Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quote of the day - Roger Federer on playing Nadal

Photo credit: AFP/Dani Pozo

"It might have been a little bit of an advantage for Rafa to have beaten me before Paris on clay in the past seasons... That gives him confidence and might have made it a little easier to beat me in the (last three Paris) finals."

"This year I haven't played him on clay but I'm hoping to play him here in the final. But even if it doesn't (happen) it could still be a good thing. It's different when you've played a month earlier and got to Paris knowing that you've beaten someone."

- Roger Federer, in Madrid, discusses facing Rafa on clay ahead of Roland Garros.

Well I can't say I agree with Federer for the following reasons:

1) Federer beat Rafa in Hamburg (6-0 in the third) back in 2007, right before Roland Garros and the result was the same in the end; Rafa beat Federer in the Roland Garros final. So obviously whether he beat Federer or not before Paris was never really a factor.

2) I truly doubt that Rafa's confidence is the issue here, it's Federer who should be focusing on that, as for Rafa, the guy has a 13-6 record lead over the Swiss, the confidence is there no matter what.

3) Finally, does it bug anyone else when Federer makes annoying rationalizations like that?!?! Maybe it's just me, but most of the time he doesn't make much sense. I preferred it when he was just realistic and said "I don't have a problem on clay, I have a Rafa problem on clay". Now that's a statement I'd appreciate!!

First round action has already kicked off in Madrid today, with Tommy Robredo and Sam Querrey already through to the second round. You can read the tournament preview here, and can check the complete draw here.


TopSpin said...

There may or may not be much in the "playing Rafa before RG" theory (im guessing precisely zit given the recent losses) and I'm not surprised he's finding some way to rationalise it all given these are testing times and all.

But like you I much prefer the sound of a "Rafa problem on clay" type-2 response.. Trouble is saying something like that too often is probably doing nothing for his confidence.

Reem said...

My guess is he keeps gettin asked the same questions over and over again which drives him to try and get creative with the responses but he ends up saying nonsense like that.

Anyways only time will tell what happens next... Am having doubts about Federer making it to the French Open final this year.