In a press conference after his quarter final victory in Miami, Roger Federer, former world no 2, insisted that he’s always shown grace in victory.
“I have always been gracious in victory”, he said, answering questions about his inability to handle defeats.
“Lot of people forget that crucial part. Most tennis players cannot control their emotions when they win, and make their opponents feel bad by their extravagant display of pleasure. I never do that. I cry even when I win. That way, my opponent who has lost the match cannot cry. If Rafa had cried after winning that Wimbledon title, I would have felt better about my defeat. But I guess you got to live with that in competitive tennis. Not everyone will be gracious in victory”
But isn’t crying a little extreme a reaction to defeat?
“Normally, yes. But here we are talking about the GOAT and all that. How many in the world qualify for that title? Just me, right? So only I know what a defeat feels like for GOAT. For non-GOAT kind of players, defeat is not that painful, guess. I don’t know. I’ve never been one. They’d take defeat any day, I’m told. They’re prepared for that. But being a GOAT and all that puts a lot of emotional strain on me, you know, and it sometimes shows when I lose. It’s lonely at the top, you know, even when you’re winning, you know, as I am. So think about how it must be feeling when you’re on top, and losing”