Single most arrogant "thing" Federer/Djokovic did/does

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
So, not to say that you are right about him, we get back to that later... Spaniards mostly have many tics then, no? Swiss mostly get twins?
That's the excuse I've always put forward for Djokovic. Maybe he is just an arrogant so and so.
 

demrle

Professional
That's the excuse I've always put forward for Djokovic. Maybe he is just an arrogant so and so.
As well you should.

Now, why is he being arrogant? I asked you for some more recent examples, not 10+ year old stuff. Not becaue I find that convenient, but because I consider it a quality if people manage to change their ways.
 

Thetouch

Professional
I don't even find Roger arrogant tbh, I actually like it when he says certain things because it makes everything more exciting in a sport where 99% of all players are boring to listen to. I think Roger was over confident between 2003 and 2008 for a good reason and when he got challenged by Nadal and Djokovic he had to learn to accept their place next to him, hence why he made those comments about Novak after his US Open loss in 2010 or 2011. He probably couldn't accept that he got beaten by a guy who was less talented and known to give up on himself at times. But I guess Roger became more humble through out the last decade.

I also never thought of Novak as arrogant but he used to come off as insecure in the past. The things he said in the press conference about Nadal after his FO loss aren't words from an arrogant man but from an insecure guy who couldn't deal well with his loss and perception of his persona in the public eye then
 

Swingmaster

Professional
Honestly this argument is kind of meaningless because what the true measure of a person is how one acts, not how one thinks. Nevertheless, I find it very unlikely a person could act out their entire life in a way in which directly contradicts their everyday thinking. This line of arguing starts to bring into question if a humble person can even exist, or there are just people who act humble.
True, but pro athletes in general are pretty notorious for their humble cliches. If you’re forced to talk to the media you might as well come off as well as you can. But of course some guys don’t have it in them to do that even.
 

demrle

Professional
I don't even find Roger arrogant tbh, I actually like it when he says certain things because it makes everything more exciting in a sport where 99% of all players are boring to listen to. I think Roger was over confident between 2003 and 2008 for a good reason and when he got challenged by Nadal and Djokovic he had to learn to accept their place next to him, hence why he made those comments about Novak after his US Open loss in 2010 or 2011. He probably couldn't accept that he got beaten by a guy who was less talented and known to give up on himself at times. But I guess Roger became more humble through out the last decade.
Agree. Same goes for Novak actually, in my eyes, when he dares to go against the imposed norm of spewing bland PC content.

I also never thought of Novak as arrogant but he used to come off as insecure in the past. The things he said in the press conference about Nadal after his FO loss aren't words from an arrogant man but from an insecure guy who couldn't deal well with his loss and perception of his persona in the public eye then
Agree here, too, as long as "then" is bolded. I feel like he's also matured a lot over the years.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic was arrogant in an exaggerated, endearing way. He wasn't there to throw insults, just believed he belonged with the best.
My favorite Arrogantovic moment was "I'm taking you down Roger" into the camera at AO, when Fed was #1 and defending champ and Djokovic was a nobody.
 

Eren

Professional
For Humbalito, it has to be this:

"He said: "Personally, to watch a Pete Sampras versus Goran Ivanisevic match, or one between those kind of players, is not enjoyable. It's not really tennis, it is a few swings of the racquet.

"It was less eye-catching than what we do now. Everyone enjoys the tennis we play much more.
I am not saying we are playing better tennis, just more enjoyable tennis. For me, in the past it was just serve, serve, serve."

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/tennis/pete-sampras-wasnt-fun-says-rafael-nadal-6415131.html

Almost sounds like UnderratedSlam himself told Humbalito to say this lol.

It even goes on and becomes better. He even slams Pete's competition like no other ;)

"Before my time, perhaps the conditions were faster. But, for me, the difference now is that the best players in the world will strike the ball past you if you go to the net. If people see a player practising serve-and-volley tactics, they say it is fast and if they see baseline play, they think it is slow. The truth is that now the players are so good that if it is a fast court, then when you serve and go to the net the ball flies past you even quicker."
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
Federer throwing his empty water bottles over his shoulder for the ball boys to pick up, probably. He's done it on at least a couple of occasions
 

demrle

Professional
...Nadal's screams, over the top "in your face" fist pumps and cold handshakes are good examples of his big ego and that's not a bad thing. That's what drives him and helps him stay at the top of the game. You can't be among the greatest of all time and rise above the rest without a big ego.
I disagree on both. I'm familiar with the cliché that having a big ego is necessary in order to achieve greatness. However, I think that deeply rooted self-doubt, i.e. having a big chip on your shoulder can be just as good of a drive if not better.

Tom Brady seems to be one such example and, to me, Rafa is another. He looks to me as if he is trying to prove to himself in every single match that he's good enough to compete on that level and that's why he's almost always equally motivated regardless of whom he's playing against. Rafa doesn't play down to the level of the opposition the way Novak does, and to a lesser extent Roger. Rafa always has the same level of intensity because he's always playing against the same opponent - himself. And his celebrations are the least "in your face" of all Big 3, again directed towards himself. I see his many ticks also as an indicator of a constant inner struggle. Rafa's humbleness off the court also totally fits this frame and I don't see any reason why anybody would question its genuineness. Except for jealousy, but that's not a legitimate motive.
 

demrle

Professional
Just google it if you're curious. There's even some gifs around. I mainly see it at the Tour Finals, but he's done it at Miami, for instance...

I actually tried a little, but wasn't really successful right off the bat. Thanks for the gif.
 

Imperator

Hall of Fame
I disagree on both. I'm familiar with the cliché that having a big ego is necessary in order to achieve greatness. However, I think that deeply rooted self-doubt, i.e. having a big chip on your shoulder can be just as good of a drive if not better.

Tom Brady seems to be one such example and, to me, Rafa is another. He looks to me as if he is trying to prove to himself in every single match that he's good enough to compete on that level and that's why he's almost always equally motivated regardless of whom he's playing against. Rafa doesn't play down to the level of the opposition the way Novak does, and to a lesser extent Roger. Rafa always has the same level of intensity because he's always playing against the same opponent - himself. And his celebrations are the least "in your face" of all Big 3, again directed towards himself. I see his many ticks also as an indicator of a constant inner struggle. Rafa's humbleness off the court also totally fits this frame and I don't see any reason why anybody would question its genuineness. Except for jealousy, but that's not a legitimate motive.
Having a ship on your shoulder is linked to having a big ego. It's because of your ego that you can't accept defeat at the hands of someone else so you will do everything to crush him and wash away the bad taste left by the previous match.

Jealousy is an excuse often used by people that can't accept criticism. If I'm jealous, it means I'm jealous of all greatest players, even of my favorite ones like Djokovic ? :unsure: Rather than a illegitimate motive, it's an illegitimate accusation.

You guys don't understand that being humble publicly is very easy, even if you've been doing it for 15 years. It doesn't require any particular skill or intelligence. The kind of things the three of them say is the kind of thing anyone could say, it just requires common sense. And again, arrogance is not a bad thing if it's used correctly. What the Big 3 has been doing all those years, which is appearing as much humble as possible in front of people, is the right thing to do. You don't throw your pride and confidence in the face of people, that's stupid and uncivil. You just use it to move forward and surpass yourself.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
For Humbalito, it has to be this:

"He said: "Personally, to watch a Pete Sampras versus Goran Ivanisevic match, or one between those kind of players, is not enjoyable. It's not really tennis, it is a few swings of the racquet.

"It was less eye-catching than what we do now. Everyone enjoys the tennis we play much more.
I am not saying we are playing better tennis, just more enjoyable tennis. For me, in the past it was just serve, serve, serve."

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/tennis/pete-sampras-wasnt-fun-says-rafael-nadal-6415131.html

Almost sounds like UnderratedSlam himself told Humbalito to say this lol.

It even goes on and becomes better. He even slams Pete's competition like no other ;)

"Before my time, perhaps the conditions were faster. But, for me, the difference now is that the best players in the world will strike the ball past you if you go to the net. If people see a player practising serve-and-volley tactics, they say it is fast and if they see baseline play, they think it is slow. The truth is that now the players are so good that if it is a fast court, then when you serve and go to the net the ball flies past you even quicker."
I don‘t see why any of those two statements have anything to do with arrogance. It just shows that Nadal was intelligent even as a teenager and will be a much better tennis analyst than most of the ex-players doing commentary now.

I‘ve been watching tennis since the late Seventies and would agree with Rafa that there was a period in the late Nineties where tennis was almost not watchable on grass and fast hard courts because the serve dominated too much and most points were too short. Players were taller, stronger and with graphite racquets, the balance shifted too much in favor of big servers on fast surfaces. That’s why the tennis authorities introduced slow grass at Wimbledon and also slowed down all the courts at major outdoor hard court tournaments - this was a business decision they made that supports Nadal’s assertion. I supported Sampras because he was a well-behaved American who wasn’t a brash brat like previous US champions, but many of his matches at Wimbledon were not exciting for me in the latter part of his career and I preferred watching him play on slower surfaces even if he didn’t win as easily.

Regarding Rafa’s second statement that it was too easy to hit passing shots at that time, he is not commenting on the standard of tennis being low previously, but commenting accurately that poly strings and slower surfaces made it hard for a serve-and-volleyer to survive any more on the ATP tour. That statement has certainly been accurate ever since and even those who did S-V more early in their careers like Federer had to learn to win primarily from the baseline once everyone started playing with poly strings.
 
Nadal's humility continues to be overrated. He's well-bred and self-conscious, but an occasional offhand comment or umpire altercation shows what's underneath, and even moreso do the facial expressions.

Edberg remains the only genuinely humble champion, ombillible but true. Don't think anyone talented will come up with an attitude like him ever again. The guy would a five-set battle then sound almost apologetic for winning, sublime.
 
I don‘t see why any of those two statements have anything to do with arrogance. It just shows that Nadal was intelligent even as a teenager and will be a much better tennis analyst than most of the ex-players doing commentary now.

I‘ve been watching tennis since the late Seventies and would agree with Rafa that there was a period in the late Nineties where tennis was almost not watchable on grass and fast hard courts because the serve dominated too much and most points were too short. Players were taller, stronger and with graphite racquets, the balance shifted too much in favor of big servers on fast surfaces. That’s why the tennis authorities introduced slow grass at Wimbledon and also slowed down all the courts at major outdoor hard court tournaments - this was a business decision they made that supports Nadal’s assertion. I supported Sampras because he was a well-behaved American who wasn’t a brash brat like previous US champions, but many of his matches at Wimbledon were not exciting for me in the latter part of his career and I preferred watching him play on slower surfaces even if he didn’t win as easily.

Regarding Rafa’s second statement that it was too easy to hit passing shots at that time, he is not commenting on the standard of tennis being low previously, but commenting accurately that poly strings and slower surfaces made it hard for a serve-and-volleyer to survive any more on the ATP tour. That statement has certainly been accurate ever since and even those who did S-V more early in their careers like Federer had to learn to win primarily from the baseline once everyone started playing with poly strings.
Spoken like a classic rafanbot who doesn't know what's up, if you're really that old it means you've lived how many decades covered in bias, frightening!

The truth is that service hold numbers have gone up every decade, homogenisation only served to remove the fastest and slowest modes of play (i.e. both net rushing and constant lengthy rallies), thereby making the game less dimensional if anything. Like taking certain food items off the menu because the demand is deemed small, reasonable for business but doesn't make the food selection 'better', quite the opposite as exquisite tastes are now ignored.

Back then, you actually had to be an all-courter and master different styles to win everywhere, or be extremely good at an adapted neutral style like Agassi, who still found adaptation difficult. That's what young Federer was, you think he reached RG QF in 2001 by serve-and-volleying? He was willing to employ various styles, hence both RG and WB QF as a teen, in a year when s&v still ruled Wimbledon one last time. As surfaces and strings shifted, so did his game drift towards the baseline, but he can/could do anything.
 

demrle

Professional
Wow his accent used to be way more pronounced.
That guy constantly works on himself and improves in every aspect, yet sadly that mostly failes to be recognized due to Anchoring bias, Confirmation bias, Fan bias, Younameit bias...
 
Your comment makes zero sense, if Nadal was two-faced he would have been caught out at one point through his words or actions at one point in his career.

But lemme get this straight, because he reacts emotionally through his body language and facial expressions whilst playing, that must mean he's two-faced. Brilliant deduction. Oh and lets just blatantly ignore Djokovic being the biggest drama queen on court, but being Mr. calm and composed in interviews.
It doesn't outright mean being two-faced since speaking sweeter than you may feel inside is a matter of common politeness as well, and Nadal is big on this per upbringing. It does mean he's not that humble though. Fly in the ointment principle - you aren't really nice unless you're always nice, etc.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Spoken like a classic rafanbot who doesn't know what's up, if you're really that old it means you've lived how many decades covered in bias, frightening!

The truth is that service hold numbers have gone up every decade, homogenisation only served to remove the fastest and slowest modes of play (i.e. both net rushing and constant lengthy rallies), thereby making the game less dimensional if anything. Like taking certain food items off the menu because the demand is deemed small, reasonable for business but doesn't make the food selection 'better', quite the opposite as exquisite tastes are now ignored.

Back then, you actually had to be an all-courter and master different styles to win everywhere, or be extremely good at an adapted neutral style like Agassi, who still found adaptation difficult. That's what young Federer was, you think he reached RG QF in 2001 by serve-and-volleying? He was willing to employ various styles, hence both RG and WB QF as a teen, in a year when s&v still ruled Wimbledon one last time. As surfaces and strings shifted, so did his game drift towards the baseline, but he can/could do anything.
You are just randomly spouting your opinions, but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with my reply to a post where I was commenting that I agree with what Rafa was saying about serves over-dominating in the late Nineties and passing shots becoming easier when he made the statement.

If you have read enough of my posts, you will see that I am not enough of a fan of any of the Big 3 to be a fan of just one of them. I like (their tennis game) and dislike (aspects of their personality) all of them somewhat equally, but enjoy watching their battles which is the highest level of the sport and want a competitive match every time - I usually want the player that I think is playing better on that day to win. Very rarely you have matches where you can‘t tell easily that one player is playing better and those are the most enjoyable matches irrespective of the winner - 2008W final, 2009AO final, 2012AO final, 2017AO final, 2018W SF etc. In contrast, one sided matches like the 2015FO QF, 2019AO F and 2020FO final were not that entertaining to me.

I do find Nadal’s interviews to be more thoughtful than the other two and he is the only one I would want as a commentator after he retires.
 
You are just randomly spouting your opinions, but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with my reply to a post where I was commenting that I agree with what Rafa was saying about serves over-dominating in the late Nineties and passing shots becoming easier when he made the statement.

If you have read enough of my posts, you will see that I am not enough of a fan of any of the Big 3 to be a fan of just one of them. I like (their tennis game) and dislike (aspects of their personality) all of them somewhat equally, but enjoy watching their battles which is the highest level of the sport and want a competitive match - I usually want the player that i think is playing better on that day to win. Very rarely you have matches where you can‘t tell easily that one player is playing better and those are the most enjoyable matches irrespective of the winner - 2008W final, 2009AO final, 2012AO final, 2017AO final, 2018W SF etc. I do find Nadal’s interviews to be more thoughtful than the other two and he is the only one I would want as a commentator after he retires.
I just pointed out service holds are stronger now than ever before. The "serving overdomination" of the 90s is a silly myth, based mostly on Sampras and Ivanisevic, who had GOAT serves for their height so in retrospect it may wrongfully seem like they mostly won by serving. Heck, healthy Raonic is a top ten player today and his movement has nothing on Goran's let alone Pete's swift grace.

ps. it's entirely clear you're a Nadal fan primarily; don't think you're above bias or preferences, or perfectly conceal it.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
It doesn't outright mean being two-faced since speaking sweeter than you may feel inside is a matter of common politeness as well, and Nadal is big on this per upbringing. It does mean he's not that humble though. Fly in the ointment principle - you aren't really nice unless you're always nice, etc.
Two-faced is just the wrong word then. From the comments here though, it's like Nadal is never allowed to be disappointed in himself to qualify as humble. I mean, who actually would qualify then from your definition? And by the same token, how do we know this person isn't just better at hiding self-dissapointment?
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I just pointed out service holds are stronger now than ever before. The "serving overdomination" of the 90s is a silly myth, based mostly on Sampras and Ivanisevic, who had GOAT serves for their height so in retrospect it may wrongfully seem like they mostly won by serving. Heck, healthy Raonic is a top ten player today and his movement has nothing on Goran's let alone Pete's swift grace.

ps. it's entirely clear you're a Nadal fan primarily; don't think you're above bias or preferences, or perfectly conceal it.
I don’t know what the stats say, but it seemed like there were too many service winners to the detriment of the sport in the late Nineties. I don’t feel that way anymore and find tennis much more entertaining. Also, service holds are fine - I don’t want to watch too many breaks in each set like the WTA. But, I want service holds to happen after many solid baseline points and not after 3 service winners.

I‘m a very ’fair and balanced’ Nadal fan then if I think Federer is the current GOAT and Djokovic will always be the BOAT that the other two will never match. Since Novak is the BOAT in my opinion, I actually hope he will finish with enough career accomplishments to finish as the GOAT at the end of his career, but right now my betting money would be on Nadal finishing with at least 2-3 Slams more than him when their careers are over.

GOAT has always been a subjective title and the Federer-lovers were just hiding behind the 20-slam, 310 weeks at #1 records as being concrete reasons for him to be the GOAT because they thought those records would never be broken. Now that both records look like they will be broken next year by Federer’s two biggest rivals, many experts are starting to say that the GOAT title is subjective so that they have the freedom to still pick Federer as their choice.

Apart from hardcore Nadal fans and lovers of clay court tennis, no one else (or very few) in the tennis world thinks of Nadal as their subjective choice for GOAT in their minds because they think both Federer and Djokovic are better than Nadal on grass and hard courts which they feel are more important surfaces. So, Nadal has to finish at least 2 or 3 Slams ahead of Federer and Djokovic by the time they all retire for many people to grudgingly accept him as the GOAT and it will help his case if he wins a couple of more Slams outside of RG.

In my subjective opinion, I will think of Nadal as the GOAT if he finishes his career at least 2 Slams better than Federer and Djokovic. If Djokovic ties or beats Federer’s Slam count and finishes his career within 2 Slams of Nadal, I will pick Djokovic as my GOAT - I already think he is the BOAT. If Djokovic does not get to Federer‘s Slam count and Nadal finishes only 1 Slam ahead of Federer, I will continue to think of Federer as the GOAT which is my current opinion. There is no point arguing with me because I am going by my ‘eye test’ and arbitrary criterion I choose to pick - I have no interest in convincing other people to think like me.
Highly unlikely that Nadal wins only 21 Slams. But if it really ends with the Slam count listed in the OP, I would keep Federer as the GOAT. I understand it is subjective and there are no defined criteria for this imaginary title. For me, the big lead in Weeks at #1 and better record on two surfaces (grass/hard) for Federer trumps Nadal’s better head-to-head and extra Slam primarily because Nadal for me is the best player only on one surface (clay). If Nadal gets a 2 Slam lead on both Federer and Djokovic, I would concede that he had done enough to be called the GOAT.

At the end of the day, there will not be an undisputed GOAT unless someone finishes with a 3 or more Slam lead as they all have different accomplishments that makes the race tighter than just counting the Slam titles. I think Nadal knows this and hence his stated intent to shoot for 25 titles.
 
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demrle

Professional
Having a ship on your shoulder is linked to having a big ego. It's because of your ego that you can't accept defeat at the hands of someone else so you will do everything to crush him and wash away the bad taste left by the previous match.
I didn't mean chip on your shoulder on a match to match basis, I also called it deeply rooted self-doubt, that's a lifelong character trait, not some bulletin board level concept contingent on the daily form or the weekly opponent. So it's not about crushing someone else at all for some of these guys as much as it is about proving to themselves that they're worthy of competing and that can happen even in a loss. I don't know where you're from and whether you're familiar with Tom Brady, but if not I urge you to look up some documentaries about him. He's another example of a humble guy without a huge ego (we are talking in relative terms here obviously) who became one of the most successful athletes in the history by constantly primarily fighting his self-doubt.

Jealousy is an excuse often used by people that can't accept criticism. If I'm jealous, it means I'm jealous of all greatest players, even of my favorite ones like Djokovic ? :unsure: Rather than a illegitimate motive, it's an illegitimate accusation.
Yeah, that sounds very smart and effective, except for the fact that you fell into a deep logical pitfall (or did you dig it intentionally for me to fall into it?). We are, obviously, not talking about your "personal" jealousy, as in you being jealous for not having these guys' talent, money, lifestyle, what have you. We are talking about your vicarious jealousy through your favorite player, as in you being jealous for your player potentially not having some of his opponent's desirable traits.

You guys don't understand that being humble publicly is very easy, even if you've been doing it for 15 years. It doesn't require any particular skill or intelligence. The kind of things the three of them say is the kind of thing anyone could say, it just requires common sense. And again, arrogance is not a bad thing if it's used correctly. What the Big 3 has been doing all those years, which is appearing as much humble as possible in front of people, is the right thing to do. You don't throw your pride and confidence in the face of people, that's stupid and uncivil. You just use it to move forward and surpass yourself.
First, who are "we guys"? It's not a rhetorical question and please answer it, so I could know whom you're lumping me together with. That information just might come in handy during my (sub)conscious introspective sessions.

But regardless of whom you think "we" are, you are arguing only with me at the moment, hence I'm only responsible for my own views. As for your mini lecture, it begs several questions:

1) Why would you assume that humility is, in today's society no less, such an absolute ideal that anybody would be willing to pull a life-long pretending job in order to convincingly fake it? I mean, you seem to genuinely believe in the value of humility and I share that belief with you, but we have enough examples around showing us that nowadays humility is no necessary trait for achieving fame and fortune. Quite the opposite in many cases actually, be it CR7, Ibra, Neon Deion, OBJ, you name them.

2) Even if we accept #1, why is Rafa the only one of the Big 3 who is allegedly striving for this ideal? Nobody ever accuses Roger and Novak of being overly humble in the first place, let alone of consistently faking it.

3) Do you speak from personal experience when you say how easy it is to maintain a humble image over decades of being under constant public scrutiny all the while playing a global sport at the highest possible level? If not then there's no reason to be condescending, as I can speculate about it probably just as well as you can. Bear in mind also, that we were primarily discussing Rafa whose perceived levels of humility are on another level comparing to those of Roger and Novak so you shouldn't lump the three together in this context. Sorry, I just don't buy the equilibristic as a cop out at the end, we were talking about Rafa.
 
Two-faced is just the wrong word then. From the comments here though, it's like Nadal is never allowed to be disappointed in himself to qualify as humble. I mean, who actually would qualify then from your definition? And by the same token, how do we know this person isn't just better at hiding self-dissapointment?
Pliss, Nadal's expression isn't that of mere disappointment but of disgust. He deeply hates losing, like almost any champion. Which is obviously connected to a healthy ego.

It's extremely difficult bordering on impossible to live a constant lie, be that an often helpful lie of politeness as well. As I said, offhand comments and body language shows. I didn't say it's a bad thing, if everyone was always direct and honest we'd be driven to hate each other. I just don't like that people buy into it, unnecessary delusion is poor stuff. Nadal is neither particularly humble nor particularly arrogant but he's well-bred and measures his words better than most.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Pliss, Nadal's expression isn't that of mere disappointment but of disgust. He deeply hates losing, like almost any champion. Which is obviously connected to a healthy ego.

It's extremely difficult bordering on impossible to live a constant lie, be that an often helpful lie of politeness as well. As I said, offhand comments and body language shows. I didn't say it's a bad thing, if everyone was always direct and honest we'd be driven to hate each other. I just don't like that people buy into it, unnecessary delusion is poor stuff. Nadal is neither particularly humble nor particularly arrogant but he's well-bred and measures his words better than most.
I'd say your read on body language is **** poor then. Anyway dude, but no offense I don't expect someone of your level of arrogance to actually understand what humble means anyway. I mean do you even read your own posts? Anyone who disagrees with you is deluded? Get off your high horse. Feel free to post those off-hand comments and videos of his "digust." Oh, and excellent job dodging my question.
 
I'd say your read on body language is **** poor then. Anyway dude, but no offense I don't expect someone of your level of arrogance to actually understand what humble means anyway. I mean do you even read your own posts? Anyone who disagrees with you is deluded? Get off your high horse. Feel free to post those off-hand comments and videos of his "digust." Oh, and excellent job dodging my question.
Humility means you don't think much of yourself and your primary motivation to do better is for others' sake (for them to make use of or enjoy your work) or beauty's sake (inching closer to perfection) rather than your own sake (seeking validation in the form of recognition or gratitude); everyone needs validation that is, humility means deriving it directly from doing things right, rather than from having others - or yourself, pridefully - recognise them as worthy. I'm a serious validation seeker so obviously not humble (sad!). Pretty sure providing viewers, or his own aesthetic sense, with beautiful tennis isn't what Nadal is primarily after, being recognised as the best is.

I reckon Thiem is the humblest top tenner currently but that's not saying much, other than that he's not really arrogant.

Edberg is my humble goat, certainly for an ATG. Hardly ever quarrelled and seems to have always spoken of his opponents appreciatively, no obnoxious in-your-face celebrations even in the toughest matches, took losing stoically not showing anger, looking sad if anything. I do get the feel he strove for better play for its own enjoyable sake moreso than achieving superiority and respect.
 

demrle

Professional
I don’t know what the stats say, but it seemed like there were too many service winners to the detriment of the sport in the late Nineties. I don’t feel that way anymore and find tennis much more entertaining. Also, service holds are fine - I don’t want to watch too many breaks in each set like the WTA. But, I want service holds to happen after many solid baseline points and not after 3 service winners.

I‘m a very ’fair and balanced’ Nadal fan then if I think Federer is the current GOAT and Djokovic will always be the BOAT that the other two will never match. Since Novak is the BOAT in my opinion, I actually hope he will finish with enough career accomplishments to finish as the GOAT at the end of his career, but right now my betting money would be on Nadal finishing with at least 2-3 Slams more than him when their careers are over.
Since AnOctorokForDinner is semi-ignoring me, meaning that he does not address me but still reads my posts and even discusses/bashes me on my threads, I'll allow myself to talk about him in third person as well. Trust me, no amount of objective posts from you will convince him that you are no Nadal fanboy. You've been classified in his head based on one post but for eternity. :) He was on my case with accusations of being a reincarnation of some banned user as soon as I've posted my first thread which was apparently suspicious due to its insightfullness. And there was no way of convincing him that I'm no fake new user. The only other user that accused of such crime was the grey eminence of Fedextremists, Tennis_Hands himself, whose firm belief in my multiple identities, needless to say, also wasn't to be shaken. So that would be the "twinquisition" that I had to endure so far on this board, take it for what it's worth.

P.S. How ominous is it for the constructiveness of a debate when your counterpart argues that he knows even your personal preferences better than yourself?! :eek:
 

Cortana

Hall of Fame
A lot of you guys confuse arrogance with selfconfidence. Neither of the Big3 is arrogant. All of them just know how good they are.

I think you would understand if you are really great at something in life.
 

Imperator

Hall of Fame
Yeah, that sounds very smart and effective, except for the fact that you fell into a deep logical pitfall (or did you dig it intentionally for me to fall into it?). We are, obviously, not talking about your "personal" jealousy, as in you being jealous for not having these guys' talent, money, lifestyle, what have you. We are talking about your vicarious jealousy through your favorite player, as in you being jealous for your player potentially not having some of his opponent's desirable traits.



First, who are "we guys"? It's not a rhetorical question and please answer it, so I could know whom you're lumping me together with. That information just might come in handy during my (sub)conscious introspective sessions.

But regardless of whom you think "we" are, you are arguing only with me at the moment, hence I'm only responsible for my own views. As for your mini lecture, it begs several questions:

1) Why would you assume that humility is, in today's society no less, such an absolute ideal that anybody would be willing to pull a life-long pretending job in order to convincingly fake it? I mean, you seem to genuinely believe in the value of humility and I share that belief with you, but we have enough examples around showing us that nowadays humility is no necessary trait for achieving fame and fortune. Quite the opposite in many cases actually, be it CR7, Ibra, Neon Deion, OBJ, you name them.

2) Even if we accept #1, why is Rafa the only one of the Big 3 who is allegedly striving for this ideal? Nobody ever accuses Roger and Novak of being overly humble in the first place, let alone of consistently faking it.

3) Do you speak from personal experience when you say how easy it is to maintain a humble image over decades of being under constant public scrutiny all the while playing a global sport at the highest possible level? If not then there's no reason to be condescending, as I can speculate about it probably just as well as you can. Bear in mind also, that we were primarily discussing Rafa whose perceived levels of humility are on another level comparing to those of Roger and Novak so you shouldn't lump the three together in this context. Sorry, I just don't buy the equilibristic as a cop out at the end, we were talking about Rafa.

Now that's beyond ridiculous and totally far fetched. I'm a Djokovic fan, not his boyfriend. You're saying I would go as far as stating all greatest players in all disciplines have a big ego just for the sake of taking away Nadal's humility from him out of jealousy ? Lol. There are plenty of desirable traits Nadal has and Djokovic doesn't. Nadal doesn't have temper tantrums on court. He doesn't break racquets. He doesn't abuse ball boys when he's frustrated because he struggles in a match. He doesn't go out of his way to be loved by people. He doesn't care about money as much as Federer does (I'm also a Federer fan, by the way). I don't give a damn about Nadal having qualities that Djokovic doesn't. Djokovic is funnier and more sociable than Nadal and Federer. Federer's technical skills and elegance will never be rivaled by the other two. All humans have qualities that other people don't, that's just the way it is. Stop trying to psychanalyze me and stick to the original subject.

It's not a "job", it's a natural, human process conditioned by society, that's what we call "political correctness". I'm gonna give you a very simple and common example : when a great player mops the floor with his opponent with little difficulty and still praises him after the match by saying he was a very tough opponent, rather than saying he was no match for him because he's not good enough. That's fake humility. Not in a bad, unhealthy way, but in a necessary way. Are you seriously asking why they're doing it ? Is it so weird that they want to appear nice like most people do ? What are the names you mentioned supposed to prove, other than the fact some people don't care about their image and social acceptance ? I never said humiity is necessary to achieve fame and fortune, that's not the point.

The "you guys" refers to you and @ADuck. Wasn't it obvious, since the post you replied to was originally destined to him ? He has the exact same stance as you on this point, as he thinks you can't fake humility publicly for 15 years because "somebody would have caught him".

I talked about Djokovic and Federer because I'm saying a big ego is a trait shared by all greatest athletes. That's why I mentioned them, it's not a "cop out". Also, the discussion is not about Nadal specifically, it was never about Nadal alone. You're trying to make it about Nadal, which is different. Even the sentences you chose to bold to reply to me weren't solely about Nadal.

If you feel like I'm condescending, maybe you should reread your entire post.
 
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Clay lover

Hall of Fame
I am assuming arrogant people are narcissists.

I genuinely don't think Nadal arrogant in the sense that he's vain - he's all about winning. This doesn't mean he is a saint as he obviously relies on gamesmanship to win - but this further confirms the fact that he cares MORE about the win than looking good. If he were vain, he would've tried to win while impressing people with a less scrappy and less gamesmanship-driven game.

Federer and Djokovic on the other hand have acted like they somehow "looked" better but still lost on some occasions. This is a sign of arrogance.

Nadal is arrogant for thinking he's above the rules though.
 
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mtommer

Hall of Fame
Ironically enough, both Federer and Djokovic fan bases consider the "adversary" to be arrogant. What is your interpretation of this?
I think most people with any experience with sports and winning understands that Fed/Nadal/Djokovic are all arrogant. I think the differences come in how the three typical display that arrogance. For the most part, Fed and Nadal are arrogant in a way that most people: 1. relate to and 2. are okay with ie it's an arrogance born out of results and confidence. For the most part also, Federer and Nadal are seen very similarly. So why the difference with Nole? Because Nole comes across like Agassi. That is, they seem prone bitterness and resentment due to mostly beta male traits comparatively amongst their peers. Specifically, they want the popularity and adulation of people that Federer and Nadal have received through no effort of their own. To be fair to Nole, I do think that in more recent years this attitude may have finally changed although his statement after being DQ'd in the US Open does cause me to have doubts.
 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
A lot of you guys confuse arrogance with self confidence. Neither of the Big3 is arrogant. All of them just know how good they are.

I think you would understand if you are really great at something in life.
Nadal:
"I have doubts, I still have doubts, all my career I have doubts, but that's in my opinion a good thing," Nadal added, calling those without them either "stupid" or "arrogant."

Nadal's confessions are no false modesty.

"I truly believe he has convinced himself of that," says Tennis Channel commentator Justin Gimelstob. "He benefits in a way most people don't see or know by backing himself into a corner and fighting himself out."

 

demrle

Professional
Now that's beyond ridiculous and totally far fetched...
Before I write my 10-page rebuttal ;), could you tell me just two more things. First, how's your knowledge of Brady, you never told me? But more importantly, what's our working definition of "ego" in this context? Your answer just might render our whole argument futile.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
To be in the optimal mindset to win a lot, sports psychologists will tell you that you have to feel the confidence to believe that you are either a better player than your opponent or at least that you are playing better in a particular match to deserve to win. If your mind doesn’t believe that you deserve to win a match, you will likely choke at crucial moments in a match - you see this many times with lower ranked players when they are on the verge of a big upset. They cannot hit that final shot needed to get the break in the deciding set or to win a tiebreaker.

I think the Big 3 all believe they should beat all other lower-seeded players all the time which is why they are so hard to upset in early rounds. Nadal believes he should always win on clay and Djokovic seems to believe he should beat even Fedal on grass and slow hard courts also. On fast hard courts, Federer might have the most confidence even when he plays Djokovic.

At the same time to get optimal performance, you don’t want to be so overconfident that you don’t feel like you have to try your best to beat your opponent. I think Federer and Djokovic are prone to this sometimes in matches and can lose a set here and there to lesser opponents when they should have an easier win. Nadal is very disciplined about not getting overconfident and that’s why he stays intense and makes lesser opponents battle for every game and set much harder than the other two. I think Nadal sounds more humble sometimes before matches as he is more conscious about the dangers of overconfidence and tries his best to be confident without crossing the threshold into feeling too much confidence. I think Djokovic is also more emotional than the other two and is more prone to ups and downs during a match than the other two.

There‘s a fine line between confidence and arrogance and they all try their best to not cross it, but find it hardest to do so after losses or during tough matches. Federer was more publicly arrogant during his peak years, but years of mostly losing to his two rivals in the last decade has knocked that arrogance out of him. Unfortunately, it seems to have knocked the confidence out of him to win against Djokovic in big matches too.
 
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