I referenced the tennis status quo in yesterday’s post, where I’m trying to qualify one particularly distorted view.
Found this in the mainstream today: Tim Joyce from RealClearSports.com wrote a piece about the Federer/Djokovic USO final. Here are a couple of passages:
“But consider: what if it were Rafael Nadal across the net from Federer on Sunday? Granted, the crowd would have still have likely been in Federer’s favor, but the divide much less stark than it was with Djokovic. And Nadal has the respect (even if it took a while) of both Federer and his fans (and, to be honest, they’ve had to accept it since Nadal has utterly owned Federer his entire career); they can tolerate it when Federer loses to Nadal but cannot accept, literally cannot bear losing to the hated Djokovic. . .
I don’t know if Federer fans will ever fully accept Djokovic as the world’s current greatest tennis player. But it won’t matter, since the record speaks for itself and there is a growing consensus of just how great Djokovic is, as he clearly belongs alongside both Federer and Nadal. And with the fantastic Federer-Djokovic series now knotted at 21 apiece, I can’t imagine what the Federer fanatics will do if their man ends up with a losing record against him. . .
NOTES: Speaking of rivalries, if Federer and Nadal fail to meet in the final months of 2015 it will be the first year since 2003 in which the two famed combatants haven’t played each other. It’s a testament to just how good these two have been for so long that they have faced off in tournaments for 12 consecutive seasons. Such a streak is second in recent tennis history among championship rivals, just behind Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker who met at tournaments 13 years in a row. For further comparison: Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi once had a streak of meeting in eight consecutive seasons; Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe in 11; and Ivan Lendl and Connors in 10.”
You can see the TSQ at work here. He calls out Federer fans, insinuates Roger himself, his box; then he retracts and says this crowd controversy is more of a socio-economic issue, then it’s back to the Fedfans’ fault, etc.
And so it goes: 1) Federer and his fans are arrogant jerks; 2) Nadal owns Federer; and 3) Federer better watch-out or he’ll have a losing record vs. Djokovic.
My favorite part is the little overlooked gem in the Notes: Oh my, 2015 could come and go without Federer and Nadal ever meeting on an ATP sanctioned tennis court! Holy crap! Can you believe that?!
Anything to add there, Mr. tennis writer?
This is classic tennis status quo. Keep Federer and Nadal on a level playing field and try to blow us away with this amazing statistic. The numbers game these honks play is a joke. The truth of this fact (that they may not meet in 2015) is that Nadal has taken another break from the tour. Not worth mentioning? Just gloss it over, Mr. Status Quo.
The argument here from this mainstream e-rag goes: Federer’s an arrogant over-rated tennis player; he’s a jerk and he pales compared to Nadal and Djokovic. This sums-up a lot of what I’ve heard lately as tennis charlatans have long begun jumping from the Federer yacht, bound for the Djokovic party boat.
In the event that someone thinks I’m on Roger’s band-waggon, you haven’t been reading this blog. Here’s a recent piece I wrote about Djokovic.
After writing this piece, I got this cool comment:
what a wonderful appreciation – thanks for sharing your thoughts. i look forward to reading more of your analysis.
Awesome! Stay-tuned, Jane. More is on the way.
Argument and debate are always welcomed. But a big pattern seems to be a failure to appreciate the game and all of its characters. Federer is arrogant? So what’s McEnroe or Lendl? Toughen-up! Stop pushing these weak, emotionally driven eighteen-wheelers of garbage at the tennis community. Proceed with a little more balance, more caution, a little more authentic analysis that isn’t steeped in so much inaccuracy, lack of perspective and bone-headed bias.
One last note on that crowd controversy. New York is a brutal playground. If you follow sports, or humanity for that matter, you kinda get this. MJ had to endure and tame the Garden during his run in the NBA; football and baseball rivals throughout history have had to deal with the tough seasons of New York City fandom. Federer had to deal with a pro-Agassi crowd at the Open. Athletes for decades and more have had to face the great American sports crucible that is a New York City crowd.
The 2015 U.S. Open men’s final crowd had to weather a fat rain delay, so let’s call their passion spiked with a few more New York City cocktails. Do the math, fanboys. This was a great day for Djokovic. Leave it at that. Great athletes often have to deal with quite unfavorable circumstances.
And, again, how do you think that crowd would have treated Djokovic if he’d won five U.S. Opens in a row, owned the sport of tennis, more or less, for nearly a decade? There’s a bit of a legacy there that people kinda respect. Call them crazy. Sympathizing with Nole by packaging his difficult background and whatever other non-conformist factors you use to fit that narrative is a big swing and a miss.
Fans of sport are passionate; bring NYC into the picture and it’s more passionate: you, better than anyone, Timothy, et al., should understand this kind of bias.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.