Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Somewhere fairly shingly
Re: Davis Cup-the huge blemish on the Federer record
Actually, a couple of points:
1) He comes from by far the smallest and weakest tennis nation of any all-time great (the others are all American, Australian, Swedish or German). It's a team effort at the end of the day. Switzerland would never have made their sole semifinal appearance in 2003 if Kratochvil hadn't won the fifth rubber against Verkerk in the Netherlands, his only career victory in a live rubber I believe.
2) A 22-6 singles record at the age of 25 is not what I would call mediocre, particularly considering that he's won 16 of his last 17 singles matches in straight sets. But yes, you guessed it, the only sets he lost in that period were three in a row in the biggest DC match he's played, against Hewitt in Melbourne. Still, losing the doubles effectively ended Swiss chances there beforehand.
The only blemish in my mind is not his play in Davis Cup but his attitude towards it - skipping the World Group twice during his prime years must be enormously irritating for the Swiss, who know they're never going to have a player this great again who can get them so close to winning the whole thing. Saying "Well, I'll make it a priority later on in my career" isn't much comfort to the Swiss when you consider that there will be a time, through loss of form/career slump, when he won't guarantee two points just by showing up and playing. Stan the Man must also be one of the best no. 2 singles players Switzerland have ever had (bearing in mind Rosset and Hlasek would have been the no. 1s at the time they played, right?), so him and Federer together in the World Group could certainly take them far.
When he actually does play, though, there are few players who excel as much in DC as him. His record in the competition was really the first kind of consistency he displayed in tennis before he became no. 1, you could count on him to show up in away ties and beat very good players convincingly. I can't think of many other people who've handed out three breadsticks to Safin and Kafelnikov on clay in Moscow over a single weekend.
The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.
Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?
ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.
Last edited by Sjengster; 09-27-2006 at 05:03 AM.