“Some people have that drive more than others who’ve been number one. Rafa doesn’t seem like he cares as much for number one, or he doesn’t show it.”
As you can see from the title of the article of the link that I posted, it says that Roger thinks he has more drive than Rafa. As we have recently seen from the British media at the Oz Open, journalists like to take things Roger says out of context just to get more readers. I’m not about to do that. What journos do to get more readers, is they take a statement from a player and just slightly alter the words to make it more controversial. This is why Roger does not like the media very much, although he does talk to them a lot. What Roger says in the above statement is that Rafa is not as motivated as he is to be number one. Whether he means Rafa is not as motivated as him in general is not certain. If in fact that is the case, it is quite a big statement and one I don’t agree with, although it comes down to the same end result. I think Rafa wants it too much.
I think he is so desperate to be the best that he is killing his body in the process. He keeps getting his scheduling wrong, which makes me believe that he is trying too hard to get those ranking points, despite what his body is telling him. Apparently Roger does not realize it, but I think Rafa is obsessed with chasing him down. He is so obsessed in fact that he is not listening to the signals his body sends him, and it will eventually cost him. In fact it has already started costing him. Despite all the injuries Rafa has had of late, he is not adjusting his schedule to allow for more down time. So what happens is that his body starts rebelling by getting injured, and then it forces him to take breaks. So either way he is taking a break. This is not smart from the Spaniard. The fact that he waits until he gets injured to take a break, will only make things worse for him in the long run.
If he can forget about his obsession for being number one for a change, he will schedule better and get injured less, which means that he may not be number one. But does that really matter? It’s nice to be number one, but isn’t it more important to win major titles?! I mean at the end of a player’s career, the amount of time spent at the number one spot carries much less significance than how many majors they won. Rafa has already been number one. He has proved to himself that he can do it. If I was him I would have forgotten being number one a while ago already, and started thinking about longevity. By being obsessed with being Roger Federer, Rafa has already started slipping down the rankings, and it becomes less likely all the time now that he will get back to number one. If I was Rafa I would have settled for number two, curbed my schedule, and focused on longevity to win the most amount of major titles.
Roger is destined to be number one anyway. But since Rafa has been so preoccupied with chasing down Roger instead of listening to his body’s wisdom, he is now slipping down the rankings and losing the number two spot as well. This means he will start getting harder draws in majors, and he is also losing that unbeatable edge that he once had. All because of this whole Roger Federer/number one obsession he has. This also shows the huge difference for me in these two players’ mentalities. Roger plays for the love of the game first of all. Everything else comes second. And I mean everything. He schedules in a way which will give him the maximum amount of time at the top of the game. And not to be number one or to chase down some other player’s records, but because he loves the game a huge amount. It is the best possible attitude to have, and it is drastically different from Rafa’s attitude.
For Rafa it’s about ego needs, while for Roger it is about giving back to the game that helped him to live a great life. It’s about something larger than himself, while for Rafa it is all about himself. This is the exact reason I have always been a Fedfanatic and not a Rafanatic. I also believe that Fedfanatics are special in a way, the chosen people if you will. Rafanatics has often struck me as egotistical and self absorbed on online forums, although I don’t want to generalize. There are of course nice Rafanatics out there as well. But like attracts like and there is a trend when it comes to the different fan bases of Roger and Rafa. Anyway that’s how I feel. I take a certain amount of pride in being a Fedfanatic. It’s not just being a fan of somebody, it’s being the fan of an idea that Roger represents.
Roger goes beyond just being a tennis player. He represents certain values and ideas which I am a fan of. He represents truth, honesty, altruism, excellence, discipline, love, beauty, humbleness, good sportsmanship, and many other good things. And then of course he is just an absolute joy to watch on a tennis court.