From Wertheim's most recent column:
I've often thought the same thing. Reading press conferences with Andy after he's lost to Roger and he just goes on and on about how great Roger is, what a great guy he is off court, ect. James Blake did the same thing last week after his R1 loss in Cincy. I mean I think Andy has an easier time getting fired up when playing Lletyon than when playing Roger. I agree with Jon, I think Roger is sincerely a nice guy (has any player ever said anything negative about him?), but it does make it tough for guys to get fired up and really want to beat him.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/jon_wertheim/08/24/usopen.bag/1.html
Any chance that Roddick and other players will engage in locker-room strategy sessions to compare notes on how to beat Federer? Or have such strategy sessions already occurred?
-- Ed Lilly, Lawrenceville, N.J.
Interesting point. Remember the Survivor-style pact Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport once made against the Williams sisters? Maybe it's time the men did likewise with Federer.
I've written this before but I think a component -- a small component, but a component nonetheless -- of Federer's dominance is his disposition. He's such a nice guy that it's really hard for anyone to muster hatred for him on the court. I don't think he's being disingenuous. I don't think it's a tactic. But it's really effective. You wonder why boxers, for instance, don't take a page out of Federer's book. Instead of antagonizing and talking trash, you act congenially and, thus, don't inflame the passion of the opposition as much.