The Odd Couple

Photo by AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB

Photo by AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB

patzin sent in a short interview with Jon Wertheim.

Q: Back to the men’s game. We all know the differences between the style of tennis of Federer and Nadal. What is the biggest difference in them as people?

A: It’s interesting. In some ways they’re incredibly different. I joke that Federer is 27 going on 47. Nadal is 23 and acts his age, as evidenced by the hours he sacrifices before the mighty altar of Nintendo. Federer endorses Netjets. Nadal often flies coach. Federer puts on his Prada — sometimes handpicked for him by Anna Wintour — and dines at the finest joints in town. Nadal puts on a T-shirt and cooks for himself or orders room service.

Q: The biggest similarity?

A: Their “Sports Belief System” is very similar. They both comport themselves similarly and have overlapping senses of what is and isn’t cool. They both value humility; they both are careful not to stoke fires by doing anything or saying outrageous; they both have an inherent distrust of b.s. I suspect that if they were college roommates, they’d get along fine. Provided Nadal cleaned his half of the room every once in a while.

I suddenly had this mental image of Rafa, headphones on, bag of chips in one hand, PlayStation controller in the other, bouncing around the room singing loudly, and leaving a trail of crumbs as he goes along while Fed sits on a dignified rocking chair, wearing a cardigan, legs crossed and studying the latest issue of Vouge while slowly shaking his head and thinking, “I am not cleaning up that mess….again.” When they retire, they can star in a new version of the US sitcom The Odd Couple.

24 Responses

  1. sia says:

    I think I’d like it if all Rafa’s Spanish buddies came crowding in one on top of each other noisy, joyful ; Fed couldn’t help himself he’d have to join in.

  2. loverafa4ever says:

    It wud have been really xiting if these guys wr roommates… and everything thats been said is definitely true coz I can imagine Roger wearing Prada but I cannot imagine our Rafa wearing or bothering to wear any of these big brands. He might if he really really needs to.

  3. patzin says:

    Miri- I love your commentary. Funny – I laughed @ “I’m not cleaning up that mess again”. I liked the comment by Wertheim that Roger was 27 going on 47 – I always thought Roger looked or maybe acted much older than his “years”. Rafa is still a kid at heart. Yes, an odd couple.

  4. CC says:

    *lol* at your description, miri! I can definitely see that one too.

    I don’t mind people wearing expensive clothes, heck, I would probably live on Bond Street in London if I had Federer’s money to spend. Actually no, I’d like to think that I’d still buy H&M most of the time, anyway.

    “Provided Nadal cleaned his half of the room every once in a while.” Heh…

  5. nic says:

    haha what a funny image of them as roomies. totally made me laugh. yeah, if rafa’s spanish pals crashed the room with rog in there, i’m sure eventually rog would have to join in and become one of the boys. would be really funny to think of them all getting along. as for wearing expensive clothes, rafa wears them too when the occasion calls for it, difference is that he doesn’t actively seek out expensive and fashionable brands, but he cares about how he looks. like he said most spanish guys do. and also, hugo boss sponsors rafa’s ‘proper’ attire, which suits him to a tee. all the nice suits, sweaters, even the jeans that he wore taking the AO trophy pics in were boss. and they make him look real nice! except that white jacket in monte carlo though. yikes, forget i mentioned that one. back to gorgeous rafa thoughts :)

  6. Atch2 says:

    I’d really like to see them play doubles together. Rafa has said he’d like to do that with Fed a lot of times now. But as roommates, I don’t see than lasting. Very different personalities and generation. Can’t picture Fed fishing or playing beach volleyball and never seen him golf with Tiger. And can’t see Rafa reading Vogue for fun either.

  7. Debbie says:

    Love your comment Miri-I can totally see that! ROFL. Hee.

  8. natch says:

    “When they retire, they can star in a new version of the US sitcom The Odd Couple.”
    Da da da da da daaaaaaa da da daa da da daa da…

    You left out Fed’s pipe and velvet slippers.

    • Atch2 says:

      Rafa could ask Fed’s butler to help with clean his mess. Or ask Mama Nadal to come round to tell Rafa to do it.

      • natch says:

        Rafa would have Ferrer, Verdasco, Lopez and Uncle Toni over for poker night. Roger would walk around the table with a push broom, yelling at them to use napkins instead of the curtains.

    • miri says:

      You left out Fed’s pipe and velvet slippers.

      True dat. But I was distracted by Rafa dancing around in just his undies. Oh, did I forget to mention that in the post?

      • natch says:

        Yes! Rafa in his jockeys sitting on the couch, crumbs on his chest, scratching himself, belching. Roger yells about his greasy fingers on the remote. In the kitchen, baby Federer wails in his highchair. Mirka sits next to Rafa on the couch (who wouldn’t?!) Blackberrying, oblivious to the cries…from Roger. ;)

        Honestly, I think this new show has potential!

        • CC says:

          And when fame definitely goes to Roger’s head and he and Mirka decides to do a John and Yoko, barricading themselves in their bed, recording a new version of Michael Jackson’s Heal the world (as a tribute from one great to the other, of course), Rafa will be left to look after baby Federer.

          Yep, I can see this happening.

  9. Atch2 says:

    And when he and Xisca come back from the beach, they’ll leave a sand trail, drop their wet towels in the middle of the room and disappear into a corner of the room. Fed will have to pretend to ignore their noises.

    • natch says:

      …while Mirka runs over to watch and photograph.

      Srsly, when does this show debut? I wanna set my DVR.

  10. faecoleman says:

    Mirka has also commented on Rogers lack of tidyness!!! ee ain’t that perfect…! love Rafa for the way he is though, who needs prim and proper men anyway?? Rafa’s a normal 23 year old and thats just how he should be, people are always saying how nice it is that he has remained down to earth and just Rafa’… I would love to see these two play doubles, they probably will when they aren’t competing @ this level like in later years, even for fun it would be gr8 to see!

  11. Atch2 says:

    Thanks Miri. Really hving great laughs fm this. Helps when we r all missg Rafa.

  12. loverafa4ever says:

    This picture looks recent. Does anybody know when this was taken? wat occasion? Was it from Launch ATP World Tour 2009?

  13. Atch2 says:

    Their parties would be great. Fed could invite Gwen Stefani. Rafa could invite Shakira.

  14. sia says:

    I don’t think Rafa’s gonna get a gilette commercial anytime soon.