But to me class is useless. It's a sport about winning. No freaking apologies, excuses, hugs on court. Keep that to the lockerroom or romantic vacations Nadal/Monaco style. On court it's a duel to the death. Play fair but sucking up to the other player or the crowd is just lame. A player like Berdych got way more integrity than most tennis players because he doesn't care to be "liked"
I actually agree with most of this. Class is great for image, but it does nothing for a competitor.
I've recently grown tired of Federer's arrogance (ironically, he's toned it down lately), but I actually used to defend him relentlessly for it because the guy's a winner. If that sort of hubris in any way contributed to his success, and I do believe it has, then by all means, he should keep it up.
I've also never given any grief to guys like Soderling or Berdych for their behavior in the past because they were honest with themselves. I can appreciate honesty far more than a charade.
Yes, his celebrations can be a bit exaggerated sometimes, but his speeches post match are always very respectful of his opponent. Too effusive celebration when winning sometimes is really the only fault I can find with his attitude.
And imo, a player's class is better seen at the time of defeat, it's far easier to look classy when you win.
Spot on. That's exactly why I ranked Djokovic as high as I did as well.
The guy is nothing short of gracious and classy in his post-match interviews.
His on-court antics like the smug frown, the beating of the chest and all that can be a bit much, but it hardly detracts from his otherwise exemplary behavior.