March 28, 2006

Perfection in Losing: Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) gives us the backstory of Blake versus Federer.

posted by dzot to tennis at 08:11 AM - 20 comments

Very moving story. Thanks for the link, dzot. When will Federer stop being perfect?

posted by qbert72 at 08:22 AM on March 28, 2006

Good story, good find.

posted by Amateur at 08:50 AM on March 28, 2006

When will Federer stop being perfect? More often than not, whenever Nadal is across the net. In this Tennis Mailbag (second page; why no permalinks to specific questions?), Wertheim explains some tactics players are figuring out. Good catch!

posted by Uncle Toby at 09:01 AM on March 28, 2006

That's great sportswriting. I didn't even know that Adams was a fan.

posted by rcade at 09:02 AM on March 28, 2006

Uncle Toby, I was more referring to this kind of perfection (from the linked story): At the trophy ceremony, Blake spoke to the crowd. He said that in 2004, when he was in the hospital with a broken neck, only one tennis player sent him a note to wish him well. It was Roger Federer.

posted by qbert72 at 09:04 AM on March 28, 2006

Ah. Well, spot-on, in that case. Apologies for the misread.

posted by Uncle Toby at 09:19 AM on March 28, 2006

I enjoyed the SI link, UT, so no worries. Great post too. A little light on things to fight about, but we can work on that.

posted by yerfatma at 09:39 AM on March 28, 2006

No need to apologize, it's fine. I loved this phrase: "a hard-serving, Philippoussisian robot". Phippoussisian makes a great adjective.

posted by qbert72 at 09:55 AM on March 28, 2006

Phippoussisian makes a great adjective... especially when pronounced by Boris Becker. Federer wasn't always so perfect. He had a wicked temper as a child apparently.

posted by JJ at 10:06 AM on March 28, 2006

Philippoussisian robot Something out of a crap sci-fi story about Atlantis.

posted by yerfatma at 11:15 AM on March 28, 2006

Federer wasn't always so perfect. He had a wicked temper as a child apparently. Well, at least he did his one good deed in life by wishing Blake well. You almost have to wonder why there isn't a movie deal in the works.

posted by wingnut4life at 12:08 PM on March 28, 2006

Federer was one of those guys who was a head case starting out and then one day had the great epiphany that if he focused that rage on the game itself instead of the umpires and the crowd, he could do great things. Once he managed that piece of the puzzle, there was no looking back. You know, it occurs to me that this is not exactly a golden age for tennis goons. Aside from Lleyton Hewitt, all the "name" players (on the men's side) at least appear to be students of the game, classy, respectful of each other and the sport's history. Federer, Nadal, Blake, Nalbandian, Roddick... maybe I'm just choosing to igore the jackasses, but there sure seems to be a lot of upside on the men's tour these days.

posted by chicobangs at 12:26 PM on March 28, 2006

A litlte fluffy, but very enjoyable ... kind of like marshmallow creme. Did anyone read any more of the blog? Adams has some pretty interesting views on other subjects, and the reader responses in some cases are pretty hilarious.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:35 PM on March 28, 2006

James Blake has such a great story, If he can win one more biggie, he can pretty much wrap up the movie deal. I love, love, love to watch Federer and Nadal play; against eachother, or against Agassi... they are so fast and hit the ball so well, but when Blake is on the court I always feel so impressed by his resolve, even though he is not the greatest player in the world, it always seems like he thinks he is.

posted by everett at 02:52 PM on March 28, 2006

chico, I'd rethink Roddick's inclusion on that list given his performance at the Pacific Life Open.

posted by lilnemo at 05:06 PM on March 28, 2006

Sure. I'm a passive viewer of tennis; I owned up to that at the jump. But every interview I've ever seen of Roddick (including the one in that piece) has him being gracious and knowledgeable, and even there, at a point where he lost his cool a bit, he apologized immediately to everyone concerned, and didn't actually insult anyone. He didn't cuss anyone out, he just said a naughty word out loud and broke a racket. Given how bad his slump has been lately, that's pretty tame.

posted by chicobangs at 05:46 PM on March 28, 2006

Granted. But this is pretty crass, no? Scroll to the bottom of the 3/16/04 entry.

posted by lilnemo at 05:56 PM on March 28, 2006

man this is great it's nice to see someone doing good on a come back..

posted by byrdman822 at 06:44 PM on March 28, 2006

These are professional players and they play to win! What sense in playing to lose? Grow up guys and gals. Stop making excuse for your sorry team!!!!! Go Wild!!!

posted by vikesfan at 09:37 PM on March 28, 2006

oops wrong post sorry!

posted by vikesfan at 09:38 PM on March 28, 2006

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