Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You Mean Tennis To Me...


When I see my write up on this blog which I penned on Sunday, February 1, 2009; I wonder how fast things can change, and have changed. It was only Roger’s tears which made me write that piece. Today, while writing this I feel this world is a great leveler. For a split of a second on Feb 1st I thought whether Roger still has it in him. But no one knew that Australian Open final on that day was just the beginning of a new surge in him that is here to stay. French open followed and before that he defeated the Nadal in Madrid Open. Nadal was shocked by Soderling in the French Open 4th round. Nadal is yet to come back to play tennis after that and Federer is yet to lose a match after Madrid Open. Fates turn, they do turn fast. Come Wimbledon, Roger’s home for last 7 years and Britain’s child. But this year Britain was behind Andy (Murray) and he did not disappoint as well. He went till the Semis only to get defeated by the other Andy. This year actually saw the resurgent Roddick in his full flow, regaining what he lost in last 6-7 years. He still cherishes the sweetness of the lone US Open title to his credit. Wimbledon arena is neither new to him nor did he fail here. But the problem for this 2-time finalist here is that he has faced the same man in the two finals he played here and is going to face him again this year.


The man waiting for him in the final was down but surely not out. The Fedex was running each corner of the 19 courts at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club to clinch that title that eluded him last year. The stage was set. So were the players and their game plans. This match was supposed to be a match to create, break and cherish many records. So the lists of celebrity audience also were present with equal numbers. Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Sachin Tendulkar, Russell Crowe, Sir Alex Fergusson were just to name a few. And they did watch a spectacular match. Roddick took the 1st and 4th Set. Federer clinched the 2nd set from 6-2 down in the tie-breaker and reigned in the 3rd. 5th set was going nowhere. Nobody was able to guess who is winning. And there is a reason behind this, the score read 16-14 (as 5th set do not have a tie-breaker). Many legends reminisced classic battle of Borg, Sampras, Connors. Such was the patience of Federer. Such was the determination of Federer.


He was never out of anybody’s mind. People loved to hate him for his consistency. He was hungry. He was up for it. He waited till God said, ‘this one’s is yours chap’.


Now the only thing that is left for him to in this world: to beat Nadal in a slam final. Otherwise he has beaten him on clay before.


Hail King Roger. As Pistol Pete himself conceded, “you are ‘the’ greatest now”. This is your moment, seize it, and cherish it forever.