Wimbly Day 1: [Insert Falla-inspired pun here]

What can I say? What is there left to say? WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY?!

Was it “that” bad? Yes and no. Yes, because for 2 and half sets, he was flat. He was tense. He was unsure of himself. He didn’t trust his game. His opponent looked the exact opposite – Falla was fearless, fabulous and … on fire (I DIDN’T WANT TO SAY IT. IT CALLED FOR ME TO SAY IT).

So yes, it was “that bad”.

But was he shanking 90% of his shots? Was he being outplayed? Was he being gutless, whimpy or sulky? No, no, no. Did he win?

You don’t need me to answer that.

The stats will tell that it was a story of an opponent red-lining and Federer faltering at inconvenient moments. But what’s equally important to remember is that at 0-40 4-4 in the third set, it was Roger Federer who *didn’t* falter. When Falla served to knock Federer out of the Championships, guess who *didn’t* give up. The match underscored 2 aspects of Federer’s game that aren’t talked about a huge deal.

Firstly, he doesn’t take his opportunities. We talk a lot about his aversion to breakpoint conversion, but it’s more than that. It’s the 0-30s, 15-30s. It’s playing 2 ridiculous points with a fistpump, then drilling 2 backhands into the net with nonchalance. Within a blink of an eye, 0-30 turns into 40-30. I give his opponent full credit for defending breakpoints against him yesterday, he won most of those as opposed to Roger losing them. But I also give Federer all the credit for the half chances he threw away.

Second, he may not have the reputation of Hewitt or Rafa when it comes to “toughing it”, but make no mistake, Roger Federer has a leech-like quality to him. The harder one tries to pull him off, the tighter he hangs on, until he has sucked all the mojo out of the mofo and emerges alive, though slightly … stretched. Federer v Falla has officially joined the ranks of Berdych AO 09, Haas/Acasuso/Del Potro FO 09, Andreev USO 08 and Tipsy AO 08. One year off my life expectancy for each of those.

So that was my attempt at trying to see the match objectively. And this is the perspective of a fan:

I was strangely calm for most of the first two sets, until I saw my Wimbledon ticket and it all came crashing down. Oh yeth – Dootsie was a pathetic loser, who sat on her couch and cried over a tennis ticket – snot and all. In 20 years time, I may look back and find it hilarious.

Or not.

But it wasn’t just a ticket. It was a hope. And the hope was dissolving right in front of me. Nevermind, for now, the hope is still alive. We live to frazzle another day. I care not how many sets it takes, as long as he’s the one left standing.

xx doots


29 responses to “Wimbly Day 1: [Insert Falla-inspired pun here]”

  1. TopSpin says :

    “Leech like quality” to toughing it out. I would also add his fitness. Both underrated as hell.

    • dootsiez says :

      is his fitness still underrated? after the stark contrast vs ailing Rafa last year? I’d say he’s finally getting a lot of credit for the fitness side of things these days.

  2. annalisa says :

    just… thank you. you have the ability of choosing the right words and blend them together to perfection! xxx

  3. pban says :

    lovely post doots as usual,but what Feddy is making us go thru is beyond painful….I may not have wept but I was on the verge and am still feeling nauseus.

  4. Noshali says :

    I was terrified of the 3rd set. I had to switch off the TV at 0-2, 4-4, 0-40. I could actually taste the bile. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

    Turns out not watching the match actually gave him some good luck. He really likes to give a heart attack to his fans. EVERY FREAKING SLAM!!!

    It was sad to see that Federer was actually playing pretty good tennis but Falla was just too good. Federer seemed to be paralyzed. There actually seemed like there was nothing he could do.
    However much I swore at him last night, I LOVE YOU ROGER!!!!!!!

  5. BS says :

    Great post. I completely agree with everything you said. I always say, I don’t care how he wins, as long as he wins. But I kinda do care 😛 I hope its easier tomorrow.

  6. roadrunnerz says :

    OMG…I thought of you yesterday, Doots!! I thought there is NO way Federpoop can lose before you get the see him at Wimby. I need a recap from you of a fabulous win.

    What a freakin’ match. Five years of my life indeed. He owes me #7 now. After all that stress.

    Floved his “I guess he forgot I that he was supposed to lose” comment at the press conference. Someone will probably harp on how it just signifies his arrogance, but that was pure Fed humour. And that he had it in him to crack a joke was a good sign.

    I see you’re going to Switzerland too!! Do have a brawurst and a chäschüechli at the Zurich train station for me. 🙂

    • dootsiez says :

      Indeedy, I’m actually going to be in Switzerland for most of my trip, but I’ll be in Geneva (studying international law). Dunno if we’ll make it to Zurich, we were thinking of going there from Lucerne, but it’s so friggin booked out at this time of the year. *sigh*

  7. jfK says :

    Sheesh, did Roger have too much fun on Father’s day or what?
    I felt so drained after this match like I had run a 5 hour marathon or something. How did I survive? How did Roger do it? And how does Mirka do it?
    I agree why doesn’t Roger get enough credit for ‘toughing it out’? I don’t get it.

  8. pban says :

    How do Lynnette and Robert keep so cool, like jfk said I felt exhausted after the match too…was sweating profusely as the adrenaline drained off . Don’t know how long this will continue before I turn stark raving mad (some in my family already think I am anyway)

    • jandemom says :

      Maybe there’s something in Switzerland’s traditional neutrality that translates for some people into a cool, calm & collected personality (at least outwardly). I bet all of Roger’s people do their fair share of private frazzling, though; as you say, how can they not?!

      Stay with us, pban; your online Fedfriends will do what we can to keep you sane. One match at a time or maybe one set at a time if things get scary again. It is easier said than done, though — you’re right about that!

      • pban says :

        thanks jandemom but you see Iam hopeless, Istart frazzling for the next wimby the day after it finishes so I don’t think you can help much.Wimby means so much to Roger and hence to all his fans, another post wimby loss Roger walking around like a zombie,sleepwalking thru the us open series…..I don’t think any of us can take it.

  9. Allie says :

    have a great time at wimby! Which day are you going?? i was there years and years ago when Mcenroe, Becker, Edberg and Lendl were still around (1989 it was…). Great day!

  10. Glenda says :

    I never lost confidence. It was hard to watch, but I never lost faith. He was there, y’know? This year, he’s played a lot of matches where you can see he wasn’t present — like he’s daydreaming — and that’s when I get worried. This one, he was present and so I believed that he could dig in from somewhere deep inside to pull off a win. But, god, was I ever exhausted. We invest so much time and money and love on this man — it’s ridiculous. 🙂

  11. Jack says :

    I was suprisingly calm during this match. Don’t know why but I never frazzled or anything. Maybe I was in denial that it was actually happening!! 🙂

    Obviously I was happy and glad that he won but it was a very strange and confusing match. Not really sure what to make of it really.

    Also did anyone think that Roger looked a bit annoyed in his post-match interview with bbc?? I just thought that rather than look relieved that he got through, he looked annoyed that he put himself in that situation in the first place.

    • BS says :

      Yes, I completely agree with you about his interview after the match, to me he was very much on the defensive, but to be fair I didn’t think the interviewer was particularly fair in his questioning either. Roger was clearly annoyed when he was asked if he was injured or anything, the way he answered “No, I’m perfect” made me laugh 😛

    • dootsiez says :

      If Roger came off court after nearly being kicked out of the tournament first match and was his usual smooth, happy-go-lucky self in the interview, I’d be furious at him. He *better* look annoyed.

  12. LongLiveKingRog says :

    Freaking Freaked Out during the match. I was so tense I couldn’t even shout and the stadium was eerily quiet, as if the audience was also stunned. The crowd finally realised this is an upset they DO NOT want to see and pulled roger through. But man. This.One.Was.Close.

    So Dootz which match / day are you going???? maybe we can cheer for Roger together!!!!

    • dootsiez says :

      Centre Court, middle Monday. Are you going to be there? Would love to cheer together.

      • LongLiveKingRog says :

        YES AND YES AND YES AND YES!!! I am going there on Monday as well, Centre Court!!!!! shoot me an email!!!!!!! I am going with a Rafa fan so we have to OUT-CHEER her!!!! Shoot me an email!!!!! (i suppose you would have that from the info I submitted when I write comments on this blog?) IT WILL BE EXCITING!!

  13. Deborah says :

    I am still not recovered and we are hours away from his next match. If you can imagine a woman of advanced years hunched over her computer, in the recesses of her office whispering to the livescores, “come on baby, get these next two (points)”, tearing up when the score indicated he had broken back when Falla was serving for the match, murmuring encouragement during the tiebreak (I actually begged for a FO-final-tiebreak and I think the score was the same or close). I didn’t exhale until I saw him indicated as the winner on the livescore.
    And then, I had to pull myself together, drive an hour and teach graduate students. I had the worst Roger-induced headache. All I can say is give me my Oscar now for my impersonation of a normal person following that match.

    Doots, enjoy your time at Wimby. Don’t let him leave without that trophy!

  14. kaitepai says :

    I was bawling after the first set. A complete mess. Pleased you held it together longer.

    I loved your point about his half-chances. It brought back a conversation with my brother (Novak fan) on that night. At 0-30 on Falla’s serve in the fourth, bro said to me after having just joined to watch the match, ‘this is it, he’s got him’. I said, ‘no, this is where he sucks’. Cue short return into the net. That was at about 1am.
    8am comes around. I wake up and join my brother where he is now watching Djokvoic try to serve out the match. He gets to 30-0. I say, ‘he’s got him, don’t worry.’ Brother replied with, ‘no, when he’s up 30-0 he thinks he’s won the game. He’ll try a second serve ace here’. Cue the double fault.

    Isn’t it ridiculous how well we get to know our fav players game?

  15. sita says :

    See, I told ya. *This* is what he was preparing us for when he was rocking his smarf and perfecting the hair choreography.
    As much as I hate to admit it, Falla was on fire. Looks like playing Roger twice already this month certainly helped him come prepared for this match and he could read his serve very well.

    Ok, I admit Roger took his chances when it really mattered. But what *if* Falla had converted one of those BPs at 4-4 0-40 ? What if Falla had served it out in the fourth set ?
    Seriously Roger, do you know how close you had come to letting the unthinkable happen ?
    How did you manage to get yourself into that position ? In the first round on centre court at your favorite slam ? Like Sveta would have said “ARE YOU CRAAYYYYY?”

  16. jfK says :

    Mirka and the twins 😀
    sorry doots I didn’t know where to put it and I don’t have twitter 😦

  17. Alex says :

    I don’t recall frazzlement in the 05-06 period.

  18. pban says :

    not in wimby at least, 2006 AO he was awful against Haas,Davy and the 1st 2 sets of the final.USopen 2005 and Wimby he played 2 very scratchy and tight matches against Kiefer, may not have gone to 5 sets but could have and he was trailing Andre in the finals before pulling through..its just that the press is simply out to proclaim his end that we hear so much about these tough matches.

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