Thoughts on hysteria.

Let me get this all out for you:

  • He should just retire.
  • He’s everyone’s bitch now.
  • The rest of the field has “caught up”.
  • He’s suffering because he has outdated gear.
  • He’s suffering because he refuses to play an outdated game known as S&V.
  • He’s suffering because he’s just outdated and old, overtaken by faster shinier models of the same shiz.
  • He’s suffering because he’s stubborn, arrogant, and ya know … just an all-round crap tennis player.

The above is a compilation of my charming Twitter timeline over the last 15 minutes. Have I got it all?

But here is what I have for you:

Third set meltdown. We’ve all seen it before. The point is – he had chances in almost every, single, game. There were numerous times where he could’ve turned this match around. That’s what makes you (and me) angry, outraged, frustrated and blameful. But I’d rather be all of those things than shrugging my shoulders after a match saying “well that’s too good, nothing more to be done”. Today, I didn’t have to.

Regardless of the result tomorrow, regardless of the rankings next week, Federer is – objectively speaking – the second best player of 2011. While he has 3 losses to the same guy,  he has also managed fairly routine dominance of the rest of the field. So no, members of the – ahem – “media”, the problem with Federer in 2011 hasn’t been that the rest of the field has caught up, it’s been that Djokovic has caught up. Not just to Federer, but to everyone.

So we have a Djokovic problem. It’s going to require a little solving. It’s going to require Federer to step it up the way he did today, but unfortunately couldn’t maintain. If anything, Federer showed he’s perfectly capable of one-upping Djokovic based on either of their performances today and this tournament. Is the fact that he lost 3 times in a row the end of the world? Well you tell me. Because chances are, you’ve watched him lose to Nadal 3 times in a row. You’ve watched it lose to Murray 3 times in a row.

You tell me what happens after 3 times, and what happens 3 times after that.

Or maybe I will. He gets it back.

All this is my very long-winded way of telling Federer fans, haters and the so-called media alike to CALM. THE FUCK. DOWN.

It sucks to watch a Federer third set meltdown. But it sucks even more, like a vortex of angst and ridonkulousness, to have to confront the general hysteria that follows. This has been by far Federer’s best Indian Wells performance in 2006. It has also been his best (non-slam) start to the year since 2006. He’s defending nothing for Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome. So no, I’m not going to get down on him, or tennis for that matter. We still have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

xx doots

PS. I’m picking Nadal for the final, but I don’t think Rafa has been the best player (or even among the best players) of the week. It won’t matter, of course. In tennis as in life, you just have to be the last player standing.



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33 responses to “Thoughts on hysteria.”

  1. Jodi says :

    I have one word. And that word is: word. Well said, completely agree.

  2. evie says :

    Quick post.

    Agree, agree. It’s been said before, but for some reason, some fans considering winning tennis matches an entitlement. And when a fan questions Fed’s heart or fight, I get upset. The guy is nothing but heart and fight. But sometimes he will lose. And as you said, today he lost, for the third time this year, to the undefeated and best tennis player of the year. In the scheme of things, he regrouped from a tough first set to take the second and was just as close to pulling out a win as he was to losing. Despite serving a solid 69% first serves, he only had one ace and got no real free points on serve. Which means he fought hard for every single point he won — and lost, for that matter.

    We have lots of points to gain yet this spring and who knows? Maybe they’ll win this doubles match and he’ll be inspired like he was in 2008. He won a pretty big tournament after that dubs victory, if I recall 🙂

  3. Jack says :

    With the crappy performance by Masha yesterday (well, i think it was her playing) and Roger losing to Novak again, Indian Wells has not been nice to me these past two days.

    I didn’t see the match because my laptop was being annoying so only saw the result. Glad I missed the hysteria though. Like you said, some people need to calm the fuck down.

  4. Bart says :

    You speak much truthiness.

  5. Caroline Paquin (folpoulet) says :

    Awesome post, Doots! Totally agree with you!

  6. BS says :

    This Djokovic problem is a lot like the Murray problem of early 2009…that was solved eventually, as I believe this one will be too 🙂 Federer is on his way back, he’s just not completely there yet. It might just take a bit more time than we’d like…

  7. Lady B Good. says :

    Doots, i agree with all what you say, you always know the right things to say, and the right way of putting it
    across, but like yourself i am a staunch and loyal Roger Federer fan, this hurts like crazy, i fell in love
    with his beautiful and elegant and stylish game in 2001, when he beat Pete Sampras in the 4th round at
    Wimbledon when he bested Pistol 7-5, in the final 5th set.
    This will a hard and bitter pill to swallow for Roger, to go down to number 3, in the rankings, and tough on
    his legion of admirers, I hope and pray to be proved wrong, but he has given us so very much of himself
    over the years, should we now take whatever success he has, gladly and be thankful for it?
    Are these the bonus years????????????
    I wish him good luck in Miami, still love you Roger, no matter what, always my number one XXX

  8. Katarina_YYZ says :

    You are right and spot on and brilliant and concise, as always. 😉
    As for the final, I would rather see ND beating Nadal, as I’m tired of everyone losing to Rafa, even when Rafa hasn’t been playing that well (like 11 of 13 people he’s beaten this year are outside the top 50, thanks to the draws he gets). If ND is having a great run, he should beat RN, too; not just beat up on old Fed but always lose to RN.
    Sadly, I think he’ll be too tired to beat RN tomorrow (plus Roger rattled him a bit). Just can’t stand how lucky someone always is.

  9. TennisAce says :

    I saw an idiot post that Fed always breaks Novak in the second set and Novak always comes back. What people keep forgetting is this. Novak may have beaten Fed 3 times in a row and he may not have won a set until today, but in all those contests. In every single one of those contests, Djokovic had to play hard to beat him. He had to play outside of his comfort zone, get back every single ball and play bind blowing tennis in order to win.

    As a Fed fan I am very proud of his performance during this tournament. He has played really well and apart from a few hiccups on his serve, he managed to get to the semis in singles and finals in doubles.

    I am a proud Fed girl and I don’t care whether he is NO. 1 or NO. 100, he will always be No. 1 in my heart.

  10. A_Gallivant says :

    Well said. I was very heartened by Fed’s performamce because he was not blown away by in-form Djoko as many predicted. He had answers for most of what Djoko did but really struggled with his serve. He’s better now than he was this time last year.

  11. liv4fed says :

    Thank you dootsiez. You have put into words exactly what I’m feeling.

  12. pika says :

    It’s frustrating in the moment but I take a few to calm down and then I see the big picture. I didn’t notice that all 3 losses he had this year were to the same guy. It’s still early in the game. lol. Literally. We still have tons more events to go this year. We can talk more about what’s with Federer at the END of the season. I completely 100% believe that Federer will make the media wish they never put him down. AGAIN.

  13. Carol says :

    The day of Roger winning again will come, and it will be sweet. Until then, he’s still sweet and amazing to watch.

  14. pban says :

    at this stage of his career do we really expect Roger to win every match against younger opponents…no I will be happy if he does it once in a while esp at Wimby.Agree with doots in a strange way I prefer the meltdown,what would you guys prefer- losing after having matchpoints…no way. The fact that he was crap means he can do better and djoko is already showing cracks, let us see how long he can keep this up.PS how does he intend to slide on grass or do the splits ,just asking since he was so vocal about Wimby

    • marcoiac says :

      Don’t underestimate Nole’s joint flexibility. That’s by far is best shot. 🙂 anyway, hard court is clearly his favorite surface. It’ll be interesting to see if he can keep this level of game on clay and grass.

      • pban says :

        I think he will do well on clay,he always does. But grass…. his footwork on grass has never been good and unless there has been a spectacular improvement it will be tough for him even with his jawdropping joint flexibility.Besides his run has to end sometime,would like to see what he does when he is struggling.

  15. Matt Zemek says :

    A— EFFING — MEN!





    Federer with 12 straight semifinal/better appearances in tournaments, losing to Djokovic in like 6-8 of them or something like that.

    Yeah, washed up. It’s really one man the past 6 months.

  16. sharon says :

    Thank you Doots!

  17. dari says :

    I was already getting over this, but you just completely fixed me right up. Thanks!

  18. flo says :

    I think I’ll reserve judgment until the finals to better gauge where Djokovic is at against Nadal. At least that’ll give us some idea of whether it’s those two away from the pack a bit or if we’re still talking about three at the top.

    • dootsiez says :

      Whether or not Nadal wins tomorrow would not change my assessment given the amount of extra time Djoko has spent on court today and the streak he’s on – something’s gotta give at this point.

      We’ll have to wait til the end of Miami to get a real assessment, I think.

      And this will be a minority view, but if we were talking the last few months, I’d say the “big two” has been Djokovic and Federer. It won’t be popular with Rafa fans, but I actually believe Nadal’s been struggling a little since the US Open and is frankly reaping the benefit of some pretty easy draws.

      This won’t matter with the clay season looming, but if he continues in current form, I seriously doubt he’ll see through the year as the World No 1.

  19. Cyndiana says :

    All i know and care about is the fact that without Federer, tennis is as good as dead!!! so lose or win…id rather see Roger move gracefully across the tennis court….then see some pompous asses run around!!!

    Roger will be back…he always does!!!!

    Thanks Dootsiez! it helps when i find some one with a sane mind in times like these!!!
    n yea i reiterate the fact that everyone especially the ‘media’ should CALM THE FUCK DOWN 😉

  20. Noshali says :

    I completely agree with what you said.
    And I must admit, eventhough I was dissapointed that he lost, I wasn’t as devastated as last time. Feddy is slowly but surely getting his strut back. Can’t wait for him to kick ass again (especially Djoko’s).



  21. virgilou says :

    Thanks for helping me calm down Doots. I needed it… 🙂
    Smart post!

  22. marcoiac says :

    I think the best news of this loss is his willingness to change game plan. He started on a very aggressive strategy (which I approve) and then after losing the first set started mixing things up, changing pace, throwing at Djoko all sorts of shots. That worked for a while. He played a very mental match and at some point, when he had to take control, he melted down. But, the fact that he showed this willingness to do whatever it takes to win, rather than stubbornly sticking to his original plan (which is something he has done over and again in the past), is great news. Barring unforeseeable things, his game should go up during the rest of the season, whereas I can’t think of how Nole can get any better than this. With regard to Rafa, I am not sure what to say. I guess today’s match will say a lot about him. And clay court season is approaching fast, he generally doesn’t do too bad on clay, does he? 🙂

  23. abrnyc says :

    Right on sister… you are my only other voice of reason across the stormy seas…
    CALM THE FUCK people down for real!

    no matter what the bleeping talking heads say, the results, over the last 6 months say otherwise…
    Roger will figure it out and we should all just enjoy the ride!

    scribble away doots… it’s always a pleasure!
    (although that doubles match gave me a pain in the ass… but Roger’s ass must have been aching too.)

    love your scribbler’s mojo, love the man in yellow and love this crazy game!


  24. jfK says :

    heartbreaking day yesterday 😦
    thanks for your thoughts doots, makes us fedfans feel better. It’s not like Fed hasn’t been in a situation like this before. Really hope he can bounce back from this. C’mon Roger, Believe in yourself.

  25. fedfreak says :

    Dootsie!!!!! You rock on so many levels !!!

    So much WORD on every word of your post…I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds…I think McWogie will surprise a lot of the media hacks!

    ps…did you see the cute few seconds of the TMBS’ during the dubs match…they are little clones of Wogie…awww

  26. Deborah says :

    As always, fantastic and right on point. I know tennis can change in a heartbeat but Roger beat Novak three times between USO and AO. He will be back to the winners circle soon. I guess I was glad the Djoker got the win in the final although, if there is a more classless group of folks in tennis than Novak’s family, they are hiding. They make Judy “Lady Macbeth” Murray look like Miss Manners.

  27. steve says :

    I was there. I saw it. He lost but it was still a lot of fun. The audience was insane, fantastic, cheering madly. I did my share of cheering and whooping.

    The thrill you get from watching him make an amazing shot is much more potent in person. It is addictive. I will have to get another hit as soon as I can.

    Sorry doots, I don’t have gossip. Or pictures. Wasn’t able to find the charger for my camera; an amateur mistake. Not that I’d have gotten good pics; I was in the nosebleed seats.

    His on-court presence is incredible. I can’t say why the eye is drawn to him. Somehow, it just IS. Djokovic cuts a formidable figure himself but, whew, he just does not compare.

    Other than that, all I can say is that he’s taller than he looks on TV. But you already knew that.

    He made progress against Djokovic. I think he will win the French Open and Wimbledon and defy all the idiot pundits who have made a profession of declaring him dead and buried. He will be producing more otherworldly, mindboggling, gorgeous tennis to thrill us all. Count on it.

  28. pban says :

    steve you can’t say why the eye is drawn to him ??? good lord just look at him and the way he plays the game…isn’t it obvious 😉

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