The day Roger Federer couldn’t stop laughing at CNN correspondent’s Spanish phrases has made him an easy target for critics of the network’s coverage of the U.S. Open.
Federer has been the subject of two documentaries in which he is depicted as a laughingstock on the court and off it. One, titled “Fed, What Happens Next?” and produced by CBS Sports, is a candid look at the most compelling athlete on the planet.
“I don’t think Roger’s going to give any interview with a straight face, because he will laugh at everything,” said his longtime friend, tennis journalist Tim Rosaforte. “He hates interviews. He’s a smart guy and a great interview. Just watch his interviews. He’ll make up a whole line on the fly, and you’ll laugh. He’s no different than a lot of other guys.”
But while Federer has made an effort to make light of his struggles with Spanish, his critics are making an issue of his ability to speak, something they believe is a national liability.
Roger Federer plays in the 2013 U.S. Open.
“I think Roger would rather play on ESPN than CNN,” said Andy Roddick, the former U.S. Open champion and author of “One Perfect Day, One Grand Slam.” “I think there are a number of reasons Roger is comfortable with his ability to communicate; it’s his way of communicating. It’s also really his personality. It’s one thing to be comfortable speaking English, and not so comfortable speaking Spanish. But he’s always been very confident in his ability to communicate.”
Rosaforte said he found himself getting tired of hearing criticism of Federer, which seemed to focus on his inability “to speak proper English when he’s on the court,” and wondered if it might be his “overconfidence.”
“But I would have to see him on TV every week and hear him and watch him to know,” Rosaforte said. “There are some of the things that he does where it seems