Above you will find the three part interview done with Federer by Credit Suisse, one of Roger’s sponsors, divided up into role models, private life, and mental strength. For me the mental strength part of the interview was the most interesting. I found the following particularly interesting:
In his book “Winning Ugly,” former tennis pro and coach Brad Gilbert describes what is essentially psychological warfare on the tennis court. Is that the way you see it too?
I always have to smile to myself a little when I see what people read into some of the things I’ve said. For example, in an interview after my win in Australia, John McEnroe said that I had used all my experience of psychological warfare by stating before the final that Murray was under a lot more pressure than me because I had already won everything. I then apparently also exploited Murray’s injured foot to the maximum. Of course, that’s absolute nonsense, especially as the supposed foot injury turned out to be no problem at all. I don’t see that sort of thing as psychological warfare, I just say what I think. The fact that Murray, with no Grand Slam wins, would need the win in a final more than me and therefore be under more pressure is just the way it is.
It’s almost as if losing the number 1 spot and then getting it back has made you even stronger than you were before.
That period definitely had its benefits.
You may remember when Federer made that statement at the Australian Open before the final with Murray it was quite controversial. Roger has been known to make these kind of statements, and he often gets criticized for it. You can’t blame Mcenroe for thinking Federer was playing mind games with Murray. That is what I thought at the time as well, because that is exactly what it looks like. I guess Roger is an enigma in this sense, because only him would say such a thing without have any psychological intentions behind it. Whatever his intentions were, it seemed to work like a charm. I made a comment at that time that Federer’s comments may have been what prevented Murray from winning the third set. In that set Murray had his chances, but seemed hesitant. This is the affect that ‘psyching’ can have on a player.
Don’t you just love the way how he says it how it is?! I love to see what effect his psyching has on players, but I also love that he doesn’t mean it as psyching. That way people can’t criticize him for it. Well they do anyway, but at least we know that he didn’t mean it as psyching because he gave us his word.
The second part of the interview that I quoted is about his slump in 2008/beginning 2009. Just in my last post I mentioned that Federer came back a more mature player after that slump, so it’s nice to see him admitting that the period had it’s benefits.
These are just the parts I found interesting for personal reasons, but do yourself a favor and read the whole interview. It’s a good one.
Then, in case you didn’t know, Roger is taking part in a warm up event for the French Open just outside of Paris. There will be some big name player there, but Roger will play only one match against Rainer Schuttler.
Just a little something to get us in the mood
Then finally, I want to share a comment with you that one of my readers made. It was just so good that I can’t let you miss it. I hope he doesn’t mind me using it.
If they both make it to the French Open final, everybody will expect Nadal to win because of the memories from the past. But Federer will win because of the prospect of the future. Because Federer has nothing to lose, Rafa everything. If Federer loses, it is what everybody already expected him to do, and the critics / Rafa fanatics will repeat themselves in their boring analisis. But how would they comment a Rafa loss against Federer in Paris’ final? A scary thougt for Rafa. Nadal will be scared of history, Federer will enjoy to be there, execute his attacking game plan at full risk (nothing to lose anymore, he won it before), and ultimately win. And having won a RG final against the clay GOAT, any remaining fears will vanish.
If nothing else, I found this comment very inspiring. Of course we can’t know this is going to happen, unless my reader is some kind of psychic, but it is very accurate nonetheless. It’s a fact that Roger passed the test of adversity last year when he came out of his slump by doing the French Open/Wimbledon double, and has now won the Australian Open again as well. Nadal is now where Roger was last year at the same time. He has done very well to dominate the clay season so far, but he is not out of his slump quite yet. If he does not win the French Open, it is going to be questioned whether he ever came out of his slump of the last twelve months, and his status as the clay GOAT will be questioned as well. Borg has won six French Open titles, which means Nadal still has two to go to even equal him.
If Nadal doesn’t win the French Open this year, he may never equal Borg’s record, and therefor won’t be in consideration for being the clay GOAT. Make no mistake about it; Nadal is under big pressure. He needs this French Open title badly. Basically what it comes down to is that Roger can deal Nadal a fatal blow if he beats Nadal at Roland Garros, one he will probably never recover from. Federer has the chance to make up for all those painful losses to Nadal over the years in one single tournament. What an opportunity!!! My faithful reader is 100% accurate when he says that Roger has nothing to lose and Nadal has everything to lose, and Roger needs to take advantage of this fact. When and if final day comes, he must pile on the pressure in every possible way. For me, and I’m sure for you, a Federer victory over Nadal at the French Open would be the ultimate reward as a fan.
It would erase all those painful memories against Nadal in an instant. It would change everything. It would be almost to good to be true…
May the Fedforce be with you.
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