Roger's Waterworks a Crying Shame for More Stoic Losers

Article excerpt

LET'S get this straight from the get-go: I really like Roger Federer.

I stress this, because it seems no matter what I write, people will always draw their own (often wildly inaccurate) conclusions from my words.

Say, for instance, I argue that I'm angry about SOME losers pouring their Christmas bonus down the mouth of a pokie machine, and letters will flood in attacking me for daring to criticise starving pensioners and war veterans and people who know how to save. Huh? Go figure. Anyway, here's the thing, I like Roger Federer.

I like that he wears shorts which don't require constant de-wedging, feels no need to deck himself out in lime-green tennis accessories or wear his cap backwards, and has a girlfriend who is neither a soapie star or a super-model.

I like that his name is plain old Roger, not A-Fed, and that he never screams "C'mon!" He is also gracious in both victory and defeat, remarkably talented, and bears enough of a passing resemblance to Colin Firth to keep me very happy.

But all that aside, Roger should not have cried after losing the Australian Open championship last Sunday night.

(For those who missed it, Roger was too choked up to speak as the runner-up prize of one million bucks was presented. Instead, he was called back after Rafa had collected the trophy, leaving the winner looking bemused and a little lost on the sidelines.)

Yes, it was a tough moment for Federer.

He was carrying the massive weight of history and expectation on his shoulders.

He wanted - needed - to prove to himself and the world of tennis that he was not a spent force, that he still had another Slam in him, that the rest of the field still has some sort of chance against the physical freak that is Rafael Nadal.

Of course he was disappointed to have come so close. Hell, so were the rest of us.

I shed plenty of tears with him, right after I threw the remote control at the television set in frustration.

Yet while I understood his tears and celebrated the fact that men can now cry in public without censure (even men as strong and tough as Roger), the mother in me was telling him to be a better loser. …