The New Roger Federer
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!