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By Blair Henley / Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Despite the constant presence of his loving family and a team of handlers to rival that of an international pop star, Roger Federer finds time to write in his Italian leather-bound journal.

Photo Credit: Getty

September 3, 2013 – Tuesday
As I slowly come to accept my loss to Tommy Robredo, I am comforted by emails from the many people who love and adore me.
Tiger Woods: Fellow GOAT! I feel bad for you and all, but next time you're losing that bad to a no name, you've got to go down. Go down hard. Faking an injury is the only way to preserve your good name. Take some pointers from my dramatic masterpiece below. Lindsey says I should try out for a Broadway play. What do you think?

Anna Wintour: Dear Roger - I used the public bathroom for you in the slums of Louis Armstrong Stadium, dipping my Louboutin heels in the putrid dampness blanketing the tiled floor. We are forever bonded. So, take this defeat with a stiff upper lip. Botox helps with that, FYI.

Gwen and Gavin: Roggggeeerrr! I just want you to know that Gwen and I are both painting our nails black as we mourn your loss. I’m even considering black lipstick. You should try it. It's a rockin' way to express your emotions.

Jay Z: Yo, RF-eezy! Jigga-man says dust yo shoulders off, boi!!! Not everyone can stay the greatest forever unless your name is HOV! But jeah, I get it. I just captivate millions on a stage. You actually have to run around and stuff. Keep that dome up, brotha. And always remember, Cristal makes everything better.

Stan Wawrinka: My friend, I admit that when I first saw the score in your match with Tommy, I was saying to myself, “What the f***?” Now that I understand what has happened, I realize that this is my opportunity to be a f***ing star at the U.S. Open. I will take your gift and use it wisely.

September 5, 2013 – Thursday
No More Tears. It is the name on my daughters’ shampoo bottle, but it is also the way that I feel today.  It is time to move on. To prove it, I watched Rafa Nadal, the King of Clay and also of the Hard Courts, destroy the man who destroyed me. As I watched him play, I noticed something curious. He was using two king-size white towels just like those that went missing from my pool house earlier this summer. I inched closer to my 97-inch television and could see the golden RF logo sewn into the corner. Mystery solved.

September 6, 2013 – Friday
I have finally arrived back at home. My 8,000 thread count sheets welcomed me, as did the woodsy aroma of our solid mahogany floors. In an effort to lift my spirits, Mirka arranged for a gold leaf facial and a keratin treatment for my ever-lengthening locks. I appreciated her efforts, but I needed something better than golden cucumber eye covers to divert my focus. I imported a Chinese professor to teach me Mandarin before I travel to Shanghai for my next tournament. Given my track record, I imagine that three weeks should be long enough to achieve fluency.

After my first Mandarin lesson, Myla and Charlene begged me to go out to the backyard and make s’mores with them in our fire pit. I obliged, if only to get rid of our backlog of Lindt chocolate. I roasted the first mallow, expecting that sweet smell of incinerated sugar to transport me worlds away from my identity as a tennis player. But the first thing I thought of when I looked at that perfectly uniform golden brown exterior was my friend, Rafa Nadal. I realized after biting into the s’more that Rafa, too, has a warm interior; a heart made, quite possibly, of gold.

Ok, so maybe I’m not over it. To be completely honest, dear Diary, I’m feeling gloomier than I did after Mr. Andy Murray put Elmer’s glue in my shampoo bottle as a practical joke. Or when our housekeeper washed my favorite pink bandana in a load of Wimbledon whites.  Or when Mirka said we might need to cut my hairstylist from my entourage due to a decrease in prize money. Or when someone on the streets of New York asked me if I was Quentin Tarantino.

It can only go up from here, right?

September 8, 2013 - Sunday
Good news! It has now been six days since my defeat, and after spending some quality time in my Wimbledon grass garden, I’m feeling much better. You can’t help but smile when you feel those tiny blades tickling your toes.

I drifted off to sleep on that soft greenery only to be awakened by the mellifluous notes of our human doorbell. Why have generic chimes when you can hire a professional to appropriately announce a presence at your front door? When he started belting out Ricky Martin’s Shake Your Bon Bon in his distinctive baritone, I knew instantly: My friend Rafa had sent a gift basket. I read the card first.

Dear Maestro,
It has been many days since I see your face, no?  You lose, and I am very, very sad. This is the reason why I send you a canasta of many gifts. At the time this arrives to you, I will be preparing myself to make Nole very, very sad with spins that cannot be understood by mortal persons, yes? Enjoy the things I send, my friend. Also, remember that there is no Rafa without RF.

The King of Clay and also of the Hard Courts

Inside I found Rafa’s lucky underwear (he said he thought I needed them more than he did), and a gift card to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. My Spanish friend must have realized that I had seen his pilfered towels on television and felt they could be replaced at that mecca of household textiles and gadgets. Also included was a veritable cornucopia of fruits and vegetables. Though no explanation was given, Rafa knows my tendency to stress eat in times of trouble. Point taken, my friend. Point taken.

September 9, 2013 – Monday
Tonight, Rafa capped off a comeback more mind boggling than Serena’s Nike dress or Vika’s sweat stains.  At the same time, I discovered a new sporting event in which I cannot lose: staring contests. I’m currently 10-0 against both Myla and Charlene, ha! There is hope for me yet! Bring it on, Shanghai.

To read previous entries in Roger's diary, see here, here, and here.

Blair Henley is a tennis writer and a proud owner of a one-handed backhand. That, and her silky locks, are all she has in common with Roger Federer. Follow her on Twitter: @BlairHenley  


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