What did Roger’s BFFs Tiger Woods, Pete Sampras and Andy Roddick have to say about his loss to Nadal at the Aussie (and his now-famous breakdown at the podium?) Tennis.com shares:
Pete Sampras: “I’ve seen them play on every surface now, and I was really curious to see this hard court match.”
“If I were Roger I would try to come in a little bit more, especially on my serve — Rafa stays so far back. Just serve volley every now and again, just to put it at the back of his mind. [They] get into these rallies and as soon as Rafa hits the ball to his backhand, he’s in control of the point and it’s tough for Roger to keep up. And he came in and mixed it up less than what I thought he was going to try to do.
“He’s close just the way he’s doing it, he’s a few points way from winning these matches, but I’m sure he’s frustrated. He’s playing fine, Rafa’s just an animal. He guy can play all day, he can play at a high level for hours. To do what he did in Australia, play five hours two days before and come back and win the finals is incredible. You’ve got to tip your hat.”
Tiger Woods (to ESPN radio): “I was watching the whole thing. I got up at 3:30 and watched the match. And I was glued to the TV just like everyone else to see those two go at it.
“I wasn’t around to watch Borg and McEnroe and McEnroe and Connors, I was a little bit young to remember that. But I grew up watching Agassi and Sampras go at it and to watch these two go at it, I think it’s at a different level. The way they play, it’s pretty fun to see how they adjust their games through an entire match and then try to one-up one another. Plus they know each other so well, they’ve played against each other so many times on a big stage that it’s hard to one-up one another, it’s just about whoever plays better on that particular day.
“I really wish they were more comparable ages so you could see it go on for a longer period of time, because obviously Rafa’s much younger than Fed in tennis years.”
Andy Roddick (on Federer’s emotional post-match reaction): “I think in sports you can certainly, you know, everyone can relate to being disappointed. I think the thing about, you know, kind of having to stay on for an awards ceremony and from what I read, I think Roger touched on it. Kind of going after a match, taking a shower, stretching, that’s kind of all part of your routine to kind of cool down and to kind of almost try to grab a sense of perspective and get away from everybody watching for a second.
“When you have to go straight into the awards ceremony, you know, it’s not easy especially after losing a Grand Slam final. I’ve been on the other end of that with Roger a couple of times. So I don’t think it’s surprising or out of the ordinary.
It’s interesting to see the difference in the comments: Sampras goes for the technical breakdown (the old “serve and volley” gambit that’s losing traction), Tiger goes for the long view with the age thing, and Andy talks from the locker room perspective.
What can I say, this is the story that won’t die!