Roger Federer has won 13 more Grand Slams than Ryan Harrison has played in, a fact which didn't stop the 19-year-old American from giving the Swiss tennis great some career advice this week.
Harrison is known for his brash (some would say cocky) attitude on the court. This demeanor sometimes leads to racquet smashing and umpire berating, the former of which occurred during a semifinal loss in Los Angeles on Saturday. When asked about his outbursts, Harrison reminded reporters that Federer used to be known for the same thing during his junior days.
"To be honest with you," Harrison said "Federer, personally, if he had a little more fire, it would help him get back to the top."
He makes a fine point. Critics note that Federer has mellowed in recent years and doesn't seem to live and die with tennis as he once did. Having a wife, twin daughters and a 30th birthday looming will do that to a guy. Maybe if he showed some more passion, he wouldn't be ceding the limelight to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Be that as it may, Harrison can't be the one saying so. He's 19. He just cracked the top 100 for the first time this week. I have condiments in my fridge that are older than his professional tennis career. What can Ryan Harrison possibly teach to Roger Federer about winning? Paul McCartney may not be writing "Yesterday" anymore but that doesn't mean he needs songwriting tips from Ke$ha, you know?
I don't think Harrison meant anything by the remarks and I sort of love his moxie in saying them. We complain that Federer and Djokovic and Nadal don't say anything interesting in press conferences and then bash Harrison when he does? That's hypocritical.
Aim lower though, Ryan. Wait until you get to the top 10 to take shots at legends.