Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Australian Open: Day 9 - Federer Judges Djokovic for Retiring

"It's happened before... He's not the guy who's never given up in his career... That's kind of disappointing to see when you got two top guys playing each other and you give up."

"Andy probably would have run away anyway with the match."

"I mean he (Djokovic) gave up against me in Monaco last year because of a sore throat. Those are the kind of things you wonder about... I've only given up basically once in my career... In Paris against (James) Blake when I couldn't move because of my back."

Okay I must say I found it slightly amusing when players created some sort of buzz with their not-so-trashy trash talk against each other so far at the Aussie Open, because it meant that competition was getting fiercer in tennis, and the outcome would bring us better matches; but it's one thing to defend your position as a tournament favorite and it's another to blatantly judge a player for retiring from a match... A match that you weren't even involved in to begin with...

We all know how classy Federer can be, and what a champion he is, but I find it weird that he went all out and said that stuff about Djokovic's retirement from his quarterfinal match against Roddick.

Federer was basically calling Djokovic a quitter, and although he's not the only one saying that; it's one thing for the fans and media to speculate about Djokovic's commitment to the game and question his drive to win, cuz at the end of the day, we are looking at it from the outside and let's face it, who are we to really know what the players are going through? We just get kicks from talking about it. But when a fellow player - whose words are heard and respected by millions of people - accuse him of giving up too easily, that's just harsh! And then Federer goes on and defends himself by saying, I never give up... What the hell was that?!?!? Who said this has anything to do with you?!?!

It's true that Djokovic retires a lot, and it's true he calls for trainers a lot, and it's disappointing for fans and probably a bit annoying to the other tennis players, but do people really think Djokovic doesn't wanna defend his title?!?! That he just decided to take the day off and hand the match to Roddick?

I think it's just a case of what a person's body can handle. People have different staminas, different thresholds and different levels of concern about one's own health. I don't know what really was wrong with Djokovic today, because the excuses were rather vague about the heat and some "cramps" and my first reaction when I found out he retired was "what the hell?!?! he dumped his title defence cuz he was too hot??!"; especially that I live in a country where 40 degree weather is a daily fact of life. But then Federer's words shocked me even more, and made me feel like we're all being a bit too harsh. Who are we to judge?!?!? Tell me your thoughts about Federer's comments. Here's a video of this interview, courtesy of ESPN:


TopSpin said...

Hi Reem...

Have to say I thought it was very un-Roger like to stick his neck out and comment so directly on Djoko's withdrawal questionable as it was.

I think the trouble with Djoko is that he's done it so many times before (on the brink of defeat) that it's difficult for him to elicit sympathy when he really is in trouble.

Classic case of boy who cried wolf.

I totally believe he was having problems out there but surely had enough in the tank to stay out there and give Roddick his dues.

Reem said...

Hi TopSpin...

It's true. Djokovic may have cried wolf one too many times... But am not sure why Federer went off like that.

Roddick looked pretty good out there though. Let's see if he can put up a good fight against Fed.