You're #1 .. Are you Arrogant or Demure ?

LendlFan

Semi-Pro
Much has been discussed about Rodger Federer's arrogance and swagger since he's become number one in the World. I, for one, haven't seen it to the degree that would put him in the *hole category. I, personally believe if you are great enough to become #1 and maintain that status such as Rodger has, you have earned the right to strut your stuff so to speak.

To display a level of confidence when you walk onto a court is part of your arsenal of weapons. Steffi Graf could count on a number of games during a match simply because of who she was. Many young girls would have actual fear at facing Steffi. I remember reading or listening to Mary Carillo state that in the Player's Lounge prior to a match, Steffi would typically place herself in a corner and read a book or fan mail, whereas the other girls would interact with each other but were afriad to approach her.

There's nothing wrong with carrying yourself in a manner that exudes confidence.

I'm Top Dog and you'd better bring serious game if you think you're gonna take me down
 

GotGame?

Rookie
I think Federer is more 'confident' than Steffi was, but he definitely is not going overboard, and we may call him arrogant according to the American culture, but I don't believe so.

Both players have that confidence as another weapon IMO, and it is no where close to that of Andrea Jaeger or 'The Lone Wolf', Pancho Gonzalez.
 

Cavaleer

Semi-Pro
I think Federer is rather understated actually, and he carries his confidence very well on and off court. I actually find it refreshing in a sport that's usually so self-deprecating. How many times do you hear pros say, "I'm going to do this" or something like that? They usually say, "Well, I'll just try hard and hope for the best."

But much of this has to do with one's personality and the rest has to do with the sport. For example, in contact and collision sports like boxing, football, and basketball, overt bravado and expressions of confidence and even arrogance fit much better than in non-contact sports like baseball, cycling, swimming etc. There are exceptions, obviously, like Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth, but they prove the rule to some degree. Even Barry Bonds is mild compare to athletes in collision sports.

I'm not sure why this is but as a multi-sport athlete I've observed the phenomenon and only recently considered it.

Someone could come along in tennis who is terribly confident but expresses it in a way that's both clear and understated, like the way Larry Bird trash-talked. Instead of talking on court during play, Bird would talk before the game to opponents in a very conversational manner. He'd say things like, "Yeah, I'm feeling like a 35 point night tonight? What about you?"
 

ATXtennisaddict

Hall of Fame
A lot of the pros like Federer because he's a nice guy.

I don't know where all you ppl are getting the "cocky" part from. He's more confident than cocky.
 

Shyyre

Rookie
this was discussed before... and i'll repeat what i said then... roger speaks excellent english, but it isn't his first language. sometimes things are simply lost in translation. after he beat roddick in cincy before the open he said something to the effect that he always enjoys playing andy and "not just because i win all the time." andy let out a laugh of disbelief and the crowd almost booed. people got really upset on this forum about it saying how arrogant he was... but if you step back and actually listen to what he said, it was a compliment that simlpy came out wrong and was therefore taken the wrong way.

i think that roger is a credit to our sport, and sports in general (i'm thinking off the crap showboatingand trashtalking that goes into those collision sports previously mentioned). he's FAR better with the media and general public relations than sampras was, and while he may retrain himself most of the time on the court, it's naive to think that he doesn't get fired up. the only reason we don't hear his shouts of come'on is beacuse usually for him to do that he hit such a brilliant shot that the crowd noise drowned it out (i'm thinking of several points at wimbledon in particular, and that crowd really isn't that big).

oh yeah, and he's probably (notice i'm saying probably) going to be the best player of all time. he's earned the right to be a coky arrogant *****... but he's not. he's realistic in the things that he says (ie us open final trophy presentation where he said he always pulls his best tennis out during finals... gain the crowd got pissy, but come on already, christ he's 24 for 24 this year... yeah i thinkt hat's a fair assesment that you're probably playing pretty well if that's all you have to say.)

roger's great, and we all need to hope for 2 things... that SOMEONE will finally come out and pressure him a little better and set up a rivalry (as it is it's a race for second... don't get mad, im' just being realistic) and that he stays healthy for a long time so we can enjoy him.
 

LendlFan

Semi-Pro
To be gracious in victory or defeat is relavent to a contestent's overall personality. Was it Venus that laid claim to her defeat at the USO that she only lost because Kim played so badly? Where in the World did that come from?

Agassi is probably the best at giving his opponents props win or lose. He never makes statements that his ability is greater and/or he only lost because he wasn't feeling good, this or that with reference that his opponent had little to do with his loss.

Even when Andre fully expects to win, he will say something like "Oh yeah, I mean this guy is tough and I have to take him seriously because (whomever) has been playing awesome tennis". I recall Andre saying countless times that when you get into the 2nd week of a Slam, you're playing good ball and he has to be at his best if he's going to have a chance.

It appears to me of all current or former #1s the Williams Sisters were the most arrogant about their position. And I agree about the statement that many words translated in English gets mis-understood. I would never take Federer as a arrogant guy and I also agree that we're probably only seeing the beginning of his accomplishments.

If you're at 50% and Andre Agassi is in your face with everything he's got and still not beating you, you can walk away from that thinking you're pretty good at what you do. You better not say unless someone steps up, the current state of affairs is not good enough to send you home. Maybe people don't want to hear that but maybe if it were said, we'd get better matches against Rodger because from #2 down, they would start working that much harder to knock him down.
 
Top