Monday, July 06, 2009

Gladiators at Center Court

Who thought someone could match Federer in sheer class? Yesterday Federer could only outlast Roddick and not outplay him. Roddick proved to be the better player, with a bigger serve, with fewer errors and all in all in better control of the situation.

Who thought someone could come out with services which turned out to be mysterious even for Federer? The same Federer who could return with ease the bazooka like serves from the 6 foot 10 inches tall Ivo Karlovic in the quarter finals, whose serves used to be a terror for lesser mortals. Given, Roddick's been known mainly for his serves, but then so far we haven’t seen anybody holding those many service games against THE Federer.

Right from the start Roddick was in an elevated state. Everything went his way starting with the toss, and then the first game, first set and so on. It was amazing to see him coming up with big serve after big serve and then following up with volleys which didn’t let Federer come anywhere near a break point. It was amazing to see Federer not being able to convert all five of his advances to the net in the first 2 sets. Too many, far too many for comfort, unforced errors from the champ’s racquet. Federer was clearly tensed from the word go, and it was evident in his game. He could never come out of that all through the match, and he mentioning the word ‘crazy’ multiple times in the post match interview was not at all a coincidence. His head would have been literally spinning on seeing those extraordinary replies, from the spirited American.

Volleys were rare. It was more of a serving competition. Break points were rare too. The very few and far between 15-40 score lines were rapidly cleared with 2 consecutive aces. Aces were the norm. How can somebody continue to send down aces, as if factory generated, even after toiling on the court for a good 4 hours is still a mystery to me. One could always predict an ace and be bang on the prediction no matter which of the two was serving at crucial points. It was bewildering to notice the stats that Federer was ahead with a 1 to 1.5 ratio in terms of the number of aces. It was Roddick who seemed to be sending down all the aces. Or it may be because we are so used to seeing Federer The God that we aren’t amused much when he pulls out one of his routine tricks. 50 aces in a championship final and still not being advantaged because of them speaks volumes about your opponent.

Full points to Federer for coming back from 2-6 down the second set tie breaker. Reminded of his come back from 2 sets down in his French Open match against Tommy Haas. But then these days you can trust Federer to do these magical come backs if the opponent is not Nadal.

Federer has elevated the standards of not just his game, but the competition’s standard too, so much so that his opponents have started becoming too good for himself. He showed the world so many new things which are possible. And now he sees his opponents closely following him on those so far untrodden paths and at times bettering him in emulating his own tricks. May be we can set aside the discussion about the greatest player ever, and admit that this is the player who has raised the standard of the game so much that there is no distinction among the best of this sport any more. Its only about the sides from which they got up from their beds on the given day.

Roddick wished, worked hard, wanted, toiled, played, elevated his game and over all deserved to be the 2009 Wimbledon Men’s single’s champion. But Destiny’s child was around to deprive him of that. This year Federer won because - It was written. If The Architect appeared on the Center Court and uttered the following words to Federer at the end of the match, I wouldn’t have been particularly surprised , as the rest of the events yesterday afternoon were as much real and believable – “Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably, here.”


Mihtun said...

Pleasure to read you !

Mahantesh said...

Nice article man!! But felt sorry for Roddic

skpan said...

I reached late! Nicely written. I somehow felt that if Fedex was not serving first in the last set, Roddick would have won the game.

Vimal Gasper said...

You are tagged...

Belly Surya Candra Orsa said...

Great Blog..!!!! Keep Blogging.... :)