OPINION

The New Roger Federer

July 26, 2008
Nishit

Let me start with some facts. Federer has not won a single Grand Slam title this year, he may not even defend his US open title. Heck, Federer has not even won a single Masters series this year. He lost on his favourite turf, Wimbledon, to his arch-nemesis Rafael Nadal. His lead at the top of the ranking will be cut down to sub-300 by end of this week and definitely subsequently will be given to Nadal. He may not be year-end number 1.

Here is my answer: I DON'T CARE!!! Not that the Wimbledon loss did not hurt. Not that after almost 250 weeks Federer will have to give up his #1 ranking wouldn't wrench my heart. This was supposed to be the year where he could potentially have a golden slam (four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold, only achieved by Steffi Graf — men or women), but it has been totally the reverse. A consensus has been reached by fans who have realized that the time has come to accept that their hero is a human. Stupid journalists are getting courageous enough to ask questions like "To some extent, do you agree with Justine Henin's decision to retire at the peak of her career?" only to see Federer red-eyed and replying "Do I agree with that? Not today. Ask me another day. Please don't kill me with questions like this."

In spite of all these points, I am still looking forward to the rest of the year. I will not even say how I have savoured being a Federer fan with not just winning but subtletly and perfection that took the tennis to a new level. I will stay in present. As Monx put it, now is the real time to be a Federer fan. I will no longer be a supporter of man-at-the-top but an underdog. An underdog, whose competition now will not only be with Rafael Nadal but also with the rest of the world. An underdog, whose every victory will not be taken for granted and an underdog, whose win will pump up the adrenaline rather than "yeah.. it was just another victory" For long Rafa fans have enjoyed his dark horse status and Federer fans have faced the questions "oh, so he lost? Is that end of Federer?"

No more my friends! NO MORE! All Rafa fans around me, beware. As wonderful a player as Rafa is, be prepared to face the taunts as he is the number one, while I sit back and see my hero challenging #1. Go Roger!

Nishit Desai is Master of Technology in Computer Science and is currently working as Research Engineer at Bangalore
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The New Roger Federer

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Author: Nishit

 

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#1
Anirudh Vyas
URL
July 26, 2008
10:44 AM

I am a huge Roger fan and i would want to see Roger play for real next year Wimbledon. I personally don't think trophies matter that much, For me if Roger wins French Open next year from Rafa, it'll be good. He's certainly done all the great things that you need to, but here's where you draw the line. People often commit mistake of comparing Roger with Pete, well Roger's game (IMHO) is much much graceful, natural and better than Pete's. The thing that stood apart in Pete from these greats was his NEVER ENDING and incredible hunger to win. It was this hunger that made him win some 7 titles and remember he was in 4th Round for the 8th Wimbledon title when Federer thrashed Pete's hopes. But when i watched that match i liked what Federer was doing on the court; and actually found myself supporting federer more than Pete.

Before Pete, I never liked any of the tennis players except Bjorn Borg (who was off course before my time, but still). Bjorn's style matches Federer's playing style. Both of them have same kind of forehands (with minor differences). I just think that Bjorn was lucky enough not to have someone like Rafa in his time to challenge him, and funny part is that when someone did (i.e. when Bjorn Lost in 1981 from McEnroe) he Quit! I mean, that says a lot about his character doesn't it? The official reason was that he was tired of winning and playing tennis (because at the time he was defending wimbledon for the 6th time and gunning for 6th consecutive title, and also had 5 french opens ...) I don't think it was the reason, IMHO it was the fact that Bjorn didn't like loosing and he realized that he wouldn't be having same kind of dominance over the game once John was there. I am kind of fearful that since Bjorn and Federer have same kind of game, similar looking persona (both are very quiet during their matches, very serene) he will retire soon, because of a similar reason.

That will be a big loss to Tennis. Justin's retirement this year was a shock to me, in many ways she was the Federer of women's tennis and her game was so much similar to Federer's own (single handed backhand, court coverage etc.) and now Federer may be?

I like Nadal, he's a great baseline player, he can be a great grass court player if he continues to play the way he is right now; But its just that i find Federer's game more natural than Nadal's. Had Federer not been there, i would have rooted for Nadal too, but hey! :)
Regards
Vyas, Anirudh

#2
bachchan
URL
July 26, 2008
04:35 PM

roger federer wasting his time and focus in playing exhibition matches with the retired sampras pretty much explains his attitude the past year.IN FACT HE HAS NOT BEEN THE SAME PLAYER since then

#3
bachchan
URL
July 26, 2008
04:36 PM

roger federer wasting his time and focus in playing exhibition matches with the retired sampras pretty much explains his attitude the past year.IN FACT HE HAS NOT BEEN THE SAME PLAYER since then

#4
keerthi chandra
July 27, 2008
10:30 AM

Hi Nishit
That is a very gud blog ...... liked it a lot .... like u I'm also roger's fan n vil continue to be no matter vat ....

#5
Chandra
July 27, 2008
11:56 AM

"Not that the Wimbledon loss did not hurt."

When the devil gets slayed, everybody should be happy!

#6
AlisonBerk
July 28, 2008
09:55 AM

I am not ready to count Federer out. The man is too magnificent and he'd be a fool to quit after a rough year and at his relatively still young age. He needs to dig down and find his drive again...and I know he can and will do it. And after being tested as he was this year, the next victories will be even sweeter just as Sampras' and Agassi's were. I hope Rog talks to his friends Tiger and Pete...two greats who have not always won. But onward they fought. I like Rafa Nadal but there is no one who plays like Federer. Ranked number one or not, Federer is the master and a joy to watch on the court. Tennis would be lesser without him.

#7
Sid
July 28, 2008
04:48 PM

As a devoted Federer worshipper I'm not giving up on him yet! Remember we still have three Masters, Olympics, USO and Masters Cup in the season. Never say never! Who is willing to bet that Federer won't win at least two of those? I'm betting Cinci this week and USO.

Nadal's rise to the top has undoubtedly been awe-inspiring -- he's been wayyyyy overdue for that #1 position. All said and done, possibly a "horrible" year for him and he'll still probably be the 2nd best player in the world? Not so bad, IMO.

#8
Lily
July 30, 2008
08:21 PM

Nishit,
First off, just wanted to thank you for this article. It is the first that I've read all year that isn't filled with doubts about Roger. I personally find it insane that ppl could actually suggest the fact Roger is a lesser player than Rafa. Sure the guy's having the season of his life, but compare Roger's 12 slams to Rafa's 5, that pretty much says it all. I mean Roger Federer is undoubtly the greatest man who has ever picked up a racket. Sure, he's two behind Pete in the slam count, but really, name one other person who has dominated the game like Roger. Borg, McEnroe, and Sampras dominated for like two and half years tops during their careers, but Roger owned tennis for 4, and is still going. And no offense, sure Borg had McEnroe, and Sampras had Agassi, were any of them as tough a rival as Rafa. I bet if any of them had someone like Rafa on the other side of the net all the time, they wouldn't have won half the titles that they did. And to all the people making all the fuss about him losing #1, here's my response. WHO CARES!!! Even he does loose it, he is still the greatest player in tennis history. No one has ever been #1 for as long as Roger has. In fact, the runner-up is Sampras, and Roger's lapped him twice already. And whos to say that even if he does loose it, he won't get it back. I think ppl are forgetting that Roger is still the only all-surface player in the circuit. Djokovic is only as good as the hard court season, while Rafa is pretty much restricted to clay(is it even a doubt that he will hand the Wimbleton trophy back to Roger next year, if not someone else). I mean did all the critics really just think that Rafa was gonna be the new Roger? Come on, get serious, no one has the grace, style, and just that natural born ability that Roger has. In fact I thnk that losing the number one ranking might be a good thing for Roger, I thnk that he's been #1 for so long that I thnk it might be refreshing for him to be #2. It'll give him that extra drive.

Lastly, for all the idiots wanting him to retire and step aside, all I say is, ARE U STUPID?!?!?
how can you possibly even imagine tennis without Roger. Can u imagine how lame the sport will be. Sure Rafa's good, but lets face it, his grunts are no match for Roger's style and grace. A lot of people think that Nadal hits harder shots that Roger, but really its about the same. Its only that Nadal is working really hard for his shots, nd showing it, while Roger, working equally hard, makes it look easy becuase again, of his undeniable grace on the court.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for this article. And, I too will cheering loud and proud as Roger makes his comeback(which, lets face it, he will!)

#9
Chaitanya S
July 31, 2008
08:14 AM

Lily,

"Borg had McEnroe, and Sampras had Agassi, were any of them as tough a rival as Rafa".

As John McEnroe would have responded to this: "you cannot be serious !" :-)

#10
Chandra
July 31, 2008
12:19 PM


Agassi?? Agassi is like some of our cricketers..played long enough to win everything atleast once.....

Our man fed had an easy time...it is a little tough now ....

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