I live in Los Angeles, so I’m a bit preoccupied with earthquakes right now. And Roger’s near loss to Ginepri was like an aftershock to my shakey morning. (And I don’t mean to make light of earthquakes – mine was a mild 5.4 and it scared the sh*t out of me.)
Anyways, while I was plucking glass shards out of the carpet and watching Roger almost flameout, a scary question popped into my head (and no, it had nothing to do with figuring out how to bolt my bookshelf to the wall): What if Roger’s losses stop being big news?
The quote I keep turning over in my mind comes from Roger’s post-Wimby press conference: “Losing Paris for me was nothing, losing here is a disaster.”
Call it burn-out, sour grapes or the God’s truth, but this admission captures the essence of Fed’s current malaise. He cares greatly about a few specific accomplishments, and the rest, deep down, really aren’t worth the effort anymore. The rub is, of course, that caring about these “nothing” tournaments and quotidian accomplishments is what made Roger such a dominant force and a five-time Wimbledon champion. Just look at the state of his number one ranking right now – a big picture problem that’s become compounded by a series of seemingly inconsequential losses and the drive of a rival who turns every point into a gladiatorial competition.
The upside to all this is that Roger is more than capable of turning this around – it’s just going to take time for him to reconcile reality with his dreams and to find a balance between winning every Sunday and any time he wants to. That bagel in the third set today was a great sign! Although I’m the first to admit that Robby is no Rafa.
And seriously, if you’re Roger Federer and you’re going to hire a coach, could you have one that doesn’t work for another top 50 player? That is just so half-assed.
***UPDATE***: Thanks to Down the Line! for posting on this quote from Roger’s Cincy press conference yesterday, regarding the high importance of the Olympics for him:
For me it is because I’ve already won 12 Grand Slams. I mean, another Grand Slam here or there doesn’t make that much of a difference. It’s nice to get them, but the Olympic Games is something I have never been able to get. Didn’t get that many chances obviously because it’s only once every four years.
Yeah, like I was sayin’! Roger’s in a weird state of mind right now.