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Daily Bagel: Classic Roger Federer quote after loss to Julien Benneteau

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The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

• Video: Grigor Dimitrov is having a great week in Rotterdam, beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-7 (4), 7-6 (0), 6-3 on Friday to make his second ATP semifinal of the year. Check out his speed and hands on this get off a let cord today.

• Roger Federer lost to Julien Benneteau 6-3, 7-5 in the Rotterdam quarterfinals. This postmatch quote is classic Federer.

• Video: Not to be outdone by Dimitrov, Ernests Gulbis pulls a crazy forehand lob out of his hat against Juan Martin del Potro. Gulbis lost the match 7-6 (5), 6-3.

• Carl Bialik of The Wall Street Journal examines Horacio Zeballos’ improbable title run last week in Chile.

It’s also a highly unusual accomplishment to win a first title while beating a top-five opponent in the final. Just 12 players before Zeballos had done it since 1973, according to a search by Sackmann, proprietor of the tennis database Tennis Abstract…. Those players include some big names: Edberg, winner of six Grand Slam singles titles; Jim Courier, four-time major champion; former No. 4 Roscoe Tanner; 2002 French Open champion Albert Costa; former world No. 10 Mikael Pernfors; and current world No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Zeballos doesn’t have much time to match their careers: Pernfors, at 25, was the oldest to win his first title. Zeballos turns 28 in April.

• Greg Couch of Fox Sports with nice piece on Esther Vergeer. It should be noted that the article was posted before Oscar Pistorious was arrested.

• Non-tennis: A father and son go to Burning Man.

  • Published On Feb 15, 2013
  • 24 comments
    ColleenTaylor
    ColleenTaylor

    'Classic?  More like classy.  Fed was the big draw in Rotterdam and what's so wrong with him feeling bad for any fans that wanted to see him and now wouldn't?  Nadal is the big draw in the clay events he's playing right now.  What if he lost early and then said he felt bad for the fans who paid to see him?  Oh wait, he wouldn't say that.  His 'classic' comment would be having an excuse

    Tennaviator
    Tennaviator

    Courtney - truly silly. Tennis stars sell the tournaments.  Can you dispute that?  There are many fans who attend a tournament just to see their favorites.  And when the top players lose, it's a huge blow to the fans who've picked up tickets just for to see their favorites play. 

     

    I experienced that myself when I had semi-final tickets in Montreal 2011 and ended up watching a match between Fish and Tipsarevic.  No disrespect, but I'd never drive from NY to Montreal just to see Fish or Tipsarevic play if I I hadn't bought the tickets already.

     

    Kudos to Roger for empathizing with his fans who buy tickets, expecting to see him play.  He was unable to keep his end of the bargain and feels bad about it.  And somehow that's wrong?  Grovelling for scraps, I guess...

    Michael9
    Michael9

    The author needs to check her quotes before jumping to use them. It’s likely that the Federer quote is inaccurate and is made up of cherry-picked pieces of Fed’s comments (‘RF: “I don’t want to leave, I want to play. I feel bad for the fans who don’t get to see me now. Hopefully this wasn’t my last time here." ‘). As you can see at the start of this ATP video clip of Federer’s interview, the first two sentences of the quote were said in isolation – the third sentence did not follow the first two sentences. In other words, it’s likely that Federer did not say it in the way the quote claims he said. It’s likely this quote is not accurate – unless the author can verify the quote against the actual interview transcript. This would not be the first tournament publicist who posts made up information.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjGAeBO5z8M

     

    What's really classic are those biased tennis writers and Federer critics who jump on anything Federer supposedly said – without even verifying the quote – and then jump to imagine there is something sinister, self-centered or arrogant in what obviously seems a benign statement of empathy made by Federer to his ticket=buying fans who paid big bucks to travel and buy tickets see him play. What’s amusing is that these opportunists are irrationally upset with Federer’s alleged comments – even though they did not pay a cent to travel to Rotterdam or buy tickets. These are the people who are “myopically self-centered”, expecting Federer to make comments for their needs – even though they were not affected by Federer losing. Now that’s arrogant.

     

    Classic Nadal quote before his next match (once again making an excuse in case he loses the match): ' ""Physically, I am prepared. I don't know (whether) the knee is prepared," he added with a smile.' Obviously Nadal's knees are not the issue he claims it is -- given that Nadal has been able to play doubles, golf and run like a rabbit -- yet not a peep from the author.

    http://tinyurl.com/a83a8jy

     

    Why are quotes by players like Nadal or Djokovic not taken to task by the same tennis writers who jump to sensationalize even benign things said by Federer? Simple. Players like Nadal and Djokovic hire and pay professional publicists (media relations managers) to ensure that tennis writers maintain a positive image of their clients. On the other hand, Federer does not have a publicist because he does not believe in false publicity. Without a publicist to keep them in check, these same tennis writers jump to target and exploit easy prey like Federer.

    KeithJacobson
    KeithJacobson

    Federer is once again full of himself. Hence 'classic Federer quote'. Thank you, Benneteau!

    usable.thought
    usable.thought

    I think what C-Note is getting at with this being a "classic Federer quote" is the tension between the Federer who is refreshingly frank in acknowledging his own brilliance & popularity, versus the Federer who is almost myopically self-centered at times after all these years of stroking by fans and press. You can see it either way, I think - or maybe both ways.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    Agree with Larry. Not sure what the author is trying to imply with "classic Federer".  The tournament organizers and ticket-buyers know that the majority of ticket buyers paid big bucks to travel and see specifically Federer in Rotterdam -- and those semifinal and final ticket holders are going to be very disappointed after all the money they spent. It's just a fact of life in the world of sports -- people pay to see the biggest stars.  Federer is just being honest and showing empathy for the fans.

     

    Federer is, by far, the biggest and most consistent attraction in tennis. When the Australian Open asked fans to select players that they would most like to see on the cover of the official program, Federer got well over 50% of the men's votes -- more than twice the second placed man (Nadal), and four times the third placed man (Djokovic) and top women (Sharapova). Just compare the reception Nadal is is getting in Brazil right now with the reception Federer got in an exhibition there two months ago.

    http://tinyurl.com/cp34gt4

     

     Maybe the author can interpret this bit of 'classic Federer' for us: “Benneteau deserved to win... It is unfortunate for the people who hoped to see me play on Saturday and Sunday. Instead, I'm now going to South Africa to promote my (charity) foundation. Hopefully I will meet Nelson Mandela."

    http://tinyurl.com/cbvsnrn

    Larry23
    Larry23

    RF: “I don’t want to leave, I want to play. I feel bad for the fans who don’t get to see me now. Hopefully this wasn’t my last time here."

     

    What the big deal with this quote? There are so many Roger fans in Rotterdam who wait all year for an opportunity to see him play.  I quess this doesnt quite sound humble and fake enough for Courtney's liking.

     

     

    shelley
    shelley

     @Michael9 It's just as likely the quote is totally accurate.  Federer has made similar comments many times in the past.  Normal a player would thank the fans for coming to see him - Roger thinks that he's doing them a favor by playing for them.  Arrogant twit.

     

    usable.thought
    usable.thought

     @Michael9 Has it occurred to you that we are all reading tea leaves, and that your efforts at what you believe to be 100 percent accuracy in reading tea leaves are as futile as anyone else's? I mean this kindly.

    shelley
    shelley

     @usable.thought Refreshingly frank??  That's priceless.  There's nothing refreshing about it but it's very typical Fed.

    shelley
    shelley

     @Michael9 Compare the reception Nadal is getting?  You mean like 10,000 people crammed into a stadium every day for his four matches cheering wildly?  And Brazilian journalists saying they've never seen anything like the Rafa mania?  That kind of reception?

     

    Roger wins every internet poll out there because his fans are crazily, spookily organized in their voting.  They know every trick in the book for setting up fake accounts in order to vote hundreds and thousands of times each.  The crusade is led by his fan club and I'll bet you're at the head of the pack - champion of winning meaningless internet polls.

     

    And what a laugh.  Roger Namedropper Federer patting himself on the back for having a foundation (like all of the top players have and all of whom work every bit as hard at them) and perhaps meeting a famous person.  Yup, that's classic Federer too. 

    dknight_98
    dknight_98

     @Larry23 Because Courtney doesn't approved of Federer. She was one of the ardent opinion writers who insisted Federer wont go back to #1 after a two year drought. What a way to get people to read her thread. 

    Michael9
    Michael9

     @shelley  As I showed above I’ve previously caught this author taking snipes at Federer based on fabricated/fictional quotes, so her use of an inaccurate quote is not new. That’s why I said “the author needs to check her quotes before jumping to use them.” If she took the basic step to check her Federer quote against the actual transcript of Federer’s post-Benneteau match comments she will find that the quote was fabricated – Federer did not say those things seamlessly and exactly as mis-portrayed in the quote she used.

     

    It’s obvious you harbor an irrational hatred and prejudice against Federer. What’s ultimate arrogance is that you claim to know what “Roger thinks” – in other words you claim to be a brain reader, lol. How arrogant is that? What’s also arrogant is that, in your dark prejudice, you twist Federer’s alleged emphatic statement “I feel bad for the fans who don’t get to see me now” into your imagined “Roger thinks that he's doing them a favor by playing for them.  Arrogant twit.” Federer never said in his interview that he’s doing his fans a favor, and in fact said he doesn’t want to leave and wants to keep playing. What’s also arrogant is that – despite the fact that you did not pay the big bucks to travel and buy tickets to see Federer play in Rotterdam – you presume to talk for those Federer-loving fans who actually paid the big bucks hoping to see him play (at most events Federer plays, the majority of ticket buyers bought tickets to see Federer play and are disappointed when he loses). What’s arrogant is that you presume Federer did not thank the fans even though you haven’t seen the interview transcript of everything else Federer said.

     

    Why don’t you prove your claim: “Federer has made similar comments many times in the past.” I’ll be happy to show you (a) how many times your conclusions were based on bad quotes and (b) similar or worse things said by Nadal and Djokovic without comment from the same writers who take issue with what Federer says.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    Usable Thought: I appreciate that you habitually tell fortune from reading tea leaves but you really need to stop your habit of putting words into other people's mouths.

     

    It's incredible that you are defending the author for sensationalizing a possibly inaccurate quote.  Just because you habitually make 'usable thoughts' (opinions) from reading tea leaves without checking the facts does not mean others have to accept such dubious opinions.

     

    It's very simple: did Federer actually say it the way it was quoted? Yes or No? This is not the first time that quotes have been inaccurate. Over the years I have found many instances of dubious, even false quotes. And the publishers/editors of two major newspapers agreed with me when they withdrew articles based on  inaccurate quotes. Unlike you, they do not pompously dismiss it as futile attempts at reading tea leaves. 

     

    Second, has it occurred to you that no one appointed you to be judge on who is reading tea leaves and who isn't? You should not presume everyone reads tea leaves just because you do. I mean this kindly. 

    usable.thought
    usable.thought

     @shelley That's what's so funny about this tempest in a tea cup. Some people think Federer is arrogant, others defend him (Michael9) as a paragon. What if he's just a human being? It is so odd that fans get this caught up in tearing down one player (Federer, Nadal, or whomever) while idolizing another (Nadal, Federer, or whomever). 

    Michael9
    Michael9

     @usable.thought  It’s pompous to pretend your dubious posts qualify as “constructive criticism” – arrogantly presuming such views are definitely impartial, valid and productive – but yet you do it anyway. When your dubious views are debunked with facts and you fail to prove your dubious claims, what do you do? Take cheap shots that your debunked “constructive criticism” is “winding me up” and “setting me off”as you run away because you don’t have defensible facts, logic or consistent principles. Yet you probably won’t stop responding to my comments when the next opportunity presents, will you :)

    usable.thought
    usable.thought

     @Michael9 Well, maybe if it were you & me meeting by chance at a coffee shop & idly falling into talking we could have a passionate but enjoyable conversation about tennis, the media, etc. But not online. I apologize for winding you up - I'll probably just have to stop responding to your comments at all, since I can't think how I could offer constructive criticism without it setting you off. I'm sure off-line you are an interesting & worthwhile person.

    Michael9
    Michael9

     @usable.thought   You don’t seem to understand what you’re talking about. Your very first sentence is nuts (borrowing your term).

     

    You start off misusing a term (“mainstream journalism”). The link below is a primer on journalism ethics and standards: if you understood the section on “accuracy and standards for factual reporting”, you would have realized that cobbling together and falsifying quotes is unacceptable in mainstream journalism. That’s why when I pointed out such issues to the publishers and managing editors of two mainstream newspapers they quickly retracted their articles. They would not accept your excuses.

    http://tinyurl.com/fmg37

     

    Your apparent acceptance of substandard journalism as acceptable mainstream journalism highlights the gulf between your position and my position. You even generate twisted arguments to defend the few who practice substandard journalism. That’s why I can’t take your twisted arguments seriously.

     

    You had no reason to jump to your baseless accusation (“you don't like how mainstream journalism cobbles together quotes”) – you keep putting fictional words into other people's mouths. First, I never made the “observation” that “mainstream journalism cobbles together quotes” (if you disagree, then prove where I made such an alleged observation). Second, my exposes of those cobbled and fictional quotes related to deviations from mainstream journalism standards – it’s nonsensical to consider it “mainstream journakism”. Yet you opportunistically generalized and misrepresented my argument exposing a few instances of deviant tennis writing to presume that I consider it is being done by most/all mainstream journalists (“mainstream journalism”). Either that or you’re basically saying you can read my mind, which is just nuts.

     

    I’ve already showed two instances of the same tennis writer taking swipes at Federer based on fabricated quotes. Not only have you failed to rebut my arguments that the quotes are fabricated – you never even attempted to do so, indicating that you do not deny that the quotes are fabricated or you lack a sound argument to suggest otherwise. There is a pattern of behavior when a journalist chooses – twice within weeks – to trash a player based on fabricated information. You’d be laughed out of a court of law for demanding that I ‘have to do some statistical number crunching... to prove systematic bias against Federer per se.’ This is the world of tennis and journalism, not the world of statistics, lol. In mainstream journalism, twice is already twice too many times.

     

    And the judge and jury – who would probably understand mainstream journalism standards -- would want to know why you seem unperturbed by the fabricated quotes that were used to baselessly put down Federer.

     

    It’s a cheap shot to attack me as “obsessive” given your heavy bias for substandard journalism that clouds your judgment and constrains your perceptions. It’s you who are reading tea leaves, and spawning irrational arguments based on it.

     

    usable.thought
    usable.thought

     @Michael9 I can understand that you don't like how mainstream journalism cobbles together quotes - but to jump from that observation to a belief that you know why this is being done is nuts (i.e. that journalists are out to get Federer in particular). You're basically saying you can read the minds of the journalists involved. Hmm.

     

    And you haven't even proved systematic bias against Federer per se. You'd have to show that journalist X (whoever that might be) makes up quotes for Federer that are unfavorable and does not do so with other tennis players. You'd have to do some statistical number crunching as part of this.

     

    Your goal here just seems too obsessive to me & too narrow & too much based on your own heavy pro-Federer bias. That's why I call it "reading tea leaves." 

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @usable.thought "Enjoy your tea"? No. I’m not interested in your blog/articles (you gave me your link some months ago). Why would I waste my time on your writings based on “reading tea leaves” and where you don’t bother to check your basic facts?

     

    I’ve previously caught this author taking snipes at Federer based on fabricated/fictional quotes, so her use of an inaccurate quote is nothing new. For example, in this other Daily Bagel article (see link), the author used information that was based on a fabricated quote ( ‘Fox Sports’ Greg Couch was less willing to mince words. But most interesting is his recounting of how Roger Federer employed a similar tactic against Nikolay Davydenko at the 2010 Australian Open... Still, in one day at the Australian Open three years ago, I watched Roger Federer use a fake bathroom break against Nikolay Davydenko... “When the sun comes from the side, the ball seems half the size and is just hard to hit,’’ Federer said that day. “I never take toilet breaks, but I thought ‘Why not?’ ’’ ‘)  In my post I provided both Federer’s post-match on-court interview video clip as well as his press conference transcript as evidence to prove that the quote was fabricated. The quote was created by putting together phrases that were either fiction (Federer never said it) or rehashed/ reworded/ paraphrased (Federer said it differently) or cherry-picked out of context from different parts of his interviews – the edited/fabricated quote made it appear that Federer seamlessly said those things, when in fact he did not.

    http://tennis.si.com/2013/01/24/daily-bagel-victoria-azarenka-sloane-stephens/#more-28582

     

    The reality is a lot of tennis writing is tabloid-quality fiction done by writers like you who think “reading tea leaves” passes off as acceptable writing. No wonder you are defending the author.

     

    My principle is simple: why write at all if you can’t get your basic facts right? Do we really need to waste our time reading dubious opinion based on fiction? Are some writers so desperate to take a swipe at Federer that they will resort to using fabricated quotes and false information?