Monday, 6 July 2009

2Hander's Take: Party over...?!

Well, he did it! That's it! And I can say without conjuring up any real sense of emotion. No goosebumps, no nothing. Basically, it all seemed like a bit of an anti-climax for me. Allow me to further elucidate...

The match, and what a match it was, lived beyond all my expectations. The tension and drama in many ways outdid last year's epic. Last year's would still have to be classed above this year's because although both were full of end-to-end stuff, the intense, spellbinding tennis of last year was unsurpassable. The theme of this year's final was 'the serve'. In many ways it was a bit Goran V Goran but there were still many high quality rallies.

The first set was neck and neck until Roddick, once again, got a cheeky break right at the end. The second set, same story until Roddick choked in the tie-break from leading 6-2. So much for his tie-break record so far this year. In the third, one felt that the momentum was more with Fed and that a break would come, Roddick would then lose all will to live and throw away the fourth - not to be! It was deadlocked to another breaker which Federer once again took. In fact, he broke Fed in the fourth and went on to take the set 6-3, forcing a decider...which you all know about.

So, the irony was not only that Federer broke Roddick in the final game of the whole match, but also the fact that that was the first clear set he's taken in a Wimby final for 2 years...

Another thing, the man I used to call Captain Caveman (because all he had was that serve and a powerful forehand!) has now become fully civilised. In fact, the caveman has (allegorically) got rid of his facial hair, styled his hair, moved out of the cave into a mansion, wears a suit and drives a Rolls Royce! Andrew Stephen Roddick (yes, I was sad enough to look up his middle name!!), you are a good good player! You have taken tenacity and determination to some next level! That backhand which was a liability is all but a distant memory. It's almost becoming a weapon.

I also said your game lacked depth, au contraire, mon ami. I don't know how you controlled those drop half-volleys ESPECIALLY with a Pure Drive that has extra lead tape to make it more head heavy!!

Furthermore, our American friend was gracious in defeat, he didn't overpraise Federer and once again showed himself as a great sportsman. I hate to sound cliched, but if there was ever a way we could have joint champions, he'd be there with him, side by side.

So, A.S. Roddick, I take back every negative thing I said about you and I am sorry. I demand we all take our hats off to him, if you don't have a hat, go out, buy one and take it off for him! Got it? Good...

Federer, on the other hand, I was a tad disappointed with. The relative lack of emotion was understandable, he was probably mentally and physically exhausted. For starters, the comment about how he came back after defeat as words of consolement and encouragement went out of the window after choosing to mention that he already had 5 Wimbledon titles when he lost last year! Then the jacket with the '15' on it was amazingly crass! Do Nike stipulate that players have to wear pretentious stuff ONLY at Wimbledon?! Drop the blazer, drop the military jacket, drop the idea of a trenchcoat next year etc...

However, I must congratulate Ye Olde Fed on a fantastic achievement. He has carried the sport forward leaps and bounds. Even people who can't stand tennis watch him play and see something special - a genius at work. He makes the game look good. His shots have grace and elegance. He has charisma on and off the court. He quelled the misconception that men's tennis is all about power. When his time came, cometh the hour, cometh the man. So, the GOAT very nearly became a donkey for almost making an ass of himself, but I think I'm over that now!

So, what now? He has achieved pretty much all there is to achieve in tennis. Perhaps a calendar Grand Slam or even four Slams on the trot still eludes him. But is that enough to get him out of bed in the morning? Does he have a few scores to settle with the likes of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray (the latter 2 he actually beat at last year's US Open)? Knowing you are a living legend and the fact that nobody makes any secret of it must be quite difficult to deal with, if not rather strange. Do people still wanna piece of him? We'll hopefully find out in the coming months
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