Foot Fault!

Calling all the lines of professional tennis

Quotable Quotes: Roger Federer attempts to play down Andy Murray’s Asian Run

Not content on his rubbishing of Andy Murray’s strike talk a fortnight ago in Basel, according to the Daily Mail Roger Federer this week also had a lot to say about the Scot’s on-court form. Specifically his unbeaten run in Asia which saw him pick up three straight tournament wins and rise above Federer in the rankings for the first time in his career.

‘I’m not taking anything away from what Andy did, but was Asia the strongest this year?’ asked Federer. ‘I’m not sure. Novak (Djokovic) wasn’t there, I wasn’t there and (in Shanghai) Rafa lost early. But it has been a good effort by him after losing to Kevin Anderson in Montreal (in August). Don’t forget how things were looking then.’

Oh, Roger. Regardless of whether he’s right or wrong, I can’t help but love how he seems to be doing his best to drag his fellow rivals (except Rafa, of course) through the mud. The days of his quiet superiority are long-gone, and as so many have recently taken to criticizing the ‘big four’ for their friendships and lack of fierce off-court rivalry to match their on-court battles, Bitchy!Roger couldn’t have come at a better time.

The funniest part of the prose has to be the very first sentence, with ‘I’m not taking anything away from what Andy did, but…’ being the equivalent of a person saying ‘no offence’ before throwing a barrage of insults and criticism at the other. And behind the sincere smile and graceful flick of his hair which undoubtedly came as he uttered these comments, that’s essentially what he was doing.

But he does have a point. The fact is that both Djokovic and Federer pulled out with injuries while Nadal was nursing his own injuries in Asia. It won’t be the same this week nor is it the same in Grand Slams when everyone is present. However, as many have correctly pointed out, it was of course similar story during his own runs in Basel and Paris. It’s almost like Wozniacki laughing at Safin for her Rome and Madrid while simultaneously proudly holding up her Beijing and Copenhagen titles. But I guess the difference is that Murray’s run saw the usual hype and expectations come flying back as some British journalists made comparisons to Djokovic’s form in 2010 immediately before this career year while others agreed. On the other hand, Federer has been there and done everything. He has nothing left to prove - and even if he hadn’t won Basel or Paris, in my eyes he would still be a favourite here and everywhere based on the simple fact that he has done it all already.

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