A long, unnamed post about Federer
August 8, 2011 Leave a comment
First of all, I will start this post wishing a happy 30th birthday to the man who is the subject of it. So, Happy Birthday, Roger Federer!
Though I’m not a fan of how he obliterated the men’s circuit, replacing every name with his on the table of records, and though I may not be able to forgive him for the H2Hs against my faves (that’s bullying, I tell ya), even after we start burning in that big barbecue of the Judgment Day, I’m an admirer of Federer’s style. I can recognize a natural-talented dude when I see one, and there are no arguments to exclude Rog off this list.
Second of all, well, the post itself, right.
30 is the new 29, right? And 2011 is the new 2010? It seems so. I had the idea for this post… well, I can’t remember it either. But I did. And I forgot about it, but I’m glad it hit me again in time.
For those who still don’t get me: As Federer sits on his presidential suite in Canada, eating a piece of cake with Mirka and the Twins, calmly waiting as Chela and Pospisil kill themselves for the opportunity of ‘challenging’ (none of them is likely to be an actual challenge) him, a déjà-vu feeling might strike him. Or not.
Last year, the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank marked Federer’s, say, ‘renaissance’. Not that he was beaten down and stuff, hell, no – he had won his 16th Grand Slam trophy in Melbourne and was the third best-ranked male, BUT the rest of the season hadn’t been that fair – for Roger Federer standards.
In 2010, he had had surprise losses, post-Aussie, to Baghdatis (IW 3rd Round), Berdych (Miami R16), Gulbis (Rome opener) and Montañes (Estoril semifinals) before showing some form again and reaching Madrid final – where, as the defending champion, lost to… well, it’s a clay tournament. Go figure.
Finally, the three tournaments that dropped our jaws: for the first time in six years, at the very same French Open he had lost to Guga, Federer, in a rain-delayed quarterfinal, failed to reach a Major semifinal again – four set loss to Söderling. Next, in Halle, a runner-up finish to someone whom he hadn’t lost to in AGES: Lleyton Hewitt. The cherry on the top of the cake, Wimbledon, seven consecutive finals and six titles. And an inspired Tomas Berdych, on a surprise run, taking him out. Summing it up, Roger Federer’s 2010 record until Wimbledon: 31-9.
This post might lack proportion. I might have gotten a little bit overexcited there, but if you want to check Federer’s 2010 season, click here. Thing is, starting in Toronto, Roger compiled a 35-4 record, winning four other titles, losing two finals and making the semifinals at the other events; he also kept this semifinal streak until this year’s Monte Carlo edition, when lost to Jurgen Melzer in the quarterfinals.
I hate math but not that much. A 39-9 record until The Championships gives one point to 2011 Federer against the 2010 Federer. I know² the fact this record would be way better hadn’t he played a streaking Djokovic or Nadal a combined five (five?) times this year. But essentially, the numbers are the same: one title, two finals. He’s down to #3 in the world – with a way bigger disadvantage than in 2010.
But here we are, in Canada again. Another birthday for the record-holder of Grand Slam titles. And even though he is still there, everything seems to be about Djokovic and Nadal these days – credit to be given, they’re dominating the land – and, well, isn’t he supposed to age? Yes, he is. And he will – there’s no escape for that, even if you are The Swiss. Still, it’s plain stupidity to rule Federer out of any single event he enters.
It might 2010 all over again – even the quarterfinal loss at SW19 to the world #17 is there –, and he might be one year older. But as he has nothing left to proof – only the history left behind, of records sought, defied and broken and the will to keep playing and chasing perhaps the only record that is left – you can’t just forget everything and start believing he’s gone, just like that, overnight. I repeat: it might be his 2010 all over again – and we all know how it ended.
The US Open, people…
If you are expecting some sort of video tribute here, go home, kid. You can’t say ‘Federer winning’ without ‘Roddick losing’. Youtube have a lot of material for you. Pete doesn’t