media. I think part of it is that he is really aloof from the media. He allows them close but not that close. No one in the media knew his wife was carrying twins. No one knew when his wife was about to give birth. No one. I think the way he operates the good ship Federer has a lot of media folks pissed off at him. It is for that same reason that the media has a love/hate relationship with the Williams family. You only get to come so close, and no further.

    Contrast that with the media darlings, Clijsters and Rafa. They are accessible, they blog for newspapers, and fans get to come up close and personal with them. Justine is also on a media love fest right now. For my money, I like the way how Federer does his thing.

    If he has an announcement to make he does it via Facebook or his website. His loyalty is to his fans and at this time in his career the only people that Federer should have any concern about are his family and his loyal fans. We will stick with him through thick and thin.

    I have no pick for this men’s Wimbledon final. I could care less who won. Perhaps we can put an asterisk beside anyone who wins, but then that only happens to Federer.

  23. PSP says :

    So true Doots. I really don’t understand the way the press try to bring him down. He is not allowed to feel surly and pain after a loss at his most favorite tournament????

  24. Ann Ames says :

    Ah, Doots, so heartbreaking and so wonderful. I feel badly for you, stuck in Wimbledon after this… how awful even to have to feel “stuck” in Wimbledon. Hoping for better days for you soon!

    I, too, was glad to see Roger surly. What do people think – he gets bounced out of his own backyard, and he should be pleasant about it? If some people had half as much of a life as Roger has, they wouldn’t be so delighted to pounce on his every misfortune.

    Lots of good points in the comments. The RFF cap… I always think of Roger as “Roger N.M.I. Federer”, but maybe it’s time to adopt a middle name.

    The “balls curling back in” question was Wertheim? Well that makes things a lot clearer. So many in the tennis media are pathetic bandwagon-jumpers, but Wertheim I find to be generally more measured (feel free to tell me why I’m wrong). His “low-rent” comment pissed me off more than anything, and now I understand: his pride was hurt and he lashed out, a lot harder than the subject of his scorn did, I might add.

    I told a friend recently that I found it rude for someone (i.e. Soderling) to beat Roger in a slam and then not go on to the title, but I have to say now I’m pulling for Mandy to take the whole thing. He showed at the AO that he desperately wants one, and it would be a nice moment – perhaps the only nice moment possible at this point – if he were to do it at home. I’d be surprised to see him get past Rafa, though, and I, too, can’t bear to see Rafa biting the trophy. As you say, Dootsie, le sigh.

  25. Noshali says :

    I LOVE YOU DOOTZ. thank you for cheering me up. i’ve never felt like this about one of his losses…EVER!! seriously, 2008 was heaven compared to this.

    but thank you so much for your post. I actually see the light at the end of this very long and foggy tunnel.

  26. kaitepai says :

    That was lovely man, thanks 🙂

    I, however, am going for Berdych, (this time it isn’t out of spite, I’m a legit fan!).
    Couldn’t agree more about the relief that Rog still wants to win after his presser.

    Geez shoot the man for being honest!!

  27. TennisAce says :

    So is anyone here actually going to watch the tennis match. I am heading out to church in a minute and will not be taking my blackberry with me. That way I cannot check scores to see if Berdych is winning. Can of them lose? LOL

    Have a great day everyone. Talk to you all soon

    • flo says :

      Material for starting flame wars:

      Snarky Nadal joke: Nadal would be the goat if the calendar year was six months long.
      Snarky Federer joke: Of course Federer has back problems, it’s missing a bone -Mats Wilander

      *Nadal is legendary; can’t deny his awesomeness even as a Federer fan.

  28. Alex says :

    That’s it – tennis is dead to me. Nadal’s ogre-ish style is awful on the eyes and if this the future, then a pox on it.

    • flo says :

      Digression alert:

      Obviously, it’s dependent on personal aesthetic preferences and whatever but it’s impossible to deny Nadal is a, as a Chinese saying goes, dragon among men (I’d say that makes Federer the phoenix but then it starts becoming a little too wuxia even for me). His game is unique (it might not be the future because (a) it’s here and (b) not sure how juniors are going to emulate his technique or more importantly his intangibles) and his desire and thirst for competition (while keeping his composure) is otherworldly. I don’t love his game but I respect the hell out of it.

      The best shot in tennis right now: Nadal’s forehand. Second best: arguably Nadal’s backhand. You have to play quick strike attacks to have a chance against him but then he’s quick, anticipates well and plays devastating counters (whether winners or awkward balls to reset the point). If you take away the power of the men’s service game (like the clay kind of does) he’d probably breeze by everyone right now; just look at the way he bosses all the big points.

      Having said that, hypothetical fantasy match, vintage Federer vs vintage Nadal on Wimbledon Center Court, I’d pull a 50-50 outta my ass and call it even; still don’t believe Fed-06 would get owned where the serve can be a great equalizer and he was also lightning quick.

  29. pban says :

    Fed 2006, Nadal 2010 I know what I would take anyday.By the way is this Wimbledon win by Nadal asterixed or what???

    • jfK says :

      Come on pban, you know asterisk and double standards are reserved for Fed.
      ps. Anyone see the article from the Telegraph? Disgusting.

      • pban says :

        everyone is up in arms about it…just how bad is it?? Is it written by anyone who matters?? anyway I don’t care ,there are a lot of idiots around who love trumpetting their idiocy.Some Rafa fans and the venom they spew sure does qualify them for the post of champion idiot ,not to say some fedfans do leave a lot to be desired as well.

      • flo says :

        ok I read it. “Rafael Nadal shows a purity that puts him above Roger Federer ” It is an basically sports op-ed. It was trying to craft a narrative to fit it’s thesis (generally that Rafa is a superior champion to Roger because he’s a better person) and quite willing to be glib about sarcasm:

        “Ah, but genius is sometimes rather boring. Some of Tiger Woods’s victories have been as exciting as a five hour airport delay. It was like that with Nadal yesterday. I almost yearned for the return of Federer.Then the memory flashed by of the Fed saying on his way out of here: “Rafa’s played terrible lately.” Is that the same Rafa who leads you 14-7 in all-time games, 6-2 in grand Slam matches and 12-5 in finals? The Fed is dead, Viva la Rafa-lution. ”

        Not the worse thing ever but definitely playing fast and loose with the real picture. Build them up, knock them down. Just like every other branch of news media.

        I don’t mean this disparagingly, but Rafa’s gamesmanship on court and Uncle Toni coaching ( neither of which I don’t think is what I’d call cheating but it’s gray area stuff) certainly pushes up against the “purity” angle. But don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

        • pban says :

          So what is he saying Rafa’s purity matches Tiger Woods….Rafa is a better person how and why…because Roger gave one surly presscon. Wow and bravo for tennis journos on their dual role as moral police ….who needs brains anyway a highly overrated and dispensable part of the human anatomy.

    • flo says :

      What did they write? Do they want to retroactively give Nadal the 2009 slams that he didn’t win and dock them from Federer’s resume?

      If Federer doesn’t come back strong by the middle of the US hard court season I’ll be a little disappointed. And if he can make all the critics look reactionary and idiotic by winning the US that would be excellent. Understand I don’t think I’d be happy because it’d be number 17 but that it’d shut people like Bodo up.

  30. Freudo says :

    thanks, Doots, your piece and PJ’s kind of consolidated my private mourning and working through to a degree of Wimby-blues. It is so wonderful to have a place to go that resonates at times like this. thanks, thanks, thanks!!!

  31. Roger Love says :

    Roger’s injury

    Everyone knows. Roger is a slump again. influence only of his age? He got sickness several times. MONO. And, the disease of lungs.

    His heyday. It is 2007 from 2004.

    2008 that suffers an illness. He has obviously become weak play. The decrease continues. It is sickness again in this year.

    And, the chronic injury. Back. Waist. In addition, the foot is injury from the tournament of Halle. He was defeated at Lleyton. he was laughing. To classy

    Roger’s serious situation. Can he get it over? Or,

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