Federporn Friday: Me, Myself, and Melbourne.

In my random stream of conscious on twitter this week, the topic turned to we became Federer fans. I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but many were still surprised to learn that Dootsie started her entry into tennis cyber fandom as – collective gasp – a Federer hater.

I don’t know how it happened, but when I first came to notice Federer in 2003-04, he inspired nothing but unadulterated dislike in me. I found his image aloof, his ponytail disgusting, his nose offensively large, and his aversion to shaving criminal.

Worst of all, Fed reminded me of another player I never liked during my early years – Pete Sampras. Different decade – the same uninspiring bastard who’s too good at what he does.

Perhaps partly due to my general dislike of Fed, I grew to love Rafa when I first laid my eyes on him at the Australian Open against Lleyton Hewitt. Rafa was exciting, he was expressive, and rather striking in his on-court style. It helped that Rafa kicked Roger’s ass all throughout 2005 and 2006 too, inducing many an evil cackle in me.

With the benefit of hindsight, things may have started to soften with Roger back in 2006 when he blubbered his way through the Australian Open trophy presentation. Somewhere inside me, a little voice said, “hmm, perhaps he’s not the robotic, aloof wanker that you thought he was.”

I thought no more of it, and went about the rest of the year gleefully awaiting his demise at the hands of Rafa.

The real turning point came at the Australian Open 2007. Federer came into the tournament amidst voices of doubt. It’s hilarious to think back on it now – Roger had lost to Andy Roddick in the Kooyong final. It was a windy, hot day, and Federer chose to serve and volley his way through the match so as not to expend too much effort.

Subsequently, Randy made a comment in the media about “the gap closing” between Federer and “the rest”. I suppose he included himself in “the rest”. So when the draws came out with Roddick in Federer’s half, many wondered whether an “upset” was bound to happen.

What happened was nothing short of pornographic genius.

Have you ever watched a match that had you leaping off the couch screaming “OH GET OUT! STOP. SCREWING. WITH ME”?

That was my reaction throughout the second and third sets. The third game of the second set – to this day, I remember every single point that was played. It helps that I have 3 different versions of the match on my hard drive to be played on a rainy day of course.

It also helped, that Roger seemed to have found some form of secret concoction of goat milk and aloe vera to nourish his hair. Given how little attention I paid to Fed during 2005-6, I never noticed the evolution of his hair. Out of nowhere, Federer shot me with his chocolate swirls.

It was lethal. I was converted. I had seen the light. (Or rather, the hair.)

Federer would go on to win the tournament without dropping a single set. He extended his winning streak through to Indian Wells before losing to Canas twice in a row. And funnily enough, his early season losing streak put me more firmly in his camp. In fact, had Federer not lost his way through 2008, I might have never been such a big fan.

In defeat, I saw more humanity in Federer than in victory, and that more than anything, made me want to support him. “Hey Rog, I’m a bit late to the party, are you sure you haven’t got anything good left to show me?”

Good stuff, he had plenty left.

I sometimes wonder how I managed to jump bandwagons from Rafa to Fed so drastically. The only rationalised answer I could give myself is that Rafa grew up. He lost his boyishness at the same time that I lost my aversion to Federer.

I still like Nadal, and when Fed’s not in the picture, he’s still my favourite male player. But it’s too late to hop off the Swiss bandwagon now. This one I’ll be keeping til the very end.

I guess my point in writing all of this, aside from telling my story and spamming you with ‘Federporn – the Melbourne edition‘, is to hit you with this barf-inducing punch-line ahead of the 2010 Australian Open semifinal:

Feddy, it’s our 3 year anniversary. Go get’em.




39 responses to “Federporn Friday: Me, Myself, and Melbourne.”

  1. Lj says :

    Ha I’m sitting here watching Adam hills and Dave hughes playing dubs waiting for almighty rogerer to start tonight.

    I rememeber first rog been lleytons whipping boy and having bad hair and through 2004-2005 when the goat stuff started I was like pfffff that dude has bad hair an a big nose.

    Ao06 is when I finally sat through some of his matches and I was like whoa. And the crying during the trophy ceremony helped too. I checked up my membership on rf.com the other day. Even though I never post I joined in Jan 06.

    So it’s been 4 years rogee. Sunday is my birthday. Would be nice if you decide to hoist the big trophy. But you don’t have to cry this time

    • dootsiez says :

      Urgh. I hate Dave Hughes. He’s a fan of Lleyton. Did you hear his sour grapes tweets on the night Roger beat his darling boy?


      You know, I always think Roger played some of his worst tennis at AO06 vs Haas, Davydenko, Baghdatis … But somehow, he could still control the momentum when it got away from him. And the trophy presentation thing was adorable.

      Your bday on Sunday? We *have* to get a drink. Come to think of it, should get a few Fedophiles together if Roger makes it into the final ….


  2. Tru says :

    Classic Fed match. Listened to ESPN just to hear PMac eat crow. Divine.

    • dootsiez says :

      The ESPN commentary was hilarious. Esp in the first set, when they thought Roddick might still have a chance. -_-“

  3. FortuneCookie says :

    I only became a ‘real’ fan of Roger after the Wimbly 08 final really,I think part of me was interested in seeing this great champion suddenly struggling,and whether he could get back to his old position,and although some of the past 18 months has been downright heart-attack inducing,it’s been a pretty awesome experience just as a sports fan!And uh,the gradual revelation of his prettiness didn’t hurt. 😉
    And as for the hair,I’ll leave it to my sister for the last word,during Wimbly final 09,’like seriously,what conditioner does he use,cos I want it!’

    • dootsiez says :

      Roger conditions his hair with goat milk. You know he does.

      Woah Wimbledon 08. You missed out on the years of prettiness as well. Federporn Friday has more revelations to do.

      • FortuneCookie says :

        Any excuse for Federporn Friday eh? 😛
        But yeah,pretty much all I’d ever seen of Roger until then was like Wimbledon and then French Open finals (so,not great at that time 😉 ),I’ve done a lot of catching up via the wonder that is YouTube though!

  4. pban says :

    I guess I am odd one here one insideout forehand in 2003 was enough to have my Federer moment but I guess I realised I was in for the long haul was in the Wimby 2004 final where funnily enough Fed played horrendous tennis. But US Open when he beat Steffi’s husband was my moment of truth ,Iwas with Fed….. ponytail,potatonose stubble never noticed them when he played.

    • dootsiez says :

      You know Wimbledon 04 was strategic brilliance from him. How he managed to regroup during the rain delay and come back with a winning game plan without a coach …

      US Open 05 was a fab match. One good pban 😀

      • pban says :

        I meant the 2004 USopen quarterfinal, when Roger roared after he won that match played over 2 days I knew I was a goner. 2005 USopen Iwas a certified nutcase 😉

  5. pban says :

    please forgive my horrific grammar in the post above ,my hands are shaking and I am numb with fear.

  6. pban says :

    Forgive my horrendous grammar Iam numb both in body and mind

  7. Blue says :

    You know I was late to the party too but now I am firmly in his bandwagon as well. I love tennis because of him, and revealing his more human side makes me admire him all the more. As you said before, everything else is just gravy now… which of course doesn’t mean I will stop frazzling as usual.

  8. Dippy says :

    My religious experience with Roger was during final of 2006, his tears of joy and awe meeting the great Rod Laver…been his fan since then. There was also a part where I seriously believe that I ‘jinxed’ him. I watch him play exho in Kuala Lumpur in Nov of 2007, watched him play in AO2008, Wimbly 2008 both ended up with bad losses. Watched him again in Kuala Lumpur in Nov 2008 exho and he ended up in tears during AO2009. Therefore conclusion is Roger should NOT visit Malaysia while still active playing tennis and I should not go to any GSs when he is playing.

    • Mia says :

      Wow, I was In Kuala Lumpur to for the exho with Pete. I had to go given that it was the nearest I could get to to both of them. Yep, the boring Sampras was my favorite player before. And at the time, I hated all others who beat Pete, even that lovely specimen of a man Richard Krajicek.

      But somehow, the 4th round of Wimbledon 2001 struck a different chord in me. I was moved by this pony-tailed teen-ager who was just poetry in motion. And the fact that he was unabashedly holding back tears over his accomplishment against the then king of grass tugged at me.

      It was some time coming, his becoming a champion. But it has been a great ride and one, I hope, that will go on for some time yet. He is one for the ages, and we may never see his like again.

      • Dippy says :

        Cool you went all the way to KL to watch 2 legends play. I wish i could watch him play live again at GS but I am so worried that I might jinxed his chances of winning. I will just watch him from TV 😦

      • dootsiez says :

        Wow Mia. You were with Roger from the very start!

        I’m worried I’ll jinx Roger too Dippy. But so far, he’s yet to lose in front of me. Hopefully that streak continues on Sunday!

  9. Chairman, Federer Puny Left Arm Society says :

    Chairman would like to thank Jo for being so kind. Thanks for making my day easy.

    Now, I will agonize over some “British” dude for the next 48 hrs.
    Andy is playing well.

  10. whynotme says :

    Great post doots! Nice to hear about your ‘story’, it’s quite unusual! Gives me hope that maybe some Fedhaters that I know will suddenly see the light lol!

    I’m personnaly quite ashamed to tell that, but it’s Monfils who brought me to tennis! I hadn’t seen any tennis match in my life until his semi against Roger in 2008. French media were hyping it up of course, and as I had a LOT of work to do I chose to procrastinate by watching the match 😀 I was rooting for Monfils of course because I knew nothing about tennis and just wanted ot see a Frenchman win. But throughout the match I started to really like Roger and his game, and I cheered on him a bit, even though I didn’t really care.

    Then I forgot completely about tennis until somehow, thanks to my parents having cable tv, I came upon the Wimbly final 2008. I arrived in the middle of the 3rd set, and suddenly I found myself unable to stop watching. I was on Roger’s side from the beginning because of the whole story about him being a great champion, maybe the best ever, but having to fight through hard times, to come back, to defend the last pieces of his realm, etc…

    When he lost I cried, and I realised that I had been completely ‘Federised’ LOL. Since then I hardly missed any of his matches. Sometimes I’m sad that I didn’t get to see his period of utter dominance, but I don’t know if I would’ve become a fan without the wole drama at Wimbly.

    Anyway, funny to read all your stories and to see how it was completely different matches or reasons that made us all Fedfans!

    Fingers crossed for sweet sixteen on Sunday! I want Murray to lose nearly as much as I want Roger to win LOL. I hope you won’t have to see live MAndy’s 1st GS victory doots :S

    • dootsiez says :

      I get you Whynotme. I would’ve never been as big a Fed fan if not for the Wimbledon 08 ordeal either. I think it actually made people admire him even more given the way he fought triumph and defeat.



  11. Wellspring says :

    Great piece! And it will be my FOURTH year anniversary with Fed, since I am not as hard-hearted as you are and his 2006 Oz waterworks were enough to: 1. get me into tennis (which I didn’t care much about before) 2. make me into the raving lunatic – er, sorry, devout fan – I’ve been since then.

    The hair…it took me a while to notice it (!) and I sort of regard it as an unexpected bonus. But then, of course, I have also never seen anything wrong with Roger’s nose 🙂

    • dootsiez says :

      are you just a sucker for tears Wellspring!

      How do you *not* notice the hair? I was talking with a friend who doesn’t watch tennis the other day, and she was like “dunno much about tennis, but HOT DAMN FEDERER HAS NICE HAIR”.

      • Wellspring says :

        Yes, I am a sucker for tears. Especially when the ones shedding them are cute guys. sorry, I was born that way and couldn’t really afford the expensive psychoanalysis required to change that 🙂

        As for the hair – it’s not so much that I didn’t notice it, just that I thought everything about Roger was nice, since my love tends to be quite hopelessly blind. It required a ‘hot hair’ thread in RF.com to get me seriously into the subject 🙂

  12. PJ says :

    You know who was my first love in tennis. I don’t even want to remember it. 😀

    So I was converted after 2006 Wimby, particularly the final. I didn’t quite like Rafa at that time (gasp, horror, but his grunting threw me off) although I acknowledged his ownership of Fed at that time, and I was impressed with the way Fed disposed of him nicely, WITH A BAGEL.

    AO2007 was the best Fed experience EVER. In fact 2007 was pretty amazing and I enjoyed the whole beautiful tennis gig to the core. 2008 was painful to watch, so was early part of 2009 but I never gave up in this man with the most gorgeous hair of ATP. And hell yeah! He never gave up either. He is, after all, Roger fucking Federer, WOO HOO.

    Thanks for sharing the story. Wonderful read, and welcome to the bandwagon. Firmly on and never getting off. 😀

    • dootsiez says :

      Oh you closet Lleyton Hewitt fan you!

      You know, 2006 Wimbledon was the best tennis I’ve ever seen Federer play … until AO 2007 came along. ❤ ❤ ❤

  13. Jack says :

    What would have happened to this blog if you had kept on hating Federer??

    Instead of Federporn Friday, you’d probably have done Murrayporn Monday 😀

    • dootsiez says :

      Murrayporn Monday?

      NEVER! My taste can’t be *that* bad.

      But one thing’s for sure, Rafa would get a lot of press around here. 😀

  14. Ann says :

    Love all the how-I-became-a-fan stories. This is fun. 🙂

    I hadn’t followed tennis for a long time when Roger got me back in. I played in high school, but not in college, goofed around on the court with then-boyfriend-now-hubby in the summers after college, but didn’t have a TV at home so only paid attention when we happened to be at someone else’s house when Slams were on. By the time Roger came along I *did* have a TV but was out of the tennis habit. A friend from college, who had also played tennis in high school, told me I had to check out Federer, and I sort of went, “Oh yeah, ok, sure”. Then along came the David Foster Wallace piece and I was hooked without mercy.

  15. tsarina says :

    Until 2 years ago I knew almost nothing about tennis, actually I had no idea how someone actually won a tennis match and I thought that the only tournaments that existed were Wimbledon and Rolland Garros!!!The only players I knew were Sampras and Agassi and the one time I had tried to watch a match I gor bored after a minute!!!

    Then one day, I was alone at home, bored and while I was switching channels on TV I see that there is a tennis match on and I deside to watch a little bit.After a couple of minutes I find myself thinking “WOW this is beautifull!!!” I couldn’t take my eyes off of the TV, the Apocalypse had happened!!!

    I will always remember that day…Wimbledon SEMIfinal 2008 Federer – Safin
    Thank you Roger for making me a tennis fan, not only a Fedfan!!!

    • dootsiez says :

      It’s funny how people randomly fall in love with players. 2008 semifinal vs Safin, that’s a good one. Marat was pretty too 😀

  16. roadrunnerz says :

    Being Swiss, I was a Fed fan from the get go (It’s hard not to root for him when your whole family is) BUT that said, it wasn’t until the beginning of 2008 that I became a diehard.

    2008 was the year that I went from rooting for the ‘Swiss tennis player’, to rooting for Roger, the man.

    To see him come back from months of “he’s over, he’ll never win another major, the King is dead” press and pressure. To see come back from the FO 08 routing and the heartbreaking Wimby loss that followed, only to win the US Open was one of the most satisfying sporting victories for me ever. That and the 2009 French Open.

    I fell in love with him in 2008, because I think that year was the first time I really saw how much heart and love for the game he has.

    Crossing fingers hard that he makes it sweet 16 on Sunday. 🙂 I mean, losing a slam final to Rafa is one thing, but losing to Murray is another altogether. :-/

    • dootsiez says :

      Didn’t know you were Swiss! That’s double the reasons to like Roger. 😀 I know what you mean about the US Open 08. It was so inspiring that I started this blog right after!

  17. JFK says :

    I only discovered Roger’s existence in June 06 when he lost the french open final 😦 The only thing I knew about tennis was Andy Roddick because he lives in the same city as me. But I was so smitten with Roger! And I haven’t looked back since.
    Btw, Roger uses this shampoo, it was in a magazine a couple years ago 🙂 we had a discussion about it a few yrs back on Rf.com


  18. BS says :

    Your story was really interesting. I became his fan without watching too many of his matches, if that makes sense. Then I saw all of his matches in Wimbledon 2006. I’ve been in love ever since. He’s such a dork, especially when he laughs but I’m with him until the very end. Forget I mentioned the end. I can’t think about that 🙂

    I can totally understand the Rafa fanaticism, but I have only been converted since last year’s AO when Rafa showed how much of a sweetheart he is during the trophy ceremony. I was so upset on Tuesday. Considering that I used to despise him and couldn’t force myself to watch him on the TV screen 2 years ago I’d say the transformation is now complete 🙂

    Thank goodness you are going on Sunday. Hopefully you’ll be his good luck charm 😛 I think its safe to say that he’ll need it!

  19. the mighty rose says :

    stepping out of lurkdom to say what a great, fun piece of writing doots (the fabulous pics of the great man are not bad either…)! my bandwagon moment: roger v pete wimby 2001. i was walking in front of the tv, saw this elegant and graceful boy, stopped and just stood there staring. he was beautiful then, he’s beautiful now. i know i will never see another like him.

  20. Nilhenwen says :

    It’s strange how things change isn’t it =D

  21. BS says :

    Actually, does anyone know where I can download the Federer-Roddick match from 2007? I never got to see the full match and it certainly looks like it is worth watching.

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