Federer & Djokovic Take Their Act (Feud) To Wimbledon
They’ve played one another 26 times, but when they face each other in the Wimby semis on Friday, it’ll be their first time going head to head, mano a mano, at the Big W. Federer had this rather odd little bit to say about Djokovic today in anticipation of their big match:
“I was just upset at [Djokovic] calling the trainer out for no obvious reason against my buddy, Stan, in a five-setter,” Federer. “That was it. We had a quick chat about it in Madrid after that, and things are cool since a long time between me and him. I’ve always respected him. Have I gone out for dinner with him? No. But had many meetings with him at the [ATP Players] Council, and then now with the Grand Slams. He’s been nice to work with. We’ve met on several occasions because of other things together. I have no issues with him, and I hope you believe me.”
“And I hope you believe me…” Well, of course, we don’t believe you, you big liar. That’s like Carmelo Anthony saying, “I liked playing for Mike D’Antoni, and I hope you believe me.” What a throwaway line and obviously untrue. Federer has never liked Djokovic, respected him always! Please. The last three majors that he’s lost to him, he barely looked the Djoker in the face when shaking hands at the end of the match.
The last time he beat him in a slam, I’ve never seen Fed look so beatific, not even when he won any of his 16 slams, and he only beat Djoko in a slam semis.
“And, I hope you believe me…” Yeah, I believe you, Fed. That’s like Roger Clemens saying he really liked Mike Piazza, he was just waving a bat shard at him to say hello (and sorry to my European friends trying to follow this screed for using these sports analogies.) Why can’t Fed just answer, “No, I’ve never liked his tactics, that’s plain and simple. He’s turned into a formidable player, but for many years, I thought he was a punk and a charlatan.” Well, in so many words…
Who’s going to win? Patrick McEnroe gave the slight edge to Djokovic today saying for Fed to win he has to serve great and take the first rally ball he gets and hit into an opening on the court and rush the net. Oh really, PMac, and you only give Djoko the “slight edge” to win then? Have you seen how hard it is for a Djoko opponent to take the first ball, either on a serve or return of serve, and be offensive with it? The return usually lands a foot inside the baseline if the server is lucky. I know Fed looked great against Youzhny today and Djoko was actually down 0-40, 4-all in the opening set when Mayer decided to take a high forehand volley and hit it right back at Djoko instead of volleying it into the open court, but if Fed beats Djoko on Friday at Wimbledon, I will walk around the grounds of the U.S. Open this summer on my hands and knees with a half-eaten crepe hanging out of my mouth for the entire tournament, uttering over and over, “Federer is great. He’s much better than Johnny Mac ever was.”