Thursday, May 19th, 2011
34

'Vogue' Renounces Federer for–Hoo Boy, Near-Naked Djokovic

Vogue editor Anna Wintour pretty much single-handedly created the fame of maybe-yesterday's tennis superstar Roger Federer and now? The front of Vogue's website is plastered with an enormous nearly-naked Novak Djokovic, who is on a 39-game winning streak, likely the best tennis player in the world, certainly the most fascinating man in tennis to watch play right now, and GOOD GRAVY, IS HE EVER REALLY VERY NAKED. (Unfortunately, Vogue went to press before his recent trouncing of Rafael Nadal on clay, but Sports Illustrated has us covered.)

34 Comments / Post A Comment

David Cho (#3)

I mean, I think Roger Federer's fame was due in large part to the fact that he was far and away the best tennis player in the world, moreso than Anna Wintour and Vogue??

freetzy (#7,018)

@David Cho Not just the best in the world, he's the best of all time. And it's not even close, no matter how naked Rafa or Novak get.

@David Cho Nah. His prize money and his bonafide whatnots came from being the best tennis player in the world. His fame in the real world, outside of tennis-land, came from non-sports media attention.

David Cho (#3)

@Choire Sicha He was also sponsored for a lot of stuff, and linked with Tiger, pre-Vogue too…

IBentMyWookie (#133)

@Choire Sicha The endorsements did that much more than Wintour shoving him into the midpages of a winter month issue, though.
Although, I do not care for this gentleman's legs.
And god help us all, is motherfucker wearing a gold chain?

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

As a follower of sports but a non-reader of Vogue, I didn't know Federer had real-world sports-independent fame. But I guess Rolex ads have much more cultural salience than I'm giving them credit for.

freetzy (#7,018)

@IBentMyWookie He's Serbian, so, yes, that's a gold chain.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@freetzy Nonsense. Novak Djokovic is on a tear unprecedented not just in tennis, but in any world-wide played professional sport. Roger Federer never had a comparable streak because he never had to beat "The Fucking Roger Federer" (3 times!) as a part of it not to mention "Nadal on Clay" (2 times). If Novak wins the upcoming Roland Garros, forget Roger Federer – he will enter Alexander the Great territory! And by the way (just in case you can't tell), I'm Serbian too.

jolie (#16)

@IBentMyWookie Agreed on the legs. Woof (and not in the good way).

IBentMyWookie (#133)

@jolie Right? Homeboy is practically bowlegged. I worry about our Choire sometimes.
(And because it needs saying: the "although" in my comment, above, should read "also." IT IS KILLING ME)

@Niko Bellic DEAR NIKO, LET'S "HANG OUT."

David Cho (#3)

@Niko Bellic Novak's streak has been good and unprecedented, but I don't think his play has been better than when Federer was on his tear. I also think the Nadal that Federer had to play against is significantly better than the Nadal or Federer that Novak has had to face.

Bittersweet (#765)

@David Cho: Agree 1000%. Plus Roger never subjected us all that over-the-top mugging.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@David Cho Ha. I'm just happy there is finally a topic I'm an expert on, since I've seen, like almost every significant tennis shot taken in the last 5 years or so! Anyway, Federer has (and has always had) a weak shot: his (one-handed) backhand. This is why he made Nadal look so unbeatable on clay in those years: because Nadal's bread and butter shot is a high-bouncing top-spin forehand (off of his left hand) that comes to that Federer's one-handed backhand which is not suited well for handling those high bouncing balls. Enter Novak Djokovic with not only the best two-handed backhand anyone has ever seen (which can go up the line almost equally well as cross-court) but really with no weak shot at all. Hence: Novak Djokovic has the all-around game that Federer never had. Now, one thing Federer did have that Novak doesn't is a weaker competition, which is why he won most of his matches with greater ease. I mean, how can you say that Nadal of today is not as good as Nadal of, say 2007? That old Nadal could only win at RG. This Nadal won US Open and Wimbledon – last year (and AO the year before). He would have already won 5 Master's titles this year, if it wasn't for Novak (and Australian Open, if he didn't get injured also). So, this Nadal is better than the old one was, and this Nadal is getting his ass kicked on clay by Novak now, which no one could do before. Ok, I'm rambling now… but I hope I got my points across.

David Cho (#3)

@Niko Bellic I'll break this down into a few sections –

Federer Weakness – I agree that Federer's one handed backhand is weaker than his other shots, and he doesn't get the same speed on it, BUT, I think his placement with all of his shots, one handed backhand included, especially at his peak, made him pretty much unbeatable. Also, he sees the ball really well and is more often than not in position to make shots that are in his favor (especially the way he rushes the net or sets someone up). Conversely I always thought what made Nadal so good was the fact his ambidexterity.

Federer vs. Novak – I think Novak's greatest weakness has always been his focus. He gets worked up really well and caught up on bad shots/calls in a way that I think has hurt him in the past. It will be interesting to see how he performs in the major tournaments when there's a lot more pressure and scrutiny on his play, ESPECIALLY with the streak happening. As far as his shots, I agree that his length and backhand are both huge advantages, especially relative to the field, but, I think you are maybe slightly overstating both Novak's strengths and Federer's weaknesses.

The Field – The Nadal we see right now, especially outside of major play, is a one that is on the mend and working his way back to get back to where he was when he won the US Open and Wimbledon. I think his skillset now is definitely much better than where it was at 3 years ago, BUT he's just not healthy and hasn't been healthy for so long, I think he's working his way to being back on the level he was at. I think when all of this is said and done, Nadal's legacy will have suffered the most because he was really sandwiched in between a lot of great players, even moreso than Novak or Roger.

@David Cho I could listen to you two ALL DAY. (Seriously.)

The Novak focus issue seems largely resolved. His gameface at the Ericsson was INSANE. He was on on on. (I also agree with you about Nadal.)

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@David Cho Ha. Yes: Federer's greatest strength has always been the combination of the ability to see the ball well (and see the opponent well) while at the same time being able to hide his move and his direction. This is why when you watch Federer, it's like watching a video-game expert: he always sends his shots where it looks like the best possible place to send them, while fooling the opponents to go the other way. It's just so pretty to watch.

Novak has been able to do two things about that: he is very good at figuring out opponents not just over the course of the match, but over the course of the whole seasons played, and he is willing and able to adjust his own game accordingly. Also, he is an excellent mover, not just because he is fast, but because he can hit aggressive shots on full stretch and off balance (and can slide on hard surface), which makes his side of the court that match smaller. Therefore, he is known as the best defender (yeah, so is Nadal, but in Nadal's case that's almost entirely thanks to speed and stamina). So, if you watch this year's AO semi where Novak took Federer out in straights, you will see how those two things have paid off: Novak was able to read Fed, to get to the right spot in time, and once he was there, to consistently (and stubbornly) send the ball back to Fed's weakness. Meanwhile, Fed stubbornly refused to adjust his game (the best tactic against Novak is to send him softer balls to make him generate his own pace on the ball, and also to draw him to the net – although, I doubt even that really works, anyway, it's not easy to keep up consistently), and just wanted to live and die by his own game – slicing off the backhand, and going for the lines off the forehand. Also: thinking he can really on his great serve placement, which failed to work against Novak – the best serve reader and returner in the game (that all around game really kills ya).

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@David Cho I agree: it remains to be seen how Novak responds to the spotlight at RG (and Wimbledon). Yeah, he's been there before, but under tennis-only lights. This time however, it will be The Awl and Vogue watching too, not just SI and Tennis Magazine. This is why I say: if he comes out victorious through all that at RG he will become really big. Wimbledon is tricky for tennis reasons alone, not to mention everything else. Even though I am a big fan, I don't expect him to win there. Not because he can't do that. Because no human being can! Right?

David Cho (#3)

@Niko Bellic Lol to your last comment. :D

Craig Brownson (#4,257)

@jolie Totally disagree, woof in the other way. Which, these feelings are distressing to me because I've always found him to be such a bratty little monster.

@Craig Brownson Gotta agree with this guy. Niiiiiice (pins)! Also, cast your gaze on pg. 173 and drink in the beauty that is #DAT ASS.

El Matardillo (#586)

Hey, David Cho, I'm happy to see you're getting some of that sweet Bing cash. I google everything with Bing these days.

hman (#53)

I only hope Djokovic doesn't end up wearing tacky personalized/monogrammed jackets to Wimbledon.

keisertroll (#1,117)

@hman I wouldn't mind him wearing one, if only to differentiate himself from 1980's professional plack kicker Novo Bojovic.

(That novo gets old.)

Louis Fyne (#2,066)

@keisertroll Novak's kit is in general fantastically tasteless and dragon-inspired. Take the Serb out of Serbia…

IDKBIBT@twitter (#12,738)

@hman He already wears "Nole" on his Tacchini-clothed posterior.
Check out the stills from Hit for Haiti.

BoHan (#29)

What underwear is he selling? I suppose there's room in my panty drawer.

jolie (#16)

I'm amazed that Choire knew how to navigate to SI.com-slash-didn't burst into flames upon arrival on that particular web property.

Tyler Coates (#451)

All I know is that those muscles above that waistline (WHAT ARE THEY?!?!?!?!?!) really scare me.

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

@Tyler Coates Aaagh it looks like his legs and torso were manufactured separately and snap on and off.

Mark Chu Cheong (#6,137)

Anna Wintour's impact on Fed's fame pales in comparison to say Nike for Jordan/Woods or murder of Orenthal James. More importantly this is the final metaphorical stamp that Fed's reign is officially over, which if you follow tennis has been over for the past couple years. Sure Wintour put Fed in some nice clothes but I always felt uncomfortable and creeped out when she was sitting in his box.

Mark Chu Cheong (#6,137)

@DavidCho Djokovic is the undisputed best player in the game right now but before we unleash the party hats let's see him win at least 2-3 major this year. I agree that his mental fortitude was the missing piece that he has now found and propelled him to the top. In terms of Fed vs. Nadal, I always felt that this was a bad match-up for Fed even when he was at the top of his game. Nadal's ability to
return everything frustrated him and in his mind I felt he came in playing scared against him. Similar to boxing where one guy might be the best in the world against everyone, but there's a southpaw whose style just flummoxes him. Most importantly, this development in the men's game, now has my mother severely depressed and probably clutching her monaco open Federer signed poster with tearsstreaming down her face.

IDKBIBT@twitter (#12,738)

Roger got many features (and a Mens Vogue cover, before they discontinued that mag) and is in the Rolex ad in the front of this month's American Vogue.

Rafa got two features.

Nole got the website (and had to strip down to do it) …

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