Roger Federer Must Stop His Ungracious Remarks Before Rafa Nadal Does a Voltaire

Vee JayAnalyst IOctober 26, 2010

NEW YORK- SEPTEMBER 12: Tennis player Roger Federer holds the 2005 US Open tennis trophy following a radio interview at the ESPN Zone restaruant to discuss his victory last night over Andre Agassi in the final, September 12, 2005 at Times Square in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Roger Federer's "sore loser" remarks, as well as his left-handed compliments to Nadal describing him as a great clay courter, have been well-documented and decried. Now, we have his latest innuendos about slowing down of surfaces.

Before the US Open, Federer remarked that the fast courts at Flushing Meadows might prove to be a challenge for Rafa. He hinted that the courts were faster than the grass courts of Wimbledon, a remark not supported by Nadal or Murray.

After Nadal won, the refrain now is that all the surfaces have been slowed down.

At Stockholm recently, Roger Federer claimed that the Grand Slam was achievable because all the surfaces have been slowed down. In another interview in Stockholm, he acknowledged that he too might have benefited from the slower courts, but "it is getting a little bit too extreme" and "I am sure it helps Rafa."

Are the surfaces being continuously slowed down?

Wimbledon had changed to rye grass in 2001, resulting in some slower pace. There is no record of any other Grand Slam surface being slowed down since 2003.

So, what is Roger talking about? Clearly, he is trying to discount Nadal's achievements on the faster surfaces.

I don't know what Roger hopes to achieve by these petty remarks. Does he seriously think that history is going to place an asterisk against Nadal's achievements based on his allegations of surfaces being slowed down?

No. He is only harming his image; the gracious image he had built up during his winning years.

Federer's remarks are all the more difficult to stomach considering that his great rival never fails to call him the "greatest."

As Federer's remarks are being made in public, Nadal must be aware of them.

Sooner or later, the moment will come when Nadal will do a Voltaire. If you don't know what I am talking about, let me tell you the story of the famous Voltaire repartee.

Voltaire was talking to a visitor who mentioned having met Albrecht von Haller, a Swiss (ah, the Swiss connection!) poet and physiologist. Voltaire immediately expressed a lot of praise for Haller, describing him as a great poet, a man of great knowledge, etc. The visitor told Voltaire that his praise was to be commended all the more as Haller always spoke disparagingly of Voltaire and his works.

Then Voltaire made his famous remark, "Perhaps we are both mistaken!"