Anyone in particular?
Novak Djokovic for example. I’m a big fan of his game but I also found out he’s a really nice guy. I remember the first time I saw Djokovic, I was with my coach from the ITF Touring Team, and I just stood in my place, completely star-struck. And she was like ‘you have to get used to this, they are all over the place’.
I was in a queue to get food and Tomas Berdych came to get some pasta and the cook told him he had to go stand in the queue. And I couldn’t believe it, that’s Tomas Berdych and the guy won’t give him food because he’s not in the queue. I didn’t have the best experience with Roger Federer, in the players’ lounge, I asked him for a photo and he told me ‘no, sorry, go away’. I was a bit shocked. Maybe I caught him at a bad time. Djokovic however, was so nice when we took a picture and he asked me if I was playing and he wished me luck.
Hi, folks. I hope everyone has by now recovered from grand slam withdrawal and gotten back to their normal sleeping routines.
I don’t have any tour news for you yet because the current events don’t quite fall under ‘cutting edge men’s tennis’ but I have something else more interesting for you.
And let me just make it clear from the outset that this post is not made with the chief aim of criticizing Federer. I’d like to think I am now above that kind of tennis fan pettiness.
I make this post to emphasize a difference between Federer and Djokovic which could be detrimental in their ultimate destinies in the sport.
There is a huge difference between telling a young admirer to ‘go away’ and taking a picture with him while wishing him good luck. It’s perhaps a small thing for the player but for the fan it is a huge thing.
And it tells you a fair amount about the characters of Federer and Djokovic. It’s easy to be classy and nice when you are winning and the top dog. The true test is when things are not going your way.
And we all know that for Federer things have no exactly gone his way of late. He is not the chased one anymore. That honor now belongs to Djokovic. This is not the first time we have seen this kind of thing from Federer in recent times.
In the semi-final against Djokovic in Melbourne, he told a cameraman who was filming him during a changeover to ‘Get out of my face, please‘. There is a certain arrogance/aggression to what he says.
Now, I understand that he doesn’t like losing and that he is used to being the top dog, but as a public figure who is very famous I don’t think that sets a good example.
It comes back to that whole Federer cult thing where Federer is lifted up to a divine status which means he can do anything without having to be held accountable. My hope is to expose the establishment and give Djokovic his due credit.
I don’t like this idea that Federer is the candidate of the establishment and that he is therefore beyond reproach. That’s a lot like Hillary Clinton who is the candidate of the democratic establishment despite taking vast amounts of money from corrupt Wall Street in campaign donations.
That kind of blind fanaticism is very dangerous and destructive in my view and it is something I am working to expose and eradicate.
To get back to the tennis, Djokovic is viewed as the outsider because of where he comes from and for what he is doing to the establishment. And because of coming from a tough background where everything wasn’t handed on a platter to him, he is very appreciative and down to earth.
He takes nothing for granted in tennis or as a person. This bodes well for him in his quest to become the greatest of all time. He is always looking to grow and improve which means there is no danger of becoming complacent like Federer did.
Ps. I started writing my book yesterday 😀
The is in your court.