Tennis Prose




Jun/22

21

Llodra: Federer “is more crazy than everybody.”

By Scoop Malinowski

Years ago in the prime years of the Federer-Nadal rivalry I got an idea to do a fantasy magazine feature asking ATP players who would win a boxing match between Federer and Nadal?

Many notable players like Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Carlos Moya, Tim Henman, Ivan Ljubicic, Carlos Moya, Greg Rusedski and Donald Young happily cooperated with my odd question and had some fun with it, giving some witty clever answers. The feature was successful and popular in Tennis Magazine and I also included it in my book “Facing Federer: Symposium of a Champion.”

One particular player answer always lingered in my memory. It was from the wacky French lefthander Michael Llodra, who vehemently and animatedly rther suprisingly believed and insisted Federer would beat Nadal in a boxing match: “Federer. (Because) he’s more crazy than Nadal.”

I was stunned by that revelation as Federer, at the time, was universally regarded as the epitcome of class, sportsmanship, honor and perfection. I tried to prod Llodra to elaborate, “Oh, he is???”

Llodra continued: “Yeah. I know him now since a long time, in juniors. Now he’s a little bit cool. But I can see he can be more crazy than Nadal. It’s not only about the muscle. He has a small muscle and he is more crazy than everybody. And you have to be crazy when you want to fight.”

I tried again to get Llodra to share more info and evidence of Federer’s crazy side…

Me: Can you share an example of the craziness of Federer?

Llodra: “No, no, no. I say he’s crazy. That’s all I say [smiles].”

We have only seen very brief glimpes of the crazy Federer on professional tennis court and one must wonder if that special quality which helped to power Federer to the top of sport, also still exists in his character and now has other ways to outlet itself against fellow competitors and rivals?

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