Bad French-to-English translation made it look like Roger Federer called out teammate Stanislas Wawrinka
Switzerland was shutout by the U.S. in the first round of the Davis Cup last weekend 5-0. Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka both lost their singles matches and then lost as a doubles team in four sets. The Associated Press’ recap said that Federer was pointing the finger at Wawrinka for their doubles loss.
Later, speaking in French to Swiss media, Federer appeared less gracious. He claimed not to be too disappointed while pointing a finger at Wawrinka, who slumped back in his chair looking every inch the junior partner in the relationship.
“I played well enough in doubles, but Stanislas not so much,” Federer said, adding that Wawrinka “didn’t have his best match in singles. It’s a shame, because of that defeat we weren’t able to put the U.S under pressure.”
I was shocked to read the story because the comments didn’t sound like something Federer would say. Turns out I was right — it’s not something he said.
According to the Montreal Gazette, Federer described Wawrinka’s play in French as “pas mal,” which translates to “not bad.” Somehow that was translated as bad, and just like that, it looked like Fed was calling out his teammate when he wasn’t.
Fed was pretty upset about the whole mixup.
“I did have a day to sort of recover on Sunday and just weather the press because it was taken completely the wrong way, me blaming Stan. I would never do that and it was just an unfortunate weekend.”