28 January 2007

Federer Still the Undisputed Master

Signs seen at Australian Open:

"Roger Federer: Swiss Quality"
"Shhh! Genius at Work!"
"Federer is betterer"

There is nothing for me to say that hasn't been said. Federer is truly the master. In Europe they call him "The Maestro." What accolades can one really add about someone who has separated himself from his peers by so much that he is revered by forebearers, competitors, fans and commentators?

How big is the separation between Federer and everybody else? This much. Federer has accumulated so many points that he can skip a Grand Slam completely and still remain no.1.

One of the things I haven't heard anyone point out about the Roddick-Federer rivalry is how well Roddick plays in their big matches. Roddick played as well as anyone has ever played in the 2004 & 2005 Wimbledon finals. And he still got beaten. And he played fantastic in last year's U.S. Open final. Still got beaten. And he played fantastic in this years Aussie semi. Still got beaten (crushingly).

I'm not a fan of Roddick's attitude, but I do like the way he gets right back on the horse. You gotta give the guy credit for coming back time after time despite crushing defeats.

And how about Fernando Gonzalez (who will wake up tomorrow as the world's no.5)? I like this guy. He's definitely an upgrade from the last guy Chile sent us. He's clearly got his game in top gear and I hope we see more great matches from him.

And now here are my 2 Roger Federer stories, since I'm thinking about it:

The first time I saw him on TV was the 2000 U.S. Open. I was watching with my dad and we were lamenting the twilight of Pete Sampras' career because he was the last of the on-court artitsts. My dad went out of the room while the network switched between various matches.

One of the matches was an 18-yr old Roger Federer. I saw a few points and called my dad back into the room. I insisted he watch because the days of fluid, artistic tennis were numbered. This guy plays great but he won't go anywhere, I told my dad.

The second time I saw him was in 2002 when I went to the actual U.S. Open with a friend. I told her we had to go to the grandstand court because she had to see this guy named Roger Federer who was my new favorite player. He lost that match to Max Mirnyi, who was playing out of his mind.

But the cool part was when I whispered to my friend after a missed first serve, "Good time for an offspeed out wide." And that's exactly what Federer hit, right in front of us.

So I like to tell myself that Roger Federer and I have the same tennis mind, if not quite the same game.


Michelle Fry said...

Rodger or is it Roger? Anyway, Federer is absolutely amazing.

Tony G. said...

Where ever you go, whoever you are always bare in mind sports supplies tennis is best for you.

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