The high-road, and all that.
“No one reads your blog because you’re gracious and objective. They read your blog because you’re a sore loser of a bitch who yells a lot at Roger Federer.”
So I’ve been told by my dear supportive friends. Aww fanks, you guys, I couldn’t have done it without you.
Except “graciousness”, in the face of defeat, does count for something. Quite apart from the fact that my Mama taught me better than that, there is simply no point in my ardent admiration for another human being if I won’t at least try to emulate their conduct in my own life. That’s not what sporting “idols” or “heros” are all about. In my books, admiration and aspiration should be used interchangeably.
So appreciate the fact that as much as I do enjoy descending into profanities; as much as I love seeing the occasional surfacing of sourpuss Fed, I’m going to at least attempt some kind of graciousness here and acknowledge the obvious: Murray simply played better.
He served well, moved well. He was the fresher of the two, and made Roger play catch up throughout the entire match. And while he’ll never have the luxury of a Nadal loopy-forehand bounce high into his favourite backhand when he’s playing Roger Federer, Murray didn’t lapse into the kind of bitchy, passive-aggressive, moody teenager tennis he’s only too capable of playing either. It was a solid match from him, and yes – of course he’s a US Open contender. He has been a contender for the last two years. One day, you’ll see him break through, provided he doesn’t go all Elena-Dee on us.
So there’s that.
Oh, and there’s a cutie …
If you’re a Federer fan feeling a little disappointed, think of the context:
- He has won matches back to back against top 8 players.
- He was erratic, he brainfarted so loudly even Myla was embarrassed, but all in all, he played some scary good tennis for his first tournament since Wimbledon.
- That’s right, it was his first tournament since Wimbledon. But not Murray’s.
- He had two momentous, emotional, long-winded wins the two nights before, and still made his match against Murray more competitive than Rafa or Nalbandian.
- It wasn’t a strategic problem he had on Sunday, it was an execution problem. Rust? Confidence? Form? Fatigue? The explanations are endless, but like I said – Murray was the better player, played the cleaner game overall.
- No 2 seeding for the US Open is by no means sealed, but he’s making net gains on the rankings as opposed to net losses at the start of the year.
- Do you really want him to peak now?
At the end of the day, I’m pleased. I really am. Federbear is tucked safely into my sock draw, nursing his hangover.