Federer vs. Osaka, a tale of two reactions

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Roger Federer and Naomi Osaka
Illustration: AP

Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open yesterday, which put the event in a clumsy spot. Federer has solely performed six matches in a yr or so, because of the pandemic and double knee surgical procedure and rehab. After a close to four-hour match within the third spherical the place he actually needed to slog via a tepid efficiency, and that’s being form, Federer didn’t really feel his physique was up for extra and he may set his rehab again. Which is his proper in fact, and the French Open itself launched a really conciliatory assertion.

I’m one of many greatest Fed followers round, and he has to do what’s greatest for himself. Nonetheless, it’s exhausting to not marvel how this was dealt with and the way Naomi Osaka’s makes an attempt to deal with herself have been handled so otherwise. As a result of in case you ask your self what’s the larger offense to the event, the solutions are uncomfortable.

Osaka nonetheless needed to play. She simply didn’t wish to partake in a single side round enjoying. However the event officers misplaced their mud, and she or he felt like she needed to stop to do what’s greatest for everybody. Once more, she needed to play, she’s maybe the largest draw on the ladies’s aspect subsequent to Serena, so wouldn’t it have been higher for the event for her to play and draw greater rankings and possibly promote some further tickets?

Evaluate that to Federer, who principally handled the tourney as a coaching camp for Wimbledon, and withdrew when he didn’t suppose he may sustain. Due to that, Matteo Berrettini will get a walkover, and three days off earlier than his subsequent match, which his opponent received’t have. Fed’s determination impacts the precise construction of the event, which Osaka’s skipping of press conferences wouldn’t have. Once more, Federer can deal with his schedule nevertheless he needs, however the base thought right here isn’t to enter this event merely to knock off ring rust for an additional event down the road.

Which is the larger violation of the spirit of the French Open? Or to go one other means, each of those gamers, two of one of the best within the sport, took steps to take care of themselves. But they weren’t greeted in the identical means. Humorous, that.

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