It is what it is folks. I for one can’t be too bothered about Roger’s withdrawal from the big final with Djokovic, as I have already made clear on many occasions that after the Basel title I was happy with Roger’s season and anything else would be gravy. And what is more I was really torn between watching this match and putting my health first. I guess me and Roger had something in common as he withdrew for his health, and in the process saved my health too. The final would have been at 1 am my time and I was wrestling all night with the thought as to whether I should stay up and watch the match or go to sleep for my health. I knew if he played I would have watched because how can you miss that match? Roger must have gone through something similar, wrestling with the thought as to whether he should play or withdraw, and in the end he made the right decision to put his health first.
So thanks Roger for doing the right thing and in the process helping me to do the right thing too. I know many Fedfans are devastated by this and I sympathize with you, but expectations does create disappointment. The best thing is just to count your blessings and live in the moment. That’s what I did and this situation haven’t affected me. Sure I was surprised to hear about Roger’s withdrawal, but there was no lingering disappointment(and before I continue let me just say kudos to Veronica who called this beforehand, saying she noticed Roger’s back looked stiff right after the match with Stan). If anything I am disappointed in Stan, but more about that later. First I want to get back to the year Roger has had to date and why I am not disappointed about this withdrawal. Roger set a target for himself of winning five titles this year and he achieved that when he won Basel.
I was already delighted after he broke the Masters final curse when he won Cincy. I vowed that I would let go of expectations after that but I allowed my expectations to get the better of me again at the US Open, where it hurt when Roger got straight setted by Cilic. I guess sub-consciously I realized Roger had not achieved his goal of five titles for the year yet, which is why I still had expectations. But then Roger reached his peak this year in Shanghai where he straight setted Djokovic in the semis and won the title. That was epic stuff, and it assured me that Roger still had it in him to win a slam. Yet I still wanted him to get that target of five titles and also set the finals record straight in Basel while shutting Brennwald up in the process. When he achieved that I was content. The target was achieved and the rest would be gravy. Moreover, I knew that slow conditions in London would not favor Roger against Djokovic.
Now we will never know whether Roger could have beaten Djokovic on the slow indoor courts. Personally I thought he had a great shot, and it would have shut many people up for the millionth time had he done so. But the match with Stan proved too demanding, coupled with the playing schedule. I’m gonna say something surprising now: I am happy this happened. Why? The way I see it this is karma for the ATP who keeps putting Roger on last because he is still the biggest star they have and in doing that to him at age 33 they make things very difficult for him. Mridul summed it up well on my last post. It’s all about the money and the greed, but karma always catches up with greed whether you believe in karma or not. Roger’s withdrawal meant that the ATP must have reimbursed those people for their final tickets I’m sure and who knows how much they must have lost in advertising revenue.
Not cool to see
But it’s not just the scheduling from the ATP that is disturbing, but the insistence to slow down surfaces and in the process making things even harder for their biggest star. The impression that one gets is that the ATP only sees him as a cash cow, with no consideration for his personal needs at all. Well they got what they deserved. Their biggest final of the year(slams are not ATP) was a massive anti-climax and disappointment. Epic! Now I will deal with Stan. Here is another case of greed as well as jealousy getting the better of someone. First Stan doesn’t show up in his round robin match against Djokovic and gets bageled 6-3, 6-0. Then in the semis all of a sudden he is back to his best against Roger and injures him in a three hour battle from hell. Still, no problem can be found. I fully accept it. Then after Roger’s withdrawal something is brought to my attention which I posted on Facebook.
I’m sure you know about this by now. Stan was directing a tirade of abuse towards Roger’s box late in the third set, and more specifically it was aimed at Mirka because it was overheard that Stan said she did the same at Wimbledon. I find this somewhat disturbing. Why would he first of all abuse Mirka? Wouldn’t it be better to tell Roger to shut her up first? Of course I don’t know the situation and maybe he did. It just seems in poor taste. I’m sure if he told Roger about this Roger would have done something about it. But again I don’t know the situation and maybe he did tell Roger and Roger did say something to Mirka about it. One doesn’t want to jump conclusions without knowing first hand what went down. The problem is I have sensed a kind of jealousy and hatred from Stan before. This is not the first. Some time back before he won a slam he criticized Roger quite heavily about his Davis Cup participation or lack thereof.
There was no need for it because Roger has always been supportive of Stan and have his best interests at heart. He had always been gracious in victory against Stan, and in defeat. When he lost to Stan at Monte Carlo, one of only two Masters he never won, he was very gracious in defeat and was genuinely happy for Stan in the prize giving ceremony. Finally after the semis of London, even after Stan had directed abuse towards his wife, you could clearly see on his face how bad he felt for Stan after he defeated him. Now this is where it gets interesting. Roger said afterwards that it was in the third set tie break where his back pulled up again. Therefor it would have been crucial to get it worked on right away before it cooled down. But then he gets into an altercation with Stan about what happened after the match. First of all it would have been a stressful situation because he wouldn’t have wanted to play the final without solving the Stan situation.
He is a sensitive guy and these things can weigh on your mind. He needed to be relaxed and clear-minded if he wanted to have a chance against Djokovic. So it’s not like he had much of a choice to have a long stressful discussion with Stan after the match, when he really needed to rest for the final. Also he probably wouldn’t have gotten treatment for his back when he was having an altercation with Stan. If the back was allowed to cool down at that point, forget about it. No chance of playing the final. And although I can’t confirm that Roger was not getting treatment while talking to Stan I don’t think he could have. Folks, I am not impressed with Stan. Not at all. You would have thought he would have settled down some after winning a slam but now he wants more. He wants to steal Roger’s thunder too. He wants to be Stan the Man. That is just the nature of man’s greed.
He’ll be back folks…
Once he gets a taste of the big time he wants more and more. He will never be satisfied in his eternal lust and greed. Forever hungry and dissatisfied. This is why I said in my post about Roger’s match against Murray that I don’t mix competition with friendship. The two are not compatible. It is truly admirable how Roger always wants the best for Stan despite Stan’s jealousy and greed. It is a testament to Roger’s greatness as a human being. But he is also beating a dead horse. Competition and friendship is just not compatible. Not at professional level anyway. That is why I don’t care much for Davis Cup either. Look at the difficult situation the Swiss are now in with the Davis Cup final coming up. And it is not the first time. Stan and Roger already had issues in that rubber against Kazakhstan. Lord knows what is gonna happen against the French.
If I was Roger I’d withdraw from Davis Cup to rest my back, and he still might. I’d withdraw and let Stan take the heat from the Swiss public for it. Stan had to go and injure Roger and draw him into a late night feud, now let him deal with the consequences. Let him be the Swiss #1 and see if he can fill the ever reliable shoes of Roger. He is not impressed with Roger’s Davis Cup participation anyway, right? Can you imagine the consequences if Roger had to withdraw from Davis Cup too? I can’t think that the Swiss will be very happy with Stan. He could become very unpopular and we may have instant karma manifesting. But knowing Roger he will do whatever he can to help his country and Stan. Again that is just the measure of the man and I want to make it clear that I have great admiration for that. For me personally it is just much simpler to keep competition and friendship separate because I don’t believe they can co-exist.
Who knows what will happen now. In a way I want Roger to play Davis Cup because I know if he wins it it can really propel him towards great things next year. On the other hand I want Stan to lead the Swiss against the French without Roger since he is so keen on being the Swiss number one. Lets see how much he still wants to be the Swiss number one after he leads his country to defeat. But aside from that I don’t want Roger to take any risks at all with his back. Ideally he wouldn’t even have the option of Davis Cup now and he could just skip India too and make sure his back is 100% for what could be a very important 2015. Come to think of it, how is this Stan situation gonna affect the harmony in the Swiss team now? If there isn’t harmony between Fedrinka they can forget about winning the final. The rubber against Kazakhstan was awkward enough. I say forget the Davis Cup and make sure the back is 100% and ready to go in Australia.
That is just me though. I know it is much more complicated for Roger. The most important thing for me is that he doesn’t aggravate his back anymore. He has played an awful lot of late and his body is finally telling him that it has had enough. I think the wise thing would be just to let the Davis Cup go. I know it is easier said than done but health comes before everything else. If he aggravates his back it could cost him much more than the Davis Cup. It could cost him the rest of his career. As in having to retire because of it. I’d rather he just calls it a season and set his sights on 2015. More so because he reached his goal of 2014 already and anything else is just gravy anyway. I probably wouldn’t want to be in Roger’s shoes right now but he is a relaxed and level-headed guy who I’m sure will make the right decision. I hope so anyway. I hope this post has not been too long for you but there were important things that I needed to get off my chest.
The ball is now in your court.