Originally Posted by diligent
I have to point out that even in RG, Gaston said to Franco "I don't want to be here!" while on court, and in another more recent tournament he actually said to the coach of his opponent before the match, "Don't worry, you're winning today"... so I would have to say that there are times when Gaston comes to his matches already resigned... not always going on court to win. I back any player who is struggling, as long as they are trying. I'm genuinely disappointed in Gaston for his play in Lyon against Monfils. His opponent, the fans and spectators who have made the effort and paid their money to be there deserve more. Gaston needs to get his nerves under control and his motivation up to par or decide to hang it up. He is too talented to have this much lack of self-confidence, and he is slipping out of the Top 10 slowly but surely right now... COME ON GAUDIO!! I mean him no disrespect. You have no idea how much I adore Gaston. But this is his job, as George said. He is expected to DO his job. He should expect more from himself and at least TRY.
Look, from one fan to another, I´d like to disagree with your interpretation of some things Gastón has said and done. Don´t take it badly because we´re both on the same side!
As I´ve done so many translations of Gastón´s interviews and articles, reading over what he said again and again, I feel I´ve got to know him pretty well. To begin with, he has quite the wrong temperament to be a professional sportsman and he only became a pro because his family´s income took a turn for the worse and he had to start to earn money. Otherwise he´d have gone on to university and continued playing as a gifted amateur. Only his talent has taken him to be where he is, in spite of his mercurial, artistic nature.
When he analyses his see-saw performances, he explains that some days he gets up and just can´t play well, he goes on court and just can´t “feel” the ball. (And as tennis is a precision sport which also requires split-second decisions, when he´s on an off-day he can´t just go to work like us ordinary mortals and punch the time-clock. WE can get by with nobody noticing, HE loses badly).
Sometimes he faces one of these hard-hitting players with great serves, on a surface that doesn´t favour his game, and he begins to feel impotent. The next stage is that he gets depressed, and it all spirals until he gives the impression that he couldn´t care less, but he´s just frustrated. He swears that he never goes on court without the intention to try to win, and when you see the important matches in which he´s lost you can´t doubt that he obviously wanted to win.
The two RG matches you mention are emblematic. In the final last year, when he shouted to Davin that he didn´t want to be there, he meant that he was embarrassing himself playing pitifully as he was, and he felt trapped. He thought people would feel sorry for him for making such a pathetic spectacle of himself and it hurt his pride and his self-esteem. He´s terrified of making a fool of himself. And this year at RG, when he was playing against Ferrer, it was terribly important to him to continue in the race, and he found he wasn´t playing as well as he would like to.This in itself was worrying. He was close to winning when Ferrer started making inroads into his advantage and he hadn´t got the arms to combat him. He felt very bitter to see his dream going up in smoke because he wasn´t playing his best tennis, and that´s when he told Ferrer´s coach not to worry, that they´d win. But it was said sardonically, predicting the outcome because he was doing his best and it wasn´t enough.
Having said all that, let´s also recognize all he´s done! He had the humility and courage to fight back when he was down, and made one of sports´ great comebacks. From the great promise he showed in 2002, he´d fallen to being ranked 44, to then work his way up until he won RG! Many people thought he was a nine-days-wonder, but he stayed consistently in the top ten and raised the winner´s trophy five times this year! We all know this, of course, but I like to remind us so we can keep things in perspective. Let us celebrate the guy he is instead of lamenting what he isn´t!