The Federer

Last afternoon, Roger Federer or 'The Federer' (as Marat Safin calls him) won a thrilling five-setter versus Igor Andreev. When he lost to Nadal at Wimbledon it augured the end of the Federer era. That idea is nuts! The guy made it to 12 of the last 13 slam finals. Not even the Pistol Pete managed that, and if I remember correctly not even Rod Laver. Nadal has improved insanely and was impossible to defeat on the French clay. What we all saw at Wimbledon was two players playing at an incredible level that is way above the rest of the crowd. At that level, it's simply a toss-up. Nadal came close last year, but this time Federer couldn't close it.

What is gone was the aura of invincibility. After that, a bunch of players beat Federer. But, the champion is far from done. Since that loss in Wimbledon a different Federer has emerged. Before Federer became tennis's most gentle and elegant ambassadors he was quite a brat. He said that when he was younger he screamed at every point, lost his cool, was negative about lost matches. Then one day sometime after his coach died he decided that he would keep his emotions in check. The world has not seen a more gracious champion. He is elegant both in victory and defeat. The losses in the recent months have released the emotional Federer. It's great to watch him play with that newer intensity. Like he has something to prove.

Nadal on the other hand was always the underdog, but now the Mallorcan Minotaur is facing the pressure of being #1. He has struggled a bit in all the matches at the US Open and he has stated that he is feeling tired. Can you imagine Nadal saying he is tired? I think its more the pressure than fatigue. It's great to be on top but how long can you stay there?

Yesterday, Andreev played some impossible tennis and had Federer back. But, the Fed has some answers. Jim Courier believes that the mononucleosis infection has hit him worse than he lets out and even in bad year like this he made it to 3/3 Grand Slam semifinals. The road to the final and a possible meeting with Nadal could have Djokovic or Roddick in the way for the Fed. I think he is going to get the job done and we are going to some exciting tennis from the greatest.


Andy Murray exposed how tired and weary Nadal is. Yet, to beat Nadal he had to play perfect tennis. His backhand shots were astounding and the strategy to stand 15 feet behind the baseline neutralized the Nadal serve. Even though Nadal had to struggle for his service games, he managed to hold through sheer will power.

To beat Djokovich is no joke. Roger played some of his best tennis in recent months to down Novak.

So, now we have the two greats - Nadal and Federer and then the young Turks who are a shade below - Murray and Djokovich. The rest of the field is way below what they guys can dish out.

Looking forward to the final between the latest British hope and the greatest. I would give Federer the edge and predict that he wins the championship in 4 sets.

No comments: