"But spotlighting the absurdity in it has been terrific comic relief :)"
You call it absurd because you can't accept it. Accepting it means I'm right and that you're wrong and you can't take that.
You can harp on as much as you want (2 hours ago, "non-sequitur" was the word that "destroyed" my whole article. An hour later, after I'd explained the meaning of non-sequitur, it was no longer non-sequitur that destroyed my article but instead Federer smashing his racket in 2009). Prior to that it was saying that mental fortitude couldn't be quantified (subsequently shown to be wrong) and saying that mental fortitude was the "only" thing that mattered (shown again to to be wrong)
You're moving the goal-posts to suit yourself. Do you notice that?
Now, that's usually a sign that one should probably call it a day. Yes, we're prideful beings, but there's a time to leave things be.
So call the article absurd all you want, we both know that you're kidding no-one but yourself. Now usually when I say I've had enough, I usually stick to it, but given the circumstances here, I've haven't adhered to that.
I will now.
Why don't you take some time off, huh? Do some work on your inferiority complex and self-esteem. Hmm?
Your point is that the act of smashing the racket regardless of the qualification of "biggest rival" makes the point moot.
However, my understanding of mental strength is that against opposition where there are significant physical, mental and talent gaps, you can afford mental lapses i.e. Federer could feasibly do such a thing against Djokovic in 2009 without fear of the repercussions because of the gaps I alluded to.
Federer, and tying to my point below, wouldn't smash his racket against Nadal because there wasn't and there isn't significant gaps between the two physically, mentally or in talent and whatever other factors there are.
So that Federer smashed his racket at all changes nothing - the quality of the opponent determines the consequences (hence "biggest rival").
Well, it's a complex point.
As Djokovic wasn't Federer's biggest rival or one of a number of his biggest rivals, smashing his racket would hardly give a mental edge to Djokovic.
Can I qualify it? No.
It's hard to say what went on in Djokovic's head during and after the incident. However, I can say one thing, Federer has never smashed his racket against Nadal (when he probably has more reason to do it against Nadal than against Djokovic).
Therein I think the distinction of "biggest rival", convenient and corny as it may seem, shows it's true worth.
All these comments could have been made in the article, not my bulletin board. You should have read it before posting.
They met 14 times from 2006 to the end of 2009 - Djokovic won 5 of those.
It wasn't an error, it was an original part of the article when it was written and no subsequent changes have been made.
Here's the article:
You'll find the last time it was edited was the 24th of May. You can see the article in its original form when it was just published.
Okay now that we've established that the holes I mentioned were in your comment (love how you just ignored that, by the way), you're now reading the article?
You're a gem, my friend.
"Federer and Djokovic played the Miami Masters SF in 2009, and a thoroughly dejected Roger Federer smashed his Wilson Racquet right on the court after being broken..."
I've already dealt with this in the article, but no worries.
Here's a quote from the article: "and incidentally, not smashing rackets in front of their biggest rivals."
In 2009, I think we can both agree that Djokovic, while No. 3 in the world, wouldn't (even looking back retrospectively at that point in time) be classed as one of Federer's "biggest rivals". There was only one at that time and it was Nadal.
"Since the term non-sequitir means a conclusion which does not follow from any evidence, that definition illustrates the absurdity of your piece as a whole."
One word illustrates the absurdity of the article as a whole? Hmm....seem like desperation to me?
Let me explain: when almost (if not) EVERYTHING is attributed to mental fortitude, as it tends to be nowadays, there are times when the conclusion (i.e. low mental fortitude) does not follow from the premise(s)/evidence (i.e. a player who cannot last in a three hour match).
Explained another way: if I attributed low mental fortitude to Andy Murray's physical inability to compete with Nadal earlier in his career that would be non-sequitur because that specific inability was down to his poor physical fitness at the time (and had nothing to do with the head - explicitly, at least).
So the point in the article was that most of the usage of the term "mental strength" was non-sequitur, because it is attributed to premise(s)/evidence that - certainly in classical understanding - have nothing to do with the head/mental faculties.
Anyways, time to call it a day.
As always Nick, I like having these discussions with you. I appreciate your knowledge of tennis and look forward to more in the future.
"You admit to me that there are several holes in the very piece you wrote,"
As usual, I expect it to take a bit of time before the coin drops but to save me that time, I was referring to the holes in your last comment. Hence why I talked about the points you raised in that comment ("only" difference & the Serena example) in the subsequent sentences.
You know, I was just going to make a list of all the, shall we say, nice words that you passed my way. I'm thrilled, you know. I was gobsmacked that anyone would give such high praise and go that far (it's not really that far, but...) with zero provocation on my part (I mean, thanks for the implied acknowledgement). I'm chuffed and I was going to make the list just to show you -- and anyone who reads this -- just how far a person's (yours in this case) inferiority complex can go.
Also, I was going to provide a link so there would be a reference point, but then I figured that that would kill the fun a little, wouldn't it? See, I want that you maintain your "standing" but that every time you post a comment on an article of mine or respond to a comment of mine that you are without doubt and are well aware of how I am ahead of you every step of the way.
I want it to be a private thing. There's no need take it beyond that.
Dealing with the comment in the article, there's a few holes in it (I'm sure you knew that). Mental focus and discipline isn't the "only" difference between surviving and thriving on tour. I mean, there's always something to be said for physical fitness, talent, luck etc.
Also, quantitative analysis of differences in "mental fortitude" between a winner and loser is possible. Most definitely. Using the same example that you use of Serena Williams in her loss to Razzano: yes, there was a qualitative aspect to mental fortitude in that match (i.e. Razzano displayed mental fortitude, Serena didn't - that's your bog standard present or absent qualitative analysis).
However, just the fact that Serena's mental fortitude can be so much better (and we have seen her better) than what we saw against Razzano is proof of quantity (i.e. what is the difference between the Razzano Serena and the Serena that wins titles). I'm sure you can see it. And that's what the article is about.
There are a couple of other points but I've posted enough.
I'm just seeing the comment below that I left a couple of years ago -- it's incredible how time flies and how people change. All that said, I'm still looking forward to times like that, when you say something so poignant and accurate that I have to speak out and give you props for it.
You are very welcome, Nick. Really enjoyed reading your posts, awesome tennis analysis!
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