Federer Drops One of His Legendary Quotes

 

I’m not sure which interview this quote comes from but I found it on twitter and thought it was worth making a post about. Not just because I want to reach 1 000 000(997,652 currently) views before the end of the year but because I thought this quote is loaded, and since ‘Mirka’ has been back I feel more inspired to blog as well. Roger has made some noteworthy quotes during his career and this one is certainly right up there. I think it tells us an awful lot about who he is and why he is playing tennis. It also tells us why he is still playing tennis. Of course 2013 has been a testing year and the dreaded ‘r’ word has been raised by critics and fans alike on several occasions. Even I went as far as to use that word, and you know it would take an awful lot for me to use that word when it comes to Roger.

Of course I never said he should retire, but when Roger lost to Monfils in Shanghai things had just gotten to a point where I had to see a fast improvement from Roger toward the end of the year. I’m sure some people didn’t like what I said in that post after the Monfils match, but they underestimated how accurately I can predict what Roger is up to. I said Roger should qualify for London and make at least the semis there, or else he should consider retirement. Well I was so sure he could do it that I could afford to say those words. And yes, it was extremely important how he ended the season. Just look how much brighter everything seems now that he got those results. All of a sudden people think Roger will win a slam next year. Personally I have no idea whether he will. I am definitely not gonna say that he will, but at least there is a possibility now.

My point is you would not have thought that after Shanghai. I always knew and stated that Roger plays tennis for the love of the game first of all. I was just beginning to wonder towards the end of the year whether he was really still enjoying it, and whether his heart was still in it. No one could be certain of that anymore. He often didn’t look interested or that he was enjoying himself. Now we know the injury had a lot to do with that but we couldn’t always be sure. And the quote above pretty much sums it up and makes it all clear. I’m not saying no one had the right to criticize or even call for retirement. Yes that is Roger’s business, but as a fan you are in the dark. You don’t live inside Roger’s head. You just see the way he plays and look at his results, and then you wonder at times why he still bothers showing up.

There is nothing wrong with that in my view. That is just how the relationship of fans and their favorites work. Fans support their favorites and in my view that gives them the right to criticize too. Without fans a player is nothing. I do think it is wrong when people are glory hunters however. Some fans have no compassion with their favorite at all and at the first sign of trouble they dump them. That is low. It shows lack of character. So there are two sides to the story and indeed players can’t just have it all their own way, while fans should not be gutless either. It should be clearer now than ever that Roger plays for the love of the game. If not he would surely have quit this year when he was having such a torrid time of it. And of course part of that love is the competition, which goes hand in hand with winning.

But it’s only a part of it. I think it’s also a shame when everything is just about winning. I definitely think love is a better motivation than competition. This is why Roger is such a great champion and why he is so popular. He loves what he does and it attracts people to him. He is not a cold killer like Nadal for instance. It has cost him dearly on some occasions but it is another reason people are attracted to him. People are naturally more attracted to love and life than they are to death and killing. This is not a judgment against Nadal. Roger was blessed with enough talent that he could still be very good despite not being such a killer. Nadal doesn’t have much of a choice. Roger’s love for the game is also why he will probably play for many more years. Even if you are not as good as you used to be, why would you quit if you love what you do?

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16 Comments

  1. Hi Ruan,spot on as always,i always say nobody should say to Roger or in fact any sportsman when to retire.As you say why would he retire if he loves playing?Do amateur or once a week warrior tennis players retire cause they get bit older and loose few matches?Also Roger is still getting most money of all the players,as he says,dream job..I do understand when people critize when he looses but over last few months,espc.summer i could not even read some comments,like this guy Villy,i know he is passionate,but Roger lost few matches and it was end of the world..let Roger play till he feels he can or wants to play,we can only speculate or as me,admire him for all the hard work over the years,best ever,sportman not only tennis player

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes I assure you you were not the only one who couldn’t read Vily’s comments. That’s just Vily I guess. What are you gonna do?

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  2. Thanks for all your blogs!! I know this is a slow season so I appreciate your time. I have read other blogs and comments. They are disgusting to me. Especially the one from John McEnroe saying he believes Roger will never win another slam. Well he can not predict the future and he is so jealous of Roger. I am an American and I can say J McEnroe has never been my favorite. McEnroe is very jealous of Roger because Rog has beaten so many of other player’s records. Hard to accept by many former players.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You’re welcome Pat and I agree. Mcenroe sounds like a bitter old fool these days. It’s a shame what he has become. I used to think he was funny and a character. These days I try to avoid him at all costs.

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  3. I remember this interview well. Sometimes it can appear that Roger is not too interested in the match he is playing. I believe at may times, he is in pain and frustrated he can’t move the way he wants to.
    “Some people just don’t get that, ever” is so true.
    Did you see the news….Roger and Tony Godsick have created their own company called Team8. So, I guess when Roger retired from tennis, he can represent other players. They have signed on Delpo and Dimitrov.

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  4. Roger is clearly very aware of how fortunate he is to be able to make money with what he loves most.
    That’s why he can keep things in perspective when he has to swallow at times tough losses, and that’s also why he doesn’t hide somewhere in the boonies when things don’t run the way he expected them to go.
    True.. at times he seems less invested in matches or not to bother too much, but we don’t know that for sure.
    But even if it were the case, isn’t that part of a success story as well, being able to decide for yourself how much energy you still invest in your job, and decide for yourself when it’s time to move on or retire ?
    Roger has that luxury, we don’t, or we get fired or priced out of the market.
    I admire Roger for him remaining grounded and respectful with everyone as it must be very tiresome to always have to answer the same type of questions.

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  5. Honestly quotes like this, they’re not just about tennis, it’s a real insight into Roger as a person as well. People forget Roger’s dealt with pain and loss from a fairly young age, with the death of his coach and friend Peter Carter. He’s spoken many times of Peter and the influence both he and his passing had on him. Roger’s unassuming nature and grounded demeanor come from how he just knows what’s important in life, and I respect him all the more for it. He doesn’t take things like his tennis career for granted because he knows it could be gone in a flash, such is life.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well said Tom. Roger is certainly a grounded individual. He is just a very solid guy.

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  6. Hi Ru-an, good luck with your new life in Thailand!

    I think that remark about “it’s sort of a dream hobby which became a job” encapsulates perfectly his attitude toward tennis. Can’t think of too many other great athletes who have such a straightforward and uncomplicated relationship with their sport, maybe Pele or Tendulkar (whom Federer is a big fan of).

    Many great players are driven primarily by ambition, the need to dominate opponents, or to compensate for some kind of other void within them or deficiency in their lives. It eventually crushes them because it’s too hard to shoulder such a burden for so long, in the face of diminishing returns. If you don’t get any positive reinforcement from the act of playing itself, but only from winning, then it gets much tougher once you’re not winning so much.

    Federer enjoys the whole thing so much that even when he’s not winning, he can still find the motivation to continue at a high level. He’s having fun, even when he’s not winning. That keeps him young in spirit and mentally fresh.

    I think that 2014 is going to be a great year for our man. So come on Roger!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Steve and well said. You summed it up well.

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    veronica Reply:

    Excellent comment, Steve!!!!

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