Mr. Federer, you'll never see this post but I want to write it anyway. You know your fans, of which I am one, love to watch you 'play' tennis. And we love to see you win with style, brains, and guts. Charge the darn net!
I watched you in an interview today that was aired during the Madrid Open. You said that you didn't have a confidence problem; you had a 'Nadal' problem.
Most tellingly, you also mentioned that you don't know whether being Number 1 had been too easy for you and you can't determine whether or not Nadal being Number 1 for a year or so now has made your game better or worse.
Why are your wasting one second thinking about that? That is a distraction - yes? The game's the thing.
Let's address the 'Nadal' problem first, second, and third. I am watching a replay of your match with Andy Roddick in Madrid and you have just finished your between-the-legs backward hot dog shot and you charging the net to win the point... You even laughed and smiled. Great stuff that. Seeing you laugh at something really funny.
Now the 'Nadal' problem - we all love Nadal - he is the King of Clay but you, Sir, are the Royalty of the Court. You know the stuff about we all get dressed the same, all have breakfast, do our workouts, brush our teeth, all the same....all of us.
Here's the issue and it is not a problem. Nadal is hungry and he is charging because he feels his time is getting short - even at 22 - he doesn't have much time BUT you have the time because of the innate quality of your game and you have more experience. Tennis is in your blood. I'm sure you learned techniques but I can see you born with a baby-sized tennis racket as a teething ring.
Why do we love Nadal? His game is brute strength, hard-driving, an intellectual mind-game, and he has a willingness to take risks backed up by a damn good game. Sometimes he wins and sometimes he does not win.
You have to wipe the 'Nadal' problem out of your head. He didn't put it there; you did and we don't have any more room for it. We - you and your fans - don't have the luxury of you indulging that problem. Push the 'delete' button on that one; you've carried that one long enough.
You have all the talent in the world. It's inherent and you make the game seem easy. You're like Gregory Hines or Mikhail Baryshnikov. If you have time for old movies, I recommend 'White Nights' with both Hines and Baryshnikov - not for the story so much as for the demonstration of their talent. They loved dance. It shows. Superior... And you love tennis, a Tiger Woods on the court. So, if you love it, defend it.
Here's what I'd like to see: for tomorrow with Novak (he'll be hungry too), change up your game (it can sometimes be too predictable; forgive me but it can be); come in to the net more, rush the net; and change the pace of your game. With Nadal, take control of the game. In other words, PLEASE:
Get brutal, scrappy, and defend your COURT! Defend your home - the COURT - with all of the talent and intellect you possess. We want to see YOU win.
Take Madrid and then do Roland Garros proud. He was a WWI pilot; he had to "kick ass" in the air in those bi-planes with an open cockpit. Good grief! All you have to do is "kick ass" on the clay, the hard court, or grass - all on the ground. No open cockpit planes to bother with.
Nadal is a masterful player but he's a man...in matches against other men...
Forgive me but one more tiny thing. Nadal doesn't have to have a 'Federer' problem because you are carrying it all by yourself. You have let him into your head and your game. Cancel him/erase it from your mind. He didn't do it. I'll bet the only thing is his head is winning the next point.
I say take your game to Nadal and never let up! Change up, go to the net, change the pace, and take out the predictability. If anyone can do that, you, Roger Federer can.
All you have to do is "kick ass" on the clay.
PS - Would you please ask Mirka to show us her ring from time to time? Just hold her hand up a bit. The ring looks remarkable, fit for royalty, but I wanna see it. Aren't we fans bossy?
I can't play tennis anymore but I can observe. And watching you 'play' tennis is something. Go get'em, Roger. It's yours to win. With your ability, I don't think it is a matter of age; I think it is a matter of attitude.
You have all it takes to get the job done.