Aside from the blow-smoke-up-Rafa’s-ass line of reasoning that I’m all done with and hope to burn to the ground, the Roger-is-a-mental-midget crap is getting thrown-out the backdoor, too. Keep in mind, the latter is very much fueled by the former. Indeed, Rafa’s bloated legacy offers life-support to the amateur punditry that, in some cases, demoralizes Roger’s legacy. This is ridiculous, this is bananaland.
The people that peddle this Roger-as-damaged-goods prayer are hopeless.
THE ONLY EVIDENCE THESE IMBECILES HAVE IS HIS INCREDIBLE, CONSISTENT EXPOSURE DEEP INTO THE DRAW.
To clarify: his consistency is used against him.
Couple of fun facts regarding this consistency (that has exposed him to loss, i.e., he didn’t duck tournaments or seasons or entire years):
A man has won 40 or more consecutive matches at a grand slam tournament three times. Roger has done it twice and he did so at two different grand slams (Wimby and USO).
I know you all know this: he has the record for most consecutive grand slam finals played with 10. He also has the second most consecutive major finals played with 8. Two different streaks. That’s consistency and I say all of this only to clarify the exposure, the vulnerability of the man. He lost some big matches? Really? He was in several year after year after year, Einstein
Another stat that everyone’s heard: Roger leads for most consecutive SF at a grand slam (23) and consecutive QF at a grand slam (36).
There are, as you know, other perhaps more impressive numbers, but the point here and now is to clarify the man’s consistency that is OVERLOOKED for some reason. We’re not even talking about 2015, when at 34 he’s the only guy around to give Novak a legitimate challenge. Yet, somehow this works against the guy. Bananas.
That’s the source of the the anti-Fed argument. That and his H2H with Nadal, which we’ve already determined is rhinoceros turd.
What critics of Roger point to are these seemingly huge matches later in his career, where he crumbled under the pressure and left the court with his tail between his legs. French Opens, Aussie Open 2009, US Open 2009, and throw-in a few SF, where he had match points vs. Djokovic, or the Wimby 2011 QF loss to Tsonga where he was up 2-0, cruising toward a 7th title. As if Roger is the only one who has lost big matches. But again, these Federer trolls insist his armor has cracked too many times. He’s under indictment. His legacy is tarnished blah blah blah.
But again, it is so commonly overlooked that he was in those positions to lose. He made those finals. He battled through those draws with such class and consistency he was bound to come-up short on occasion. That’s the story. You win some, you lose some. Anything beyond that is a twisted inferior logic writing a broken agenda of some combination of resentment, love loss and special needs.
I myself have acknowledged that Roger’s 2009 AO final v Nadal was putrid. He should not have lost that match. Nadal was beaten down from a 5+ hour SF v Verdasco. Roger was cruising. He was in command of the tour, still. That was Rafa’s single AO title. Maybe he was eating his spinach and Wheaties like a good boy, along with whatever master Toni sprinkled on top.
The argument goes this was the most devastating loss and Roger could never recover. Something along those lines. Well, let’s gather a little perspective.
In January of 2009, Roger entered the Aussie Open coming off his fifth straight U.S. Open title. Historically, we know his reign of dominance was coming to an end, but for the sake of the morons claiming that the 2009 AO was the end of Roger, let’s, again, turn to the results.
He lost that devastating 2009 AO to his nemesis. What happened after that? Was he finished? Did he crawl into his hole? Nope. He won the French Open just a few months later. Indeed. After that, he won Wimbledon for a sixth time. After his devastating loss to Nadal at the AO, he won the next two majors. What about the 2009 U.S. Open? We recall a devastating loss in the final that year to Mr. Del Potro. Terrible loss, sure. But think about that year, 2009. He made all four grand slam finals. He had two tough losses and won two. The losses to Nadal and Del Potro seem to resonate a bit more than his FO/Wimby back-to-back. I would say this shows a bit of mental strength, don’t you? He choked against Nadal? Choked against D Po? He made all four finals and won two! Get a hold of yourself.
Oh, and what did he do after that devastating loss to D Po at the 2009 USO? He won the next major, his fourth AO (2010) four months later. Seems like the guy bounced back pretty well from these horrific losses. He made all four finals! Five in a row if you count the 2010 AO. He was 3-2 in those five finals (actually, if you keep going back, he was in practically every final back through ’08 – ’04). You don’t really want to open the can of worms on this kind of stuff because these petty little arguments like Roger couldn’t recover once Nadal arrived, Nadal owned him, etc., get flushed down the toilet when you really look at the numbers.
After Nadal beat Roger in that ’09 AO, he lost to Soderling at the FO (HUGE upset). At 2009 Wimby Nadal, #1 seed, withdrew. Lol. At the 2009 USO Nadal got straighted 222 by D Po in the SF. Roger lost to D Po in an incredible five-setter. Nadal had a shitty ’09. But that’s not what the marquee says. It says Nadal embarrassed Roger at the AO. This is total insanity. At the 2010 AO, where Roger triumphed, Nadal retired v Murray in the QF. Is it just me, or is this just a huge misunderstanding? Nadal is like a magician and the TSQ (tennis status quo) is bunch of suckers. Wake up!
An acquaintance of mine, and I’ve fathomed this before, has talked pretty extensively of players/their camps/tournament directors fixing tournament draws, avoiding certain match-ups, etc. I already wrote about this kind of thing recently at Montreal, this past summer. Nadal’s draw was a joke. You knew the powers-that-be wanted to get him into the later rounds. Here’s food for thought: what’s more plausible, his form is so crap that he did actually get routined by Nishikori in the QF, or he took a dive to avoid damaging that that ever important H2H with the big 4? Comedy central, folks.
A couple of draws that look hilarious:
2013 U.S. Open. Nadal #2 has #4 in his half (Ferrer). His QF, SF is Robredo, Ferrer and Gasquet. Straight-sets through to the final. Djokovic #1 has #3 Murray in his half and has to deal with Murray, Wawrinka and Youzhny. Stan takes him 5 in the SF.
My source reminded me that almost ALWAYS Roger and Novak were put on the same half of the draw, so Nadal had a much easier route to the final. Look for yourself. It’s uncanny.
Lastly, how about this great end of the draw at the French in 2012. In the top half at the QF you have Djokovic/Tsonga Federer/Del Potro. Roger goes down 0-2 To D Po and then hits him with a 203 steam-roll. But that was a tough five-setter. He loses to Djokovic in the SF. Djokovic, it should be noted, went five with Tsonga. Tough top half.
The bottom half at the QF is Ferrer/Murray Almagro/Nadal. Needlesstosay, Nadal waltzed to the Final. Game over.
Folks, this all just an exercise in love and reality. Keep it real out there.
9 thoughts on “Yep, I’m Fed Up With This Crap”
Two excellent posts by you, usual. I meant to say something about ‘Let Me Finish Rafa’ but work has been far too hectic. Great stuff though!
I’ve always that thought that 2009 was a tremendous year for Roger (who could argue?), not only with two Slams and two five-set losses, but also because Roger demonstrated a tremendous recovery from his most painful defeat that year.
I remember hearing Chris Fowler say after the AO ’09 ceremony that he expected we’d all seen the end of Roger Federer, but Roger came roaring back to win three of the next four majors. I’m still slightly annoyed with Fowler for saying that (!), but he seems to be a Federer fan now, after all the brilliant tennis Roger has showed the world since then.
Recently, I’ve been reading on another site where the author seems to have been a Federer fan, but recently talks often about Roger’s lack of mental strength, or his poor H2H with Nadal. Others have tried to make, on that site, some of the very valid points you’ve made on this site, but they never seem to get any traction. ‘I hate that he [Nadal] runs away when things get tough, but you can’t deny the numbers,’ said the host on one occasion. But to me it seems that people who pretend to objectivity can always pick some numbers to wrap themselves in, kind of like a security blanket.
On the whole this site seems to provide a more objective and balanced approach to tennis, and I’m glad I found it.
I’m a fan of Djokovic too btw, although I’ve suspected him of PED use since AO ’12. I’d be interested to hear others’ opinions though, especially since he has continued to win after the blood passport was introduced, unlike Nadal.
And a lot of so-called mental fortitude can come from a bottle!
But my real point is simply that I don’t need to dislike or denigrate Roger to enjoy Djokovic’s amazing tennis. I think that Roger’s getting to SF or better in 4 of the last 6 majors is incredible, and that getting runner-up honors in three of those finals at his age is as extraordinary as his earlier slam wins.
I even think that ten runner-up trophies should be part of the GOAT discussion, especially when age becomes a factor. Twenty-seven times, Roger has been in slam finals, and to continue to be there at his age, and when one of the best players ever is at his best, is very inspiring to me.
I think most would agree that there are very few players in the history of tennis who would have prevented Roger from bagging the trophy in those last three finals, and I do want to point out that the last two took place in wetter and slower conditions that don’t favor Roger’s attacking style.
So I think that in the right conditions, he could bag number 18, which I really want to see, in spite of my estimate about its likelihood. Not because I need more from Roger, but b/c I expect Nadal to find something that will allow him to come back strongly, at least one more time, and he may grab another major or two (though I think zero is the likeliest number for him). I just think that one more slam win would put the only number that some people see (!) out of reach for Nadal.
And I may have forgotten to mention this earlier, but your antipathy toward Nadal is something I share richly, and something I feel that Nadal got the old-fashioned way – he earned it.
1) Don’t listen to Fowler. He’s a buffoon, a tennis illiterate. I have never heard praise for Roger’s 2009. I’ve never heard Roger’s 2009 was spectacular because the TSQ loves Nadal at this point. I don’t know why. Nadal has more or less ruined tennis. How ironic that 2009 was, arguably, Roger’s best year. Nadal had a shitty 2009 other than a big win over Roger at AO. Otherwise, shit year. Pretty typical for the Spaniard. Tennis is like going to the bathroom for him. He takes a shit, wins a couple of majors, and then leaves and we don’t see him for a while until he has to take another shit. And we have to watch. It’s disgusting.
2) Nadal is not coming back. If he does, the entire tennis community should say, “you’re a drugged-up cheat, you POS.” His game is so pedestrian, so mediocre, so powerless. A turn around now? How in the world would you explain that? He’s injured? Bullshit. He is a Spanish clay court guy. Go look how they do, generally.
Thanks for the comment, Incondite.
I completely agree about point one, and I hope you’re right about point two as well!
I would surely question any recrudescence on Nadal’s part. But I did when he won USO ’13 as well, coming back after a(nother) long absence to look stronger than ever; however, members of the press seemed to be unanimous in their adoration. What the heck could be up with that?
The popular press is part of the commercialism that drives ad dollars, etc. Johnny Mac even sounds like a retard. I like finding European (international) news and commentary on matches although Darren Cahill and Brad Gilbert (even Pat Mac) aren’t bad at all.
My Serena article was written to the press, really. Hearing how she’s the GOAT, end of story, pre-Wimbledon was like, STFUP you idiots! You’re supposed to have some intelligent punditry here, not a bunch of bandwaggon barking like seals stranded on a beach. Unreal.
Nadal . . . what a joke. Can’t wait for French Open 2016. Nail in the coffin time.
Yes, (!) Johnny Mac was definitely one of the worst bootlickers when Nadal won USO ’13. I was gagging, literally, when I had to listen to him.
I have to say, though, that it was very gratifying to hear him reverse himself on Nadal as GOAT after Roger’s great results during the last year and a half. I actually heard him say, “I was wrong” when covering one of the last two slams. It was actually far more than gratifying. 😉
Btw I like the other journalists you mentioned better too.
And I’ll need to read your Serena article now! GOAT? I’m not so sure Martina and especially Steffi, maybe even Monica, might have given her a run for her money.
And in case I wasn’t clear, I want to emphasize that I agree with you completely that Nadal is done – unless he can find a new fountain of youth. That’s the only eventuality that concerns me, because it’s the only way I see any resurgence taking place in his career.
But if members of the press were so willing to worship (unquestioningly?) at Nadal’s shrine when he won USO ’13, I think the commercialism that drives everything would have the same effect again, don’t you?
And of course I realize that it’s difficult for anyone to cast aspersions on a comeback without specifics. It would generate more news if a journalist said, “Is this kind of comeback possible without drugs?” than the slam victory itself would.
It’s kind of like asking Laver or Sampras if Roger can win another slam – if they say no, they might look negative – and what if Roger wins? So they’ve started saying that things need to line up for him now…
I hope things do line up for him! And I’d love to see someone/anyone nail Nadal at FO ’16.
Thanks again Matt, take it easy.
Yeah, the press is hand-tied. I think everyone’s smartened up though I would like to hear Agassi come clean. I think he has a soft spot for Nadal.
I like Agassi, but time to confess your sins, bud.
Appreciate the arguments and agree as usual Matt. If I may ask, what is this in reaction to particularly?
There is a sizable contingent of tennis fans who think this way about Rafa and Roger, I’m afraid. The press has driven it, Rafa fans and now Djokovic fans have driven it. It’s a misunderstanding. That’s what I’m talking about here. And will continue to talk about 😉
I agree it’s unfair and inaccurate to say Federer cracked under pressure later in his career, that he became mentally weak. And I’m glad you mentioned his consistency. That consistency is what I think really makes him the greatest of the Open Era and one of several reasons I think his H2H record against Nadal means little in assessing their legacies.
10 straight GS finals immediately followed by 8 straight GS finals! Unreal. 18 of 19. No one has come within a million miles of this. Djokovic is probably #2 all time in this respect as well.