QUOTE BY EMMA :
I am trying to recognize the actress in your avatar. She looks familiar. Who is she?
Anyway, I always thought Roger was mentally a bit fragile. I said that as soon as I started posting on this very forum and I got a lot of slack for it. That was last year in September right after USO. Only Kitten supported me. When you age normally you tend to get a bit weaker mentally no doubt. But more importantly, look at the players he beat back in those days. Andre or Henman are really not good examples. Both way past their prime can only threat Fed so much. I don't really believe Fed ever faced any tough opponents during his era other than Nadal but that only happened on clay. I don't think Fed's mental ability was truly tested all those years. It's only recently when he was up against players like Nadal, Nole and Murray all real players with real talent, he started showing the fragile side of his, if you noticed. Federer has absolutely no idea how to deal with them. Chances are he will never be able to deal with it. Both Nadal and Murray have his numbers and Fed is not aging backwards. I feel he is truly aware of the circumstances and it's freaking him out and that outburst at the AO was merely a sign of what he was feeling inside. The only way I see him recovering from this situation if he just let it go. He's not letting it go. He had a hard time coping with the fact that he's no longer the number one. He kept talking about how he was going to take it back. Well, Nadal kind of set the record straight this Sunday night that he's not going anywhere. So obviously, he's being a bit delusional and not thinking realistically. He should just let it go, free himself up and just play the sport he loves so much. He shouldn't worry about breaking the record so much either. It will come when it's time. If not, then it was never meant to be. He desperately needs to make peace with that first. One thing at a time I would say.
What he did though, he spoiled both himself and his fans up to the point that they both are in serious denial. This slam was more like a reality check for both his fans and himself. You guys are putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on everything. I think I would be happy with 13 slams. When I was a fan of Pete, I wanted him to retire when he wasn't doing well in 2000 and 2001, and I made peace with it. But he still went on and won one more slam so that was a bonus for me. I think Fed fans should be this way too and not expect too much. Come what they may. Easy does it, really.
We shall never agree on this I'm afraid. I think we're making too much out of this. If he doesn't have the mental fortitude against Nadal, how come it didn't show in the Wimby final 06? Coming into that match, Roger had lost to Nadal in the final of Dubai ( where Roger was going for his 5th straight title ), the final of Monte Carlo and Rome ( where he had two MPs ) and a heartbreaking finals loss at Roland Garros after winning the first set 6-1. That was his first RG final, and he was hurt big time afterwards at the trophy presentation as his childhood idol Edberg presented the silverware to Nadal. It would have been a dream come true for him to receive that from Stefan. Now, back to the Wimbledon final that year, Rog came into that match at 1-6 against Rafa. 1-6!! Rafa had his number big time..5 straight defeats! And he was serving awesome was Rafa, had held serve 84 straight times through the fortnight, he was on a roll..having gone through Agassi easily in the process. NOW, if Roger had this mental problem against Rafa, he would have gone down to him that day too. and the following year..in 2007, where again he was playing Rafa on the back of successive heartbreaking defeats to him on the Parisian clay. So I'm sorry I cant agree with you totally.
Where we do agree is that Sampras was way more tougher mentally. Which makes Roger even more of a fascinating champion...a player for whom mental strength does not come naturally, for someone like that to overcome his failings and go on a winning spree for four years is an inspiration for players like Gasquet, Berdych, Nalbandian etc. I mean Roger is part Sampras, part Gasquet in the head and still achieves so much...its a more amazing story and thats why Roger is the most popular tennis player the world has ever seen.
TO be honest I'm a bit exhausted at reading too much into Sunday's match. Again, if he becomes a mental midget against Nadal, how did he overcome the disappointment of losing that 3rd set the way he did, and then win the 4th? He could have easily crumbled in the 4th. No, I just think in the 5th with the finish line so close, he choked and Rafa became even stronger. It was one match. If you recall Sampras v Rafter at Wimbledon 2000, Sampras was making it tighter than it should have been..he was feeling the pressure too of that record breaking slam. But luckily for him he wasnt facing Rafa. I believe you put Rafa in any era and he will make the champions of that era struggle.
I'm more interested in how Roger responds to this latest setback, and also how he will fare against Nadal in the future. Its ok what you say about being in denial and giving Pete's 2000-20002 run as an example. Well, Roger is not at that stage now, he's not 30. I know I may be wrong about this, but I believe Roger will come out stronger as a result of this latest setback. He's got a lot of time. He's still got the game. In a way, its good that he lost, now he will be the clear underdog against Rafa in the future on any surface. It might make him play with more aggression. We shall see.
I just think we're reading too much into one match. I think Wimbledon 08 hurt him way more than this, but he came back to win the USO. I wouldn't write off Roger yet. I agree he's facing the stiffest challenge he's ever faced now, but it will make him stronger. It has to. Time will tell. I still have faith in the guy. I'm sure if you ask Pete right now he'd say the same thing about his mate Roger...that he will come back with a vengeance.
((.. the actress in the avatar is Hedy Lamarr...Hollywood sex symbol and international star of the 40s... ))
For now, I can only say that you think of Rafa as someone who's this beast who just doesn't go away. I don't think that to be true. He's beatable. Rafa's game is not clean. His serve is also something to think about. Canít' volley much either. Rafa also hasn't met much of a competition from anyone other than Roger and you know where that stands these days. It's true that these two are far superior than the rest of the field but the opposite is true as well. But that will all change. In fact, Rafa will be in trouble in the near future and the threat will be coming from the younger players. Both Nole and Murray will be constant threat to Nadal especially Murray
. I am not going to say much but just watch how things unfold.