Every once in a while, a tennis journalist out there feels the need to write a piece singing praises of Federer for no apparent reason, other than to generate incoming traffic from RF.com.
So it appears that Pete Bodo has decided to use some of his quota for Fed-lovin’ today and wax poetic about Federer, as the “anti-special”.
Great players are supposed to be complicated, a la John McEnroe or Martina Navratilova. Or detached and inward-turned, a la Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, or Bjorn Borg. Roger Federer is simultaneously uncomplicated and outward-turning, a deadly anti-special combination. Roger Federer is regular. When it comes to filling out that line on the job application, he writes “champion” and then goes and sits down with all the others to await his turn to be called. What makes Federer special is that he’s anti-special.
The “anti-special”. I’m not sure if I agree with the prefix, but it’s a nice, inoffensive piece that praises the Fed for being a balanced human being. Nothing we haven’t heard of before. Except for perhaps this part:
A part of me would prefer to see Djokovic win this semi, to spare us another version of a spectacle that has become somewhat disheartening—the sight of Nadal beating the tar out of Federer in yet another French Open final. I’m just being honest here, and of course we all know that anything can happen. But it probably won’t.
Source: Pete Bodo, tennis.com
This has been annoying me for some time, and it comes as much from fans as it does from the media in general.
This incessantly pessimistic, cynical and resigned attitude that Roland Garros is simply a ceremonious march to the trophy for Nadal, and that everyone else should just piss off and concentrate on bigger and better things, like Womblyton.
Roland Garros may very well be a walk in the park for Rafa. Come Sunday this weekend, it is far more likely than not that Rafa will be the person sinking his fangs into the Coupe des Mousquetaires.
But the point of tennis is not to give up simply because your opponent is the overwhelming favourite, or to turn your back on a tournament when the odds are stacked against you. I’d rather see Federer/Novak fight and fail, than to have never fought at all.
So grow a backbone tennis fans. There is plenty of tennis still to be played.