Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Something Roger never wants to see

Like Freakyfrites and other Fedophiles, over the past week I have enjoyed flicking through the match reports and reaction to the US Open final.

I was intrigued by the quote below reported by Neil Harman in last Wednesday's Times which shows how much Nadal has got under his skin, and that Federer, like many great sporting champions before him, has (deliberately or inadvertently) slightly re-written history to protect his confidence and motivate himself by righting a perceived wrong.

I'm a Fed fan and the Wimbledon final was a classic but - and OK I wasn't there - I don't believe more people left feeling more sorry for Roger than they were happy for Rafa.

Roger clearly blames the failing light for his defeat. But the truth was Nadal was marginally the better man that day. If Federer had closed out the second set, who knows it may have been a different story.

'Before he managed his twenty minutes of shut eye the champion went on to the internet to study images of his performance. "I wanted to get a sense of what the fans saw," he said. "I like to see the pictures before I go to bed. I would never have done that for Wimbledon this year. I have never seen a picture of Rafa holding the trophy and it's something I don't ever want to see.

I'm still a little disappointed a match like that was decided at night. I understand it was appropriate to finish it because of the special occasion we were under. Fair play, the crowds were there and they wanted a proper ending. But I think more people left feeling sorry for me than they were happy for Rafa, which hurts me a little.

At the same time, I appreciate that tennis went up a notch with that match and that's what I strove to do in my five years as No 1, to make tennis better, more popular and I admit that Wimbledon final achieved all I had wanted even if I lost it".

What do you think?


freakyfrites said...

Hey there, Steve.

This is very interesting! But I'm confused by the first part of the quote. When was Roger studying these images? And they were or weren't images of this year's Wimbledon? Why was he only sleeping for 20 minutes? I'm confused.

I think that the ego, the pride, and even the sense of entitlement evident in Roger's comments are all part of the long-term champion's mindset. He's not "in your face" about it, but his sense of superiority is there and it comes out most often when he's talking about Rafa.
What I find fascinating about Rafa, is that he is oddly deficient in the big ego factor. Does his head need to swell a bit for him to stay on top? I feel like you can't have a stranglehold on the No. 1 unless you fear losing face even more than you fear losing ranking points. . .

hcfoo said...

Being one of the finest tennis player of all time, I can imagine how hurtful it was for Roger (and his ego) to lost in a tight match like that. I mean it could have been Rafa who lost.

With the recent win at the US Open, Roger should move on and look forward for year 2009 ;)