Originally Posted by Midnight Ninja
Great interview. Though I think the part about feeling bad about ruining the moment vs losing the match is BS.
At that moment it was just that, feeling horrible about losing the match. It might have later turned into feeling bad about ruining the moment.
If you've ever made a speech in public, or even missed a recitation piece when you were a child, you should understand that.
In the part you quote, he only answers a question about the sentence "God, it's killing me", only about that simple sentence and that simple moment.
“The question, I suppose, is your changing mindset as your goals continue to evolve. In 2003, it was almost enough to have won Wimbledon. In 2009, you’ve just failed to win a 14th major and it’s: ‘God, this is killing me’.”
“That quote . . . was seen the wrong way. The thing that was killing me was having to talk while crying. What I meant was, ‘I wish I could stop crying and could talk normally and give Rafa the stage he deserves and not make everybody feel so bad [for me]’. This was upsetting me more than having lost the match. The last thing I wanted was for people to feel bad for me.
The journalist intendedly leads him to that question, with all the photos of the past he shows, and he has this conclusion from these sentences "your goals have evolved, in 2003 you were happy with one Wimbledon, now it's a catastrophe because you didn't win 14 (and equalize the record)".
The journalist's interpretation is something we have read very often here and there : "it was killing him" because he hadn't broken the record
... and Federer has read that interpretation (he mentions it just after, people considering it as a symbol "He started crying . . . He’s gone . . . This is it . . . The downfall")
Then Federer only answers about that sentence, and this interpretation :
he just says "it was very simple in reality" :
like everybody who is in front of a public and has to make a speech, and starts being ridiculous (crying, like here, or forgetting one's words ... ) ... goes to pieces and cries even more or loses his words even more, and you feel you're even more ridiculous and ... "God it's killing me".
Very natural and simple sentence, ridiculous sentence, not something which has to be overinterpreted for a whole carreer.
He felt ridiculous, that his whole speech was wasted ... including wasting Nadal's victory.
Of course he doesn't say that he's generally more disappointed about that than about the defeat.
But at THAT moment, that's what he felt and upset him : he was thinking about his speech, not about the defeat or general carreer ...
Of course tears had started arriving because he was disappointed (well, that's something which may happen when you lose, that you have to hold -see Roddick clearly in Wimbledon- ... but when you cannot hold it and it arrives, you suddenly lose your control and feel ridiculous).
I had always understood that sentence like that, that's very natural for whoever has made a speech in public, even missed a recitation piece when you were a child ...
but well, you know, tennis mythology needs symbols and overinterpretations and that's what happened.
He just answers about this overinterpretation and this peculiar moment, that's all.