Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Idle Chit Chat - Post Masters Cup Edition

by Savannah

A Different View of the TMC

Nadal & Ferrer Battle Everyday, Roddick & Blake Eat & Sleep Together
13 November 2007 15:01:31

It’s been a sort of custom for ATP players to form their cliques among themselves. The arrogant Americans and the relaxed Spaniards have became two of the biggest cliques. The Americans will joke around while warming up, while the Spaniards love to use PS2 to warm up.

Nadal told the media that he specially brought PS2 along this time, this machine has accompanied him all around the world these past few years and he has made a number of new friends. “As long as Ferrer is in the same tournament with me, we will stay together and we will have a game after our matches. What do we play? Of course it’s football. We don’t talk football nor play football but everything’s clear after we sit down and played a few rounds on PS2."

As they are both Spaniards, both Nadal and Ferrer became best friends early on as they were ostracized for not being able to communicate in English. Both their English are so-so and their introverted characters made them lazy to initiate conversations with others, so cooping up in their hotel rooms playing video games became their favourite pastime. Nadal further added that veteran Moya will join in if he is in a good mood. This has became a tradition among the Spanish sportsmen.

However, the united Spaniards have a tough problem; who is better at playstation football has long became a debatable question among themselves. Ferrer claimed he’s the best and defeating Nadal is as easy as cutting vegetables; Nadal said Ferrer has never defeated him before. Guess there will never be a conclusion on who is the better between the two of them.

Note: I couldn't find the Roddick/Blake references. I'm sure that the headline doesn't mean what it appears to mean. This is not a slash forum.

Original Article in Chinese

In The Eyes Of The Chauffeurs: Nadal’s A Good Kid, Djokovic Very Well-mannered

13 November 2007 11:31

They are up close and personal with the players…..

Watching the television broadcast, you may be a dozen kilometers or even ten thousand kilometers away from the ATP Masters Cup players while you may only be 50 metres away from the ATP Masters Cup players in the stadium. But there are groups of people whom can be up close and personal with the players everyday; chauffeurs, chefs, physiotherapists, ball-kids……. You may hardly pay any attention to them but it is precisely the work of these groups of hardworking people whom are safeguarding the basic necessities and daily lives of the players. From a certain angle, they are actually the players’ left hand and right hand people in Shanghai. They can be very close or very far to the players.....

Journalist: Zhang Wei
Subject: Xiao Chen (alias)
Occupation: Chef
Working Hours: 8am to 10pm or later

30 "Catties" In 3 Days
Note: I assume that by "catties" they mean trays or plates or something other than felines.

Italian Pasta
For the past few days, Xiao Chen’s biological clock has been a little erratic, from the 9 to 5 in the hotel to late nights at the stadium, he feels that he has been very forgetful. Since last Sunday, together with dozens of chefs from the Hilton Hotel, they have been providing food for the players and 2,000 VIPs.

“We have been cooking in the big tents all day long, let alone the matches, I don’t even know how the players look like. We have to guarantee piping hot food to be delivered to the players within 20 minutes for breakfast to dinner and even additional meals.” According to the Hilton Hotel’s requests, each kitchen has to provide 20 different types of dishes for the players and VIPs everyday. The only difference between the players and VIPs is, the former chooses from the menus while the latter are buffet style. This has also decided that Xiao Chen and his colleagues are unable to leave their working positions except for their normal rest.

“We have started work the day before the first match start as the players are already training and they require meals.” Xiao Chen added that the most popular food among the players are Italian pasta, chicken, salads, sandwiches, bananas and cheese.

“They ate up 30 catties of Italian pasta in 3 days and this is what we expected, so we have to stock up within 2 hours. We are running out of supplies based on their consumption.” Xiao Chen said that actually the players’ meals quantity are not big, but in order to maintain their physical ability, they have to eat frequently. “The players also know that Chinese delicacies are much more delicious than Western delicacies but they are still used to having Western food before matches and only when they have completed their matches, they are able to relax and have a hot plate dish or thick soya sauce Chinese meal.”

Subject: Liao Zheng (alias)
Occupation: Chauffeur
Working Hours: 24/7


Strange If The Players Are Not Late

About 15 Mercedes Benz C305 are displayed at the players’ entrance, chauffeurs in groups of 2 or 3 will stand under the hot sun or sit at the lounge to watch the matches. Liao Zheng took a pail of water to clean the car while the player was training. “He needs the car urgently during noon and I did not even have time to have my breakfast, not to mention washing the car. Now that they are training, I am making full use of the time to clean the car.” He never looked up while mumbling and gesturing at the same time as if afraid of any time delay.

For this year’s Shanghai Masters Cup, Liao Zheng and his colleagues are responsible for chauffeuring the players in Mercedes Benz C350 and are on standby 24/7. Liao Zheng has been doing this job for the 2nd year and this year he chose to chauffeur Doubles players instead of any famous ATP single players. “You don’t know but it’s very stressful, you have to chauffeur the players and are also responsible for their WAGs. There’s no rest at all.” Liao Zheng recalled, “The players have to attend commercial events before the tournament starts. I have to drive to and fro after the tournament starts. When the tournament is coming to an end, the WAGs will be busy shopping. I’m not exaggerating to say that my daily meals last year were bread.”

So, the experienced Liao Zheng this year chose to serve a pair of unknown doubles players instead. “The foreigners are very polite and very easily satisfied. They are very happy if you bring them to the temple or New World. They go to this 2 places year after year.”

Liao Zheng added that his colleagues will also gossip about their “passengers” in private, eg. Nadal obeys his uncle, a typical good kid, his manager is also Nalbandian’s manager; Djokovic is not as fierce as he looks, he’s very well-mannered and say thank you… When asked what is the common characteristic of the players? Liao Zheng blurted out, “Not punctual, they said they want to use the car at 10 but they will show up earliest at 11. It will be strange if they are punctual. Are you a reporter? I won’t say anymore. My superior has ordered that we are not supposed to talk to strangers. I will lose my rice bowl if I continue.”


SINA news China

Translations provided by Veyonce.

Wrap Up and Commentary on the TMC Shanghai 2007

For Craig's wrap-up of the 2007 Masters Cup, click here.

Martina Hingis News

Her ranking has been removed from the WTA official site.
Also found this gem on Off The Baseline



Exhibitions - ATP

Roger Federer vs Pete Sampras in Seoul



Rafael Nadal vs Richard Gasquet in Kuala Lumpur

Does anyone think they've paid Pete enough to lose to Roger?

Couple Alerts:


Serena is reported by two gossip sites and Page Six to be dating the rapper known as Common (real name Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. (born March 13, 1972). She's in his latest video which features Alicia Keys and Kerry Washington as well. Okay all you Astrology buffs. A Pisces man and a Libra woman. That's right, drag out your editions of "Linda Goodman's Love Signs" and see if this is a match made in heaven or would be better as a drive by.



  • Okay was I the only one to notice that ROCK Mirka was wearing on the third finger of her left hand?! I was almost blinded by it and I was watching half a world away in my living room. Come on you Roger fans. Get to steppin'. Whazzup?!!!!

Serious Stuff

More on Nikolay's problems. I thought vengeance was a dish best served cold?

There has always been a suspicion, given Nikolay Davydenko's personal attack in April on Etienne de Villiers, the chief executive of the ATP, accusing him of incompetence, that the Russian has been a marked man. The world No4 remains under investigation after a match he was involved in during August in Poland was the subject of irregular betting patterns, but yesterday he won his appeal against a £1,000 fine for allegedly not trying hard enough during a defeat by Croatia's Marin Cilic in St Petersburg last month.

More HERE

Gold and Silver Exemptions for 2008 - WTA

Thanks to "Spiceboy" for posting the 2008 GOLD EXEMPT LIST

1. Henin
2. Sharapova
3. Jankovic

4. S. Williams*
5. Kuznetsova**
6. Ivanovic

7. Chakvetadze
8. V. Williams
9. Mauresmo
10. Petrova

11. Hantuchova
12. Bartoli
13. Hingis +

14. Vaidisova
15. Schnyder
16. Dementieva
17. Peer
18. Safina
19. Golovin
20. Bammer
20. Dulko (WC)
20. Sugiyama (WC)

Gold Exempt Emeritus: Lindsay Davenport

*S.Williams is #4 in Americas and Europe region
**Kuznetsova is #4 in Asia Pacific region

+ As of the WTA Tour ranking on the Monday after the US Open, September 10, 2007


2008 SILVER EXEMPT LIST

21. A. Bondarenko
22. Safarova
23. Szavay
24. Srebotnik
25. Schiavone
26. Li
27. Mirza
28. Pierce (SR 27)
29. Garbin
30. Zvonareva

31. A.Radwanska
32. Medina Garrigues
33. Krajicek
34. Santangelo
35. Kirilenko
36. Stosur
37. Danilidou
38. Azarenka
39. Paszek
40. Razzano
41. Vakulenko
42. Loit
43. Muller
44. Dushevina
45. K. Bondarenko
46. Jackson (SR 46)
47. Tu
48. Shaughnessy
49. Peng
50. Poutchkova
50. Pennetta (WC)
50. Vesnina (WC)

Odds and Ends

Donald Young and Steve Darcis are among those younger guns of the ATP who have played their way into the top 100 in time for the Australian Open.

Agnes Szavay is reported to be playing an exhibition match soon. I hope this means her back problems are better and that we'll see more of her in 2008.

The biggest bandwagons of 2007 have to be the ones featuring Novak Djokovic, David Nalbandian and David Ferrer. All three men secured wins over the top dogs after Wimbledon.

Most disappointing year on the WTA side has to go to Maria Sharapova. People jumped through hoops and did other gymnastic moves to try and secure her at least one slam this year and it didn't happen. She's still in the top ten though and unless everyone starts inhaling the baseline she'll end next year right about where she is now. I don't think Sveta will hold onto her number two ranking unless she out Jelena's Jelena.

Rafa is not going to make the South American swing in 2008 much to the disappointment of the TD's in Mexico and Buenos Aires. The Spanish press is reporting that he'll play Rotterdam and Dubai followed by Indian Wells and the the Davis Cup tie in Peru. Smart move on his part.

Funny how David Nalbandian is simply "Dahveed" now isn't it?

Some Final Thoughts

I need an explanation. Why is it other fandoms suffer through slams of their idol while fans of Roger Federer seem to do what I call swarming and proceed to give a verbal beat down to anyone who dares point out some of their FedGod's faults? Ask any fan of Andy Roddick for example what they've had to grin and bear over the years and you get an idea of what I'm talking about. Many of us Rafa fans get very upset by the slurs directed against him and we have forums to vent our anger but I don't see the swarming I see by Roger's fans. What about fans of Lleyton Hewitt? Martina Hingis? Justine Henin? Lleyton is regularly voted most hated. Justine has so many nicknames that could be considered slanderous it's not funny. And Martina, formerly famous for the tongue that knew no limits is now going to be the butt of baseline jokes the rest of her life.

And yet I don't see the swarming by their fans.

Dígame. Why is Roger considered above criticism when he so often leaves himself open to it? Sure he's answering the questions the reporters are asking him but he doesn't endear himself to everyone when he makes comments like the following made after his TMC match against Andy Roddick. I'm including the question for what will be obvious reasons.


Q. Watching last night's match against Andy, one was tempted to conclude he really lacks the tools and variety to challenge you, at least at the moment. If you compare tonight's match with yesterday's match, it's a similar pattern. When you're playing like this, are there any answers to your game you see on the horizon in the men's game? Is there any difference between the challenge you felt in the course of the match between tonight and last night?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, look, it's always been my big strength. Once I get on a roll it's hard to stop me. It's always been like this.

Even in my young days, you know, as a junior, I was always so talented. Back then I didn't work hard enough yet to put it all together, you know, for, I don't know, let's say six games or, you know, two sets or something. Now I can. Now I can even pull it even through even longer and against the best in the world. I've beaten Rafa before 6-Love in a set. I've beaten the best very convincingly. But for me it's great to do it over and over again, you know, over many months, many years.

When it happens again for me, it's not as big of a surprise because this is why I work my tail off basically. That it all pays off in the end, it seems it's paying off again, you know, with my good preparation, my good scheduling. It's always nice when you can beat guys like Andy or Rafa, obviously.


I have no problem with most of what he says here except for that one highlighted phrase. He's smart enough to know that line isn't necessary. All he had to say was that he learned to pace himself and focus on his strengths and everything else is okay.

Then there was this gem.
Q. How would you coach someone to beat Roger Federer?

A.What would you say? "Don't even try, pal," he said with a grin. "It's going to be really, really difficult, you know. You're probably not going to win, but you can always try. I'm just kidding. I don't know. I'm not a coach just yet. I'm still a player, so I won't answer."

Then there's this classic from 2005:

No Trouble for Federer as He Cruises Into Semifinals

But Federer does not expect Hewitt to take the risk of radically changing his counterpunching baseline game. "He could, you know," Federer said. "But then again, he could even run into the knife more brutally."


Please keep in mind I'm just asking the question Roger fans. With all his PR savvy and IMG support shouldn't someone tell him to STFU and not take the bait reporters throw at him? And what would you all say if someone else said the exact same things and was not named Roger Federer?

24 comments:

Craig Hickman said...

"He could, you know," Federer said. "But then again, he could even run into the knife more brutally."

And people wonder where I get my characterizations of Raja from. I get them from the man himself.

I remember that quote. Quotes like that are hard to forget, especially when you aren't all that warm towards a person to begin with.

Which is why I said he "turns the knife" when he plays Andy.

Marquis de Sade, baby. Marquis de Sade.

As for the part of the quote you highlighted, Savannah, about his junior days, I'm reminded of the forum poster who refers to Raja as "I, ME, and MY TALENT."

But as his supporters say, he has every right to be so boastful. He's only telling truth, right, and he backs it up with all his results, no?

Albert said...

Rafa is only criticized for his game, not for his comments. Of course it could be because he doesn't say anything meaningful (in English at least)...

Not much to criticize as far as Roger's game is concerned, so his anti-fans are gorging on his comments instead :)

Craig Hickman said...

suliso, I mean, albert, you really ought to stop. Probably since you haven't read or heard everything Rafa has said in English.

you've been asked a question and instead of answering it, you turn this to something else?

you're a fedfan. do you have a take on comments such as these are do you simply overlook them because they come from your man?

Albert said...

Craig, I think I have said here (and elsewhere) that I don't get agitated by player's comments whether they come from my fave or someone else as long as they don't cross some boundary of obnoxiousness. May be that's why I have a difficult time understanding your (or Savannah's in this case) need to overanalyze everything he says...

I do like your blog most of the time, BTW.

P.S. Just noticed Nadal's interview posted by Savannah. It's quite nice and much more informative than usual.

Emily said...

I'm a Fed fan and it really doesn't bother me. I think it's better than when he (and other players) just recycle the same old rhetoric every time. Like "I had to be careful, he's a dangerous player"..."he was playing unbelievably"....etc. They all same the same thing (Roger, Rafa, etc) about each other all the time, trying to be neutral and courteous, so occasionally they say something real and it's actually interesting. Sure, maybe it's boastful at times, but I don't think he does it too much or too overtly. I can't imagine being asked the same exact questions every single week for years and coming up with insightful things to say every time...And those reporters often ask leading questions...

As for Mirka's ring- I think that's the same giant ring she's had for a while. Roger has been sort of "no comment" about it.

Craig Hickman said...

"To overanalyze" is a judgment that only has to do with the perspective of the person using the word.

People talk. Top playes are required to talk a lot, otherwise they are fined. What people say provides insight into who they are; their words tell us about their character. I don't get agitated by what they say. I do, however, think that it's silly to suggest that Federer is humble when remarks like these are there for all to see and read and hear. He's not humble. Never has been. And he doesn't have to be. But to sell him as such, as the media often does, is PR of the worst order because he makes his sellers look like fools when remarks like these fall from his lips.

From where I sit, there is nothing at all to overanalyze. We can agree or disgagree about what a player's words tell us about him or herself, but to comment on their remarks doesn't have anything at all to do with analysis.

It is what it is. Either we see it or we choose not to.

Savannah said...

The interview I posted is translated from the Spanish. He's quite expressive and shows his intelligence in that language, something no one here in the States wants to have associated with him. If you notice the articles Veyonce translated from the Chinese they mention that he and Ferrer were "ostracized" for not speaking Spanish. The El Pais interview also makes note that he knew his driver's name in Shanghai.

As for Mirka's ring that was not the usual large one. This was more along the lines of a Graff solitaire. :)

Craig Hickman said...

emily, I agree with much of what you said. I used to find Federer boring. I think I wrote here or somewhere else that I don't find him boring anymore. Probably because he's not all that interested in putting forth an image that others have created for him. In that, I find him defiant. Defiant people are very interesting to me. Even if I don't like them.

Alex said...

Come on Craig, you know that the "knife" comment is in the best Connors/McEnroe tradition! :-)

Savannah said...

"If you notice the articles Veyonce translated from the Chinese they mention that he and Ferrer were "ostracized" for not speaking Spanish."

They were ostracized for not speaking English. A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

Craig Hickman said...

yes, alex. What on earth was I thinking?

Emily said...

Savannah- I'll have to go back to my tivo and give the ring another look!

tangerine said...

Good write up and I enjoyed Savnnah's last thoughts about the overly sensitive Federer fans too. As a Roddick fan I am well aware of this strange "swarming" that they do over any slight or disrespect they feel has been directed toward "their" Roger. He's the undisputed world number one but that doesn't mean he should be above reproach. He's just a tennis player, he hasn't cured cancer.

Quote: "He could, you know," Federer said. "But then again, he could even run into the knife more brutally."

LOL. Can you imagine the number of fan wars that would break out all over tennis message boards if that quote were attributed to anybody but Roger? Specifically, anybody whose last name ends in Nadal, Roddick, or Djokovic. ;)

For the record I'm looking forward to more battles between Roger and Hawkeye. That's a true rivalry in the making.

rabbit said...

Yeah, I agree that Federer sometimes says things that seem outright over the top. He admires his own achievements a lot after he has played one of his beautiful matches, and I can definitely see that it might seem pretty offensive to some people. He also has this tendency to say that "I already have a great record against him" (when playing Ferrer) or "I already won this prize earlier" (after winning the Laureus prize again) or "Even in my young days...I was always so talented" or in some way remind people of his past achievements lest they forget. Sometimes, I think it might be because he is not a native English speaker, so the words appear a little stilted, but perhaps not. One also has to keep in mind that the reporters do ask leading questions.

But all in all, Roger appears to have a genuine personality. When he loses, he is usually pretty deflated and humble. For example, after he lost to Gonzalez, an interviewer remarked that you have to know Spanish in order to beat Federer because Nadal, Gonzalez, Canas and Nalbandian all speak Spanish. Federer responded with a glum "Yeah". When the interviewer clarified that he was joking, Roger said he understood but he wasn't in a mood for jokes right now and hopefully would be able to joke after a week. Well, I guess he did get to make his joke with that "Pal, don't even try" attempt at humor.

Also, another thing is that Roger is usually pretty loose on court, not at all extremely focused. If you've ever seen him play in real life, you'd see that he glances at the stands often during the breaks, glances at the scoreboard in between points, etc. During Madrid, he even started laughing in between points after one of the model girls were bumbling the balls. So, it seems to me that he is a pretty personable guy, and one who has managed to keep his respectability up for a long time, much more than many of the other people on the ATP tour could.

Savannah said...

Rabbit not to burst your bubble but I've seen him play live and laughed at him watching replays of himself on the jumbotron at Ashe. The first time I saw it some cougars sitting in the front row thought he was looking at them and did everything but bare their breasts at him. Not sure if they realized what he was really doing.

A little off topic but I'm glad we're all talking about the why of the "swarming".

Karen said...

Hey guys, Fed KAD here. Very nice commentary and I must say that I am enjoying the banter between everyone here. The fact of the matter is that Fed is uber competitive, he is not just competitive and hates to lose. In some respects he is like Serena Williams. Sometimes I wonder what he does to Mirka when he loses a match. The mind boggles. When he wins, you can see the evidence on Mirka's fingers. That rock is much bigger than the one she was wearing in Hamburg. I mention Hamburg because it was there that I saw that she was wearing a pink diamond which was blinding. It caught my attention because the ATP feed kept going to it during the match and I believe one of the guys even made mention of it. I think one part of Fed's personality that I really do not like or should I say do not appreciate too much is his constant reminder to the world of where he is coming from. Whilst, it is sometimes in the context of responding to questions from the media, it does come across as him being a bit of a braggart. I dont think he means to do it, but that is how it comes across to me and I am the No. 1 Fed KAD

Craig Hickman said...

"Sometimes, I think it might be because he is not a native English speaker, so the words appear a little stilted, but perhaps not."

rabbit, as I'm sure you know, Federer's mother is South African and spoke English to him at home from a baby.

Raja has two first languages. Therefore, while I've read this excuse for his quotes many, many times, it simply doesn't hold water.

He knows exactly what he's saying about himself. In English and any other language, I've no doubt.

edma1022 said...

Swarming is from where you sit and from where you want to be taken seriously. Visit a Fed site, talk about his arrogance, and you'll get positively smothered. Visit a Fed hate shrine (like allcourtgame), talk about how great a game he played and you'll feel like a wounded bleeding rat in a forest full of army ants.

Fandom for Hewitt? C'mon. Hingis? maybe but they've all petered out in favor of Justine. Swarming for Justine comes from the Euro-centric crowd. It's a matter of where (what site) you want to go. Roddick I can understand. His fans can't swarm. Simply can't. That does not take anything from the guy. Indeed, I'd like Fed to get into a crash course of fielding interviews from Andy himself. He's gotten that good.

The analysis of Fed's game and the analysis of his words often does not need to go together. For others it can be painful (Nalbandian used to be an interviewer's nightmare before). Players tend to vacillate between tired, bored, insulted, joking, bragging, or falsely modest. Depends on how they are "told" to respond by their managers, coaches, and crew. They are doing it for obligation's sake. They don't have to like it.

How come the anti-swarmers can't just say out loud how a damn good player he is?

MMT said...

I’m a fan of Roger – I enjoy watching him play and as an amateur player, I learn more from him than any other. That said, I don’t feel the comments you bolded were so egregiously arrogant. It’s true that because he’s by far the best, comments that would sound arrogant from others seem less so from him, but I don’t think that’s the result of his media imaging as much as it is his results.

I have no information to support this, and don’t speak German, but the “run into the knife” comment sounds to me like a directly translated idiom. I had the feeling that he meant that if Hewitt gets too aggressive either tactically or strategically that he could do worse than if he just plays his game and hopes for the best. In the worst case, for me that’s mild gamesmanship. As for the “I’m so talented,” piece – again it is true that he is very talented, and it is true that he is more consistent now than in the past, and whereas he relied on talent more then, he relies on both now, and his results show both his talent and his preparation. Ultimately because it sounds true, and not exaggerated, it doesn’t sound arrogant to me.

But if Federer walked into a press conference and said, “You watch, my friends, by this time next year, you’ll be calling me the greatest player of all time – Sampras and will be asking for my autograph!”, then yes, I would say that’s very arrogant – even if he actually surpasses Sampras’ record, because even if he does, there’s no need to aggrandize himself at the expense of the game’s greatest player.

To be fair, I have a very low tolerance for even a hint of arrogance from Roddick because I personally feel that if anyone has been over-hyped in tennis it’s him. One US Open 4 years ago, and somehow people keep asking when he’s going to beat Federer – as if it should have happened already. Of course Roddick could win the Australian Open next year too, so you never know. But with all the Roddick commercials and promotions, I feel his profile is perhaps a little higher than it ought to be if we consider just his results. Possibly because I’m American I get a skewed view of his imaging, but nevertheless.

Craig Hickman said...

mmt said, regarding Roddick:

"One US Open 4 years ago, and somehow people keep asking when he’s going to beat Federer – as if it should have happened already."

That's because it has almost happened twice since his USO title. And of course it did happen once before.

Andy used to be hyped. Now he's just criticized, even by those who used to hype him.

The same, however, cannot be said of Roger. He's arrogant. He has a huge ego. It's one of the reasons why he's the champion he is. These are not opinions.

He has a damn good game. (You hear that, ed?)

But his arrogance and ego are on display because he constantly feels the need to remind us how great he is. I wonder if there's some insecurity there as well.

And I won't say this again: Roger speaks English very well. He gives many, many interviews in English for English-speaking media outlets and I'd bet the farm - all of it - that his quote about Hewitt and the knife was not a translation from German to English.

Serena is arrogant. I'm a Serena fan. She remains my favorite WTA player even though sometimes I want her to put a sock in it. What I don't understand, though, is why so many Fed fans flatout refuse to admit that he's arrogant when his arrogance is on display for everyone to see.

But even more than that, the media tells us that he is the humble champion. In what alternate universe?

It boggles the mind, I tell you. It boggles the mind.

Karen said...

Craig, any fan of Fed who says he is not arrogant is deluded. He is arrogant because he can back it up with his performance on the court. The same thing with Serena. As far as I am concerned every athlete needs to be egotistical and arrogant because without those 2 elements you will not have self confidence. Confidence comes from believing in yourself and in your game. With Roger, the fact that he has now become top dog against players who used to beat him routinely is not to me Fed's security issue, it is that he gets up in the morning, takes one look at his trophy case, and says to himself and anyone else within listening distance "Damn it I am good" and believe it. Perhaps some other players need to look themselves in the mirror and start believing it themselves. As far as I am concerned arrogance, backed up by talent, hard work etc. is what makes champions, and yes Craig, a little luck as well.

Craig Hickman said...

Say it again, karen, say it again.

Mad Professah said...

ar·ro·gant /ˈærəgənt/
–adjective 1. making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud


Is Federer really arrogant? I don't know I don't really think so. He definitely is not as arrogant as Serena Williams, and I love me some sister-girl. But there's no question she is arrogant.
"[W]hen I'm playing my best I feel like there's no one who can beat me" is just one of many quotes which substantiate her characterization as arrogant.

Roger on the other hand, I just don't feel like he is "insolently proud" of his achievements. The point is that he could be so much MORE obnoxious if he wanted to. The dude just won $10 million in a year. How many ATP players have won $10 million in their career? To me there has to be some dispensation given to making "claims or pretensions to superiority" if the results actually demonstrate that you ARE indeed superior to everyone else! And being #1 for four consecutive years (and barely missing it in 2003) indicates that he's not being arrogant, he's being truthful.

I guess what the difference is between the Federer fans and the Federer anti-fans is that the fans give him the dispensation for prideful statements (like "When I was a junior I was so talented") which the anti-fans will not let go unremarked.

We'll have to disagree, because we have different perspectives on the man, and thus view his statements and character differently.

Craig Hickman said...

"[W]hen I'm playing my best I feel like there's no one who can beat me."

How is this statement markedly different from "Once I get on a roll it's hard to stop me. It's always been like this."

There really is no difference accept semantically. Serena's remark is less of a declaration of fact because says "I feel like no one can beat me." It's a feeling about her belief in her abilities. Since when is that insolently prideful?

So, if I understand you, madprofessah, you are saying that Roger is telling the truth while Serena is lying, thus Serena is arrogant but Roger is not?

I recall you making a fuss about Serena saying that ElenaD should play like she did against Serena more often, claiming Serena was rude to say it. Yet, when Nalbandian beat Roger twice in a row, Roger said virtually the same thing. Something to the effect of he didn't know where David had been for the rest of the year, but if he played like that more often he'd certainly be in the Top 5.

I think they're both arrogant. One not necessarily more than the other. But you can tell the truth and still be insolently prideful in doing so. And you can certainly be overbearingly assuming while telling the same truth.

My problem, then, has less to do with Roger and more to do with the double standard these two champions are treated with in the eyes of fans and non-fans alike.

Roger can say whatever he wants and get a pass because he's humble and classy and gracious and everything he says is true and he could be so much worse, but Serena can say virtually the same things and she gets reamed because she's arrogant and lacks class and is ungracious and what she says is untrue.

This is what Savannah's question was about, at least as I understand it.

There's got to be some consistency here, no? Lan and I don't agree, but at least she's consistent. Neither Roger nor Serena is arrogant to her. That makes much more sense than Serena is arrogant but Roger is not, or vice versa.

Arrogance isn't a crime. It's an attitude more than a reflection of deep character. It doesn't make Roger or Serena a bad person.