Biggest fears of Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Serena and Murray
Rafael Nadal might be known as the Charging Bull of Tennis and Roger Federer could be the Darth Federer in lieu of Darth Vader, the ruthless cyborg in the Star Wars series akin to Federer’s brilliance on the court. Stan Wawrinka is a Stanimal with his overpowering display on a court, keeping him on top of the tennis kingdom. But in reality all of them are very much like us. They live a normal life outside of the tennis court, share the same bond with their parents, relatives, better halves, partners and friends and fear the same things. Well, almost?
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, in which the individual suffers from a heightened, almost irrational fear of an object or a situation. The sufferer goes to great lengths in avoiding such situations or objects and sometimes their fear is so completely exaggerated in comparison to the actual threat posed. It is surprising yet an inconvenient truth that the players, who display absolutely no fear even in the time of stiff competition from world class opponents on centre stage, fear the smallest of, harmless of objects that seem absolutely trivial in comparison to the person standing on the other end of the baseline.
Here are some of the top-notch players and their weaknesses ranging from phobias to fears revealed:
The World No. 1 on the ATP circuit, Rafael Nadal fears no one. Not Novak Djokovic – the Serbinator, not Roger Federer – the man standing in front of the Spaniard’s dream of holding a record number of Grand Slam titles, nor Stan Wawrinka or Andy Murray. The Majorcan surprisingly fears a lot of other things. His list of multiple phobias includes:
Astraphobia – fear of thunder
Cynophobia- fear of dogs
Thalassophobia – fear of the ocean
Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
Corcoranophobia – fear of helicopters
Cyclophobia – fear of cycles
Motorcyclophobia – fear of motorbikes
Achluophobia – fear of the dark
“I am afraid of a lot of things,” Rafa admits. “A dog. I could be afraid of a dog that’s upset, for example.” “I hate spiders,” Rafa once blogged on The Times website during the Australian Open. In an interview with Vogue magazine, he once stated, “Being home alone at night makes me a bit nervous. If I am at home I have to sleep on the sofa. I can’t face going to bed. I’m there with the TV on and all the lights on. I’m not very brave about anything in life. In tennis, yes. In everything else, not very.”
Rafa’s fears were actually exploited by his former coach Toni Nadal. Toni told his nephew that if he did not focus 100% on his game, he would incur the wrath of the Thunder Gods. This worked every time for the tireless coach who has coached this man to perfection.
The Great Man and the father of 2 pairs of twins, Roger Federer, as will now be revealed, is human after all. Federer is terrified of spiders, snakes, parachuting and roller coaster rides. “I’m afraid of the idea of parachuting into an empty space. And then I’m scared of snakes and spiders.” “A lot of things frighten me,” disclosed Federer. “Spiders I could do without. In fact, there are plenty of pests I can do without.” “Also, when I was at Disney World with my kids, for example, I was glad I only had to go on the little roller coasters and not the big ones. I don’t think I could stomach that. Sky diving, bungee jumping, no way, not for me.”
Serena Williams hates flying. “I don’t like it. If there’s turbulence, my heart just stops. I always pray before a flight. I just leave it up to that and try to be as relaxed as I can.”
Andy Murray too claims he is not a fan of takeoffs. 12-time Major winner Novak Djokovic has a serious side too. His biggest fear is the fear of losing loved ones, much like everybody else. “Perhaps my biggest fear is the fear of losing loved ones. I cannot really say it’s a fear, but I feel at unease when I think of it,” Nole said in an interview once.