In the ‘In-depth Interview’ post that I did recently you may remember that Roger was asked about Murray’s rise to number three in the rankings, to which he replied that he thinks number one and two is the important spots and not so much number three or lower. Today I came across two articles that made a big deal about this statement. Here they are:
You will see in the comments there is people criticizing Roger and I keep seeing the same thing on the forums. So I thought I’d make it clear once and for all what I think about this. First of all I want to say that the insinuation he made about Murray having to win a grand slam to be considered as good as him and Rafa is one I agree with. That should be pretty obvious. I mean Murray can beat Roger as many times as he want outside of grand slams but it still wouldn’t mean he can beat him in a grand slam. Grand slams are a different animal as Roger rightly remarked on one occasion. Not only is it best of of five sets but there is also much more pressure because it is ultimately what defines a player’s career.
Therefor it is both physically and mentally very challenging. Murray has clearly been the best hard court player of the last six months at Masters Series level, but he hasn’t yet broken through on grand slam level. Roger and Rafa took both hard court slams of the last six months. Apparently Roger said a while ago when he was still number one that it was the most important spot and that the number two spot was not that important. This is one of the reasons people have been criticizing him together with the fact that he keeps talking down the achievements of Murray and Djokovic. I must say I’m getting tired of people taking Roger’s words out of context. He gets asked hs opinion about Murray’s ranking and then when he gives an honest answer he gets criticized.
The saying that the tallest trees catches the most wind is indeed true. I know there is many people who hates Roger and who relishes any opportunity to criticize him. Keeping that in mind I wouldn’t worry much about the fact that he gets a lot of criticism. Roger is a very honest person, which is something I identify with. I like to speak my mind and I know that comes at a price. If you are a straight shooter there will always be people who takes offense, it’s just the way it is. What Roger said about Murray is 100% true, and he easily beat Murray in the US Open final last year to back that up. If people want to call that trash talk then so be it. They can call it what they want but in the end it’s the just the simple truth. And even if Roger meant it as trash talk, which of course we can never be sure of, it is STILL the truth.
The media and people will always make of athletes’ words what they want, they will give it the meaning they want it to have. The important thing for Roger is to stay true to himself and as far as I can see he is. In my mind as long as what you are saying is the truth, regardless of your intentions with what you are saying, it is fair game. This is sport and if Murray can’t take what he said like a man then he doesn’t belong at the top. Roger has been struggling of late and there will of course be people who want to see him struggle even more. These people will jump at every opportunity to criticize Roger and try to kick him while he’s down. I think despite the trouble he is having on court he still has a good mind and he won’t be phased much by the media.