Email
Print
Email
Print

Roger Federer flashes temper in loss to Andy Murray at Australian Open

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font
roger-federer-semifinals

Roger Federer lost his cool a few times in Friday’s match. (Daniel Munoz/Reuters)

Roger Federer wasn’t his usual cool self during a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 loss to Andy Murray in the Australian Open semifinals on Friday.

As The New York Times reported, the television microphones picked up expletives from the 17-time major champion on multiple occasions.

[T]he BBC was compelled on Friday to apologize for Federer’s “bad language.”

Federer’s first clearly audible obscenity in his semifinal loss to Andy Murray came with Murray serving at 4-5, 15-30. Murray fired a body serve which Federer could just get his backhand in front of and sent him into mostly indistinguishable muttering, punctuated with a loud, hard expletive in the middle.

Federer’s second audible offense came with Murray serving at 3-4, 40-40, in the fourth set. Murray won a 17-shot rally, and Federer exclaimed that his opponent had been “lucky,” preceding that word with a choice adverb.

Popping off at the back of the court is one thing, but directing comments at your opponent is another. With Murray serving for the match at 6-5 in the fourth set, here’s how The Times described the first point of that game:

Murray prevailed in 15-stroke rally with a forehand winner, with both players finishing the point near the net. But Federer, on the brink of defeat, appeared to have taken issue with a slight mid-rally [hesitation] by Murray, and shouted “you [expletive]-ing stopped!” across the net. Murray appeared at first surprised, then amused, twisting his face into an exaggeratedly satisfied smirk, laughing and nodding toward his player’s box.

Here’s video of the point in question. Murray downplayed the incident after the match and refused to repeat what Federer said to him.

“I wasn’t that surprised,” Murray said. “Stuff like that happens daily in tennis matches. … It was very, very mild in comparison to what happens in other sports.”

Murray added that there were no hard feelings, saying, “People will want to make a big deal of it, and it isn’t really a big deal.”

Federer also downplayed the incident.

“It wasn’t a big deal,” he said. “We just looked at each other one time. That’s OK, I think, in a three-and-a-half-hour match. We were just checking each other out for [a] bit. No, I mean, that wasn’t a big deal for me. I hope not for him.”

Murray went on to lose the game and the set in a tiebreaker, but he dismissed the idea that Federer’s outburst had anything to do with it.

“I think it didn’t rattle me,” Murray said. “I think he raised his game, and that’s what happens. Sometimes guys need to get emotion into the match.”

Federer’s fire was short-lived. Murray broke early in the fifth set and won it in 30 minutes.

Federer, of course, was a hot-tempered player when he was younger, and he’s been known to have an outburst every once in a while. Here he is yelling at the French crowd to “shut up” at Roland Garros last year:

  • Published On Jan 25, 2013
  • 18 comments
    fashionskystar
    fashionskystar

    It is news precisely because of the mouth that uttered those very blue, choice words of emotion.  This is Mr. Tennis, remember?  This is the Master of the Fluidly Beautiful Game, The One Who Does Not Sweat, Mr. Class Act to the Bone.  When you come to the court tricked out in bespoke white wool gentlemen's tennis trousers topped with a cream cashmere twinset - lacking only, at least as far as the spectators can see, the string of pearls - and with your branded "RF" emblazoned on the sweater and cap, and you have Anna Wintour sitting in your box, you simply do not publicly - and, mon dieu, miked - let fly with barnyard AngloSaxonisms.  One may go so far as to utter, sotto voce, bien sur, "Merde alors!," or some equally dainty francaisism, but f**king?  Oh, hardly.  THAT is why is is news.  Le Grand RF. in losing it in the vocabulary of a working class stiff, has announced, mid-court, that he and his skills are on the wane, and his carefully cultivated aura of aristocratic sang-froid, is, sadly, just that:  an aura.  Et voila, the pretender posing underneath that facade, is just a man with feet of clay.  It's always news when the Wizard is revealed to be a little guy sitting on a stool, behind a curtain, and in front of a microphone.

    deanthology
    deanthology

    Actually,I appreciate that Federer goes off like this occasionally. Good for him and good for tennis.

    PHD949
    PHD949

    FINALLY, a true article about roger's character.  Anyone complaining about this article should consider that everybody describes roger as a gentleman, mr. cool, classy (HA), etc.  That's the difference between what roger did and other athletes.

    Mark19
    Mark19

    There is a bit of a double standard. If Serena says that an opponent was lucky, she gets eviscerated by fans and the media. Roger has a history of snide comments about other players but gets a pass. Why? Because he's a guy and the meme pushed by the tennis press is that he's some kind of exemplary sportsman.

    theabroma
    theabroma

    It is news precisely because of the mouth that uttered those very blue, choice words of emotion.  This is Mr. Tennis, remember?  This is the Master of the Fluidly Beautiful Game, The One Who Does Not Sweat, Mr. Class Act to the Bone.  When you come to the court tricked out in bespoke white wool gentlemen's tennis trousers topped with a cream cashmere twinset - lacking only, at least as far as the spectators can see, the string of pearls - and with your branded "RF" emblazoned on the sweater and cap, and you have Anna Wintour sitting in your box, you simply do not publicly - and, mon dieu, miked - let fly with barnyard AngloSaxonisms.  One may go so far as to utter, sotto voce, bien sur, "Merde alors!," or some equally dainty francaisism, but f**king?  Oh, hardly.  THAT is why is is news.  Le Grand RF. in losing it in the vocabulary of a working class stiff, has announced, mid-court, that he and his skills are on the wane, and his carefully cultivated aura of aristocratic sang-froid, is, sadly, just that:  an aura.  Et voila, the pretender posing underneath that facade, is just a man with feet of clay.  It's always news when the Wizard is revealed to be a little guy sitting on a stool, behind a curtain, and in front of a microphone.

     

     

    Larry23
    Larry23

    If anyone wants evidence that the writer is biased, look at the end "Here he is yelling at the French crowd to “shut up” at Roland Garros last year". Yelling at the crowd? Youre just trying to make him look bad. He was yelling at a particular someone who yelled during the point.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    It is misleading to claim Federer yelled at the French crowd to “shut up” at 2011 French Open -- yelling at one person who happened to be sitting with the crowd (that even the crowd shushed) is not the same as yelling at the crowd. I have an DVR-HD recording of this entire match. On that critical tiebreak point, Federer hit a high slice off his backhand that headed toward Del Potro's corner. An errant spectator interfered with play when she yelled "OOUT" while the ball was still high in the air and 15 to 20 feet before it landed (she was probably a Djokovic, Nadal or Del Potro fan cheering against Federer, so it's unlikely she was part of the "French crowd")). This errant specatotor sounded as loud as a linesperson, even though the courtside microphones were far away -- so she possibly sounded even louder to the players on court. The other spectators in unison immediately "SHUSHED" this errant spectator to shut up, given she interfered with the match. After the point ended, Federer joined the French crowd's admonishment of the spectator by yelling "SHUT UP" to that one erant spectator -- to the cheers of  the French crowd. Good for Federer, joining with the French crowd to shut up that errant spectator.

     

    As for yesterday's match, the comments on the Times blogger's article as well as on this SI article indicate that tennis fans don't care much about this incident. Most people are probably wondering why tennis writers rush to sensationalize any imperfection they catch Federer doing. (Yet no tennis writer made the effort to confront the Australian Open director Craig Tiley to confirm whether Team Murray complained about the scheduling of Murray's matches).

     

    I have watched, as a paying spectator, several Murray matches where he sweared much more and more audibly. 

     

    What the video clip does not show and the New York Times blogger did not say is the explanation of Darren Cahill, from his courtside position, regarding what happened: "I think he's angry that Murray stopped on the baseline, expecting the out call." (And Patrick McEnroe followed up with his observation: "I've never seen Federer that ticked off at an opponent ever.") In other words, Federer's eye caught Murray stopping on the point. Murray has a reputation of playing possum on the court -- and, in the heat of battle, Federer possibly presumed Murray was up to his tricks at a critical stage of the match. Furthermore, Federer was possibly already irritated with Team Murray's publicity campaign before the match that Federer got preferential treatment over scheduling and had an unfair advantage.

    Amen
    Amen

    The same thing was said about Serena when she busted her racquet.  She was made at her sloppy play.  No harm and no foul.  Roger has been know to lose his cool as well.  

    nogoodgreed
    nogoodgreed

    Wow we demand an extreme performance from those we admire then get astonished that they show emotion? Ffs, why is this news?

    PeteKesic
    PeteKesic

    Are people not allowed to get pissed off anymore?  Fk this overly sensitive society and the media. 

    Michael9
    Michael9

     @theabroma  You were careful to omit that Federer's shoes have symbols denoting the number of titles he won -- in 2007, I remember Nadal fans making a big stink of Federer wearing such shoes. To them it was a big sign of Fed's imaginary arrogance.  Funny how quiet these same Nadal fans were the following year at the 2008 French Open when Nadal wore similar shoes after he won three titles.

    http://www.daleisphere.com/wp-content/uploads/rafael-nadals-rafa-shoe-french-open-2008.jpg

     

    Funny you omitted to mention that Wladimir Klitschko -- the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO& The Ring Heavyweight Champion -- also sat in the Federer box, along with many other famous personalities.

    http://www.contactmusic.com/photo/germanopen10_wenn1318421_wenn1318421

     

    Directing comments at your opponent is one thing, but bumping into your opponents is another (like what Nadal did to Lukas Rosol last Wimbledon).

     

    "Nadal’s coach, uncle Toni, was equally hot-tempered, swearing in French as he stomped down the stairs from the player’s box."

    http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/furious-nadal-storms-off-as-djokovic-stays-afloat-20120611-204uk.html

     

    And here is Nadal throwing a tantrum in 2011. He's thrown several tantrums, e.g., when a Haweye review went against him at 2007 dubai.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIwiFWw8HqA

    dami1bourd1
    dami1bourd1

     @Michael9 If only it was the first time that her point of view is biaised!

    But Ms Nguyen is so anxious to blame the French spectators, it is becoming ridiculous.

    Where is your integrity, journalist?

    ChrisM
    ChrisM

     @PeteKesic Agree...and when me and my buddies play doubles (not in singles)..we both allow and encourage trash talk, and it is a blast!  Wouldn't mind having tennis player "miked up" like football and other sports...be kinda cool to here their "mutterings" and such.

    addisonmango
    addisonmango

     @Michael9  Did you actually watch what happened in that match in DubaI?   Nadal had good reason to discuss that ruling w/Carlos Bernardes, whom he's known since he was a teenager. Of course, he's passionate and animated, and it might sound a bit more exotic or "heated" to you since it's  in Spanish, but a "tantrum", no. Rafa uses no foul language nor contempt whatsoever. 

     

    And sorry, no other player hangs around with people like Anna Wintour and brings gold lame' equipment bags onto the court ala Liberace. 

     

    Yes, some  athletes have special symbols sewn into their shoes/clothes to represent the Slams they've won. However, since in recent years Rafa and Roger had won the bulk of the Slams prior to Djokovic's glory year of 2011-2012, none of the other players had cause to decorate their clothing as such.

    Michael9
    Michael9

     @addisonmango  Obviously you did not watch the match and do not know what you're talking about.

     

    The video clip shows the umpire was Roland Herfel (not Carlos Bernadis as you claimed). And Nadal wasn't “discussing” with the umpire -- as reported "Nadal threw a ball down furiously and argued with the umpire" (you can see this in the video, and later he also flung his racket down in anger).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFIVbyKIGQw

     

    Angry Nadal dumps on 'Hawkeye'

    http://tinyurl.com/amja284

     

    Despite claiming Hawkeye was inaccurate, a few months later Nadal used several Hawkeye challenges in the 2007 Wimbledon final against Federer – once making a late challenge when Federer .was about to start his serve motion.

     

    There are videos of Nadal throwing tantrums, reacting furiously or arguing with the umpire in several other tennis events.

     

    "And sorry, no other player hangs around with people like Anna Wintour."  You forgot Djokovic...

    http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Novak+Djokovic+Foundation+Inaugural+Dinner+hpayTN_7WNRm.jpg

     

    So you accept that one year after Nadal fans hypocritically criticized Federer for wearing shoes with symbols representing the slams he won...  these same Nadal fans hypocritically omitted to criticize Nadal for wearing similar shoes... because it was Nadal wearing such stuff. Of course no other player had cause to decorate to decorate their clothing as such: Djokovic is the only player who won at least three titles in a slam (AO) but Djokovic wears Adidas shoes. The title symbols is only on Nike shoes -- only players with at least three titles wear those shoes. On the women's side, Serena wears shoes with such symbols because she is with Nike.

     

    You may not like gold, but obviously the majority of Earthlings do -- gold costs so much because a lot of people want it.