Cherrwy on Twop.


I tried writing this at least twice.

Because it somehow meant so much, and in all my silliness, the skies were blue in Melbourne, birds were chirping Christmas carols, and waves crashed on a sunny beach on a breezy spring day.

Because watching Roger Federer blast Nadal for the World Tour Finals title made me notice all those little things and hum Karen Carpenter under my breath all day.

Why do birds suddenly appear and do I need a shrink?!

Fed3

Joy! Oh pure fucking ecstatic joy! Emanating from my lady bits!

Other than the sense of sheer vindication that comes with telling naysayers to EAT CROW, there is also a sense of hope. What we saw from Wogie McFed this week was vintage Tee Em Eff, wrapped in a crunchy Cone (Mister Annacone, please accept my firstborn as a token of appreciation).

The returns, played with purpose for once.

The serve out wide on the deuce court – lost 1 whole point on that serve this entire week.

The murderous backhands, often whipped from above shoulder height into angles imagined by Picasso himself once in a dream.

It was the kinda thing that you dream about writing in your new book: “Tennis In An Ideal World: How Roger Federer turned his game into a microcosm of Utopia“.

In short, I was jizzing my pants.

Rafa2

Rafa. Tiredness? He wanted to hear none of it, so let the guy be classy and hear no more of it.

Seriously, dude’s 5 years younger than his opponent, played the earlier semi (no doubt the organisers wanted more rest time for Murray on the off chance that Muzz made it through). Rafa’s had a fabulous year, and no loss here or there can take it away from him now, just like no amount of media garbage can take this win away from Roger.

To the few Rafa fans who popped in with warm congratulations: thank you, you are simply magnanimous. We may wage wars during matches, but once “game, set, match” has been called, we’re really just two peas on a pod, and psychotically, emotionally invested in this sport.

I try to think about the way you must’ve felt when Rafa came back to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year after all his struggles, when he won US Open and prove many of his own legion of doubters wrong. As hard as it was for me to appreciate at the time, when I think about it from your perspective, it makes water squirt involuntarily from my eyes … because I can see in my head that one day, Woger will fall onto the lawns of Wimbledon in victory again too. And in New York. And in my heart of hearts, I hope, believe(?) and think he might, in Paris too.

Congratulations on a great year to your guy. I like my Fedal on twop. I do.

fed

What does this mean for the Aussie Open?

Not a whole lot. Many things can go wrong from now til the Australian Open, and many more things can go wrong during a 2-week slam. And unlike the tennis media, I didn’t need Roger to win today to know that he’s a serious contender for the Aussie Open. I’m surprised anyone did. 1) He’s Roger Friggin Federer. 2) His records – 21-2 since the US Open, the steady rise in form that began in Toronto, the definitive way in which he approaches matches these days, his passion on court – even for so late in the season … all these things I do take in with cautious optimism. I didn’t need him to win to prove to me what I already knew.

It’s unfortunate that it should be the end of the season now, and whether or not this breaks Federer’s momentum going into next year or gives the rest of the field time to regroup is another matter. When it comes down to it, Nadal is still my pick for the Aus Open 2011. But let’s not harp on over speculation. There is plenty to be hopeful about:

  • If we had Toronto as the start of the season, Federer would be leading the race. This means jackshit now of course, until we pass the Aus Open 2011 into what I call “Points Galore Territory”, where Federer’s defending close to nothing at Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami and Rome. Think about this for a second … then file it near the back of your mind lest it never eventuates.
  • Federer wins a tournament for the first time by beating the World No 5, 4, 3, and 1 within the space of a week. I fist-pumped so hard just thinking about it I almost punched myself in the face.
  • He finishes 2010 with a winning or even H2H against all his closest competitors, 1-1 against Nadal, 2-2 against Murray, 4-1 against Djokovic and 3-1 against Soderling. Some of those wins I would swap for that single loss. You know which ones. But when it comes to building scar tissue on your opponent’s mind, nothing is better than a winning number plastered on the front page of your website. This much is true.
  • Record against the Top 10 for 2010: Nadal 11-5, Federer 16-6, Djokovic 4-8, Murray 7-5, Soderling 6-9. Make of that what you will.

Enough of this making-sense nonsense. Now let’s PARTAY LIKE IVO KARLOVIC UNTIL 2011!

xx doots

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27 responses to “Cherrwy on Twop.”

  1. PJ says :

    Well written, but then again, since when is anything written by you not?

    I didn’t have a lot of hopes for this final. Of course I want Mr. Cherry Red to win it – but as we know it, he implodes mentally against Rafa whenever they play, the involuntary rise of Ferd the Turd. I debated not crawling up at 430AM for what I thought would be inevitable heartbreak, but hey, I love the man too much and I guess at the back of my mind I do have faith that he’ll weave that magic.

    AND WEAVE THE RACKET OF MAGIC HE DID. First set was absolutely breathtakingly oh-mah-gah BEAUTIFUL…everything was clicking. Rafa was clicking as well, so neither could do anything to each other’s serve until Wogie converted his FIRST BP and suddenly he had the first set, and suddenly, PJ was like OMGOMOMG HE CAN GET THIS GET IT GET IT GET IT YOU DELICIOUS PIECE OF FOOL in the most schizo way of ways.

    2nd set…he started serving like a noodle, and promptly lost the set and I was burying my head in my pillows and debating to suffocate self to death. For I thought if this goes to a 3rd set – it’s all over cos 1) Rafa doesn’t give up 3rd sets 2) Fed particularly likes self-imploding in third sets/match points/break points. Never in my LIFE am I so happy to be DEAD SET WRONG as Fedders unleashed his magnificence to serve Rafa a breadstick…and it’s HIS HIS HIS WAHOOO…and I’m bouncing off walls 630AM in the morning. It’s not a Slam but it’s WTF and consecutive, CONVINCING wins over the top 8 SO HELL YEAH BITCHES. And yes, I found myself tearing and wibbling a little. Not the whole RG OMG full-on hysterical sobbing, but there were tears.

    Agreeing with you that there’s puh-lenty to look forward to for 2011, especially AO2011. If he maintains the level of play he did for the WTF tournament, we’re in for a treat. And if he gets to the final…I like his chances cos 1) I’ll be offering blood and first born 2) YOU WILL BE THERE.

    Onward and forward we go!

  2. ovoorigo says :

    i’ve got tears again in my eyes.
    happy!!!!!

    thanks roger and the team for always being an inspiration
    thanks again my fellow fed fans for a wonderful camaraderie and togetherness

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • dootsiez says :

      :333333 I know it’s corny, but I totes got teary over it.

      Or maybe it’s just my hay fever …. *blinks away moist stuff*

  3. Jack says :

    I’m just so happy he finished his season on a high and playing well too. I don’t think its necessarily been a bad season…..its just been a very fustrating and exhausting one!!

    And Roger is always going to be a contender at any Slam he contends. But if he keeps playing like this, then we all have reason to be optimistic for 2011. I mean, his backhand during that match was phenomenal….best I’ve seen him hit it in a long time. And I love the fact that he kept it together mentally too…..too many times have we seen him lose focus this year.

    And regardless of what some media people say. Roger won this match because he played great. One thing I did find funny was Matt Cronin saying that Fed had to win this match to stay relevant in the rivalry. That guy really does come out with the biggest load of crap.

    Oh and one last thing doots, is Federbear getting the special VIP treatment now, after all the torment and abuse he’s faced all year?? 😀

    • braggaditis says :

      If Matt Cronin ever made sense, consider it purely accidental. 😀

      Great one, Doots. Love the way Feddy played this whole week. His performance in the SF and the final.. one (or two) for ages.

  4. Matt Zemek says :

    As I tweeted right after the match, I’d give up 2,543 of these Wuh-Thu-Fuh finals wins for a certain other match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. I need slam success in 2011 to make me really happy.

    That said, there is evident satisfaction in this win on 3 specific fronts:

    1) Michael Wilbon of ESPN, who wrote Fed’s obituary early last September, is now exposed, thoroughly and completely, as a fool. Very satisfying American media resentment victory, that.

    2) On a global/international scale, this was little different from Toronto, only in reverse. Federer had the draining semifinal-to-final turnaround that time, and while I’m not too much of a raging partisan on most things Fedal (cause I respect the hell out of Rafa), the one double-standard I do notice – and get torn up about – is that when Federer loses, it’s ONLY because of his lack of quality or his impending decline. It’s with Rafa that the other kinds of things come up. When Federer lost to Murray in the Toronto final, he was mentally fatigued. That’s not an excuse – Murray deserved the win, full stop. The point is that it’s not an excuse, it’s a reason. There’s nothing wrong with MENTIONING fatigue or some non-X-and-O reason as being a cause of a given result, just as long as there’s some consistency. Federer gets tagged for failing to deliver the goods in ways that just don’t apply to other players, and that’s the bullsh– I do indeed object to. So I’m glad this was all exposed on Sunday in London.

    3) Rafa, being classy but also smart, identified Fed’s quality play and the (in Rafa-speak) “soorfrayce” this match was played on – indoor hardcourt – as keys to Roger’s win. Indeed. The surface mattered because the ball stayed in Fed’s wheelhouse to the backhand side, a partial reason for Fed’s best backhand-hitting match in a LONG, LONG time.

    So, the head-to-head narrows because Fed actually got Rafa for once on his best surface (better than grass). I don’t place a lot of stock in the year-end championships or the Autumn season, but the disparity between clay-court matches and indoor hardcourt matches in the Federer-Nadal head-to-head has been clearly magnified by this match. It’s also why a meeting on fast hardcourt at the US Open needs to happen before this rivalry runs its full course.

    (PAINFUL MEMORY ALERT! DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! But I had to go there, just like watching Anna Karenina on the train tracks. Impossible to avoid thinking about…..)

    So, back to the good stuff: Federer has been good enough to reach clay-court finals, Rafa not so much on fast hardcourt and indoor hardcourt. This match provided appropriate historical balance to the head-to-head argument, and that’s the best historically-leveling aspect of this match for Planet Federer’s legions of fans.

    I also didn’t view this match as the be-all and end-all. A number of prominent tennis commentators – Pat McEnroe and USA Today’s Doug Robson – said or implied that Fed had to win this match to keep the rivalry with Rafa alive.

    As though 15-7 would have “killed” the rivalry but 14-8 makes it alive.

    So much poppycock from the mass media. It’s a shame.

    Federer’s tennis on Sunday? Anything but a shame.

    SLURP THE BLUEBERRY ICE CREAM ANNACONE WITH A CHERRWY ON TOP!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! SLURP SLURP SLURP!

    And Doots, you’ve forgotten the new Federbitch war cry you yourself invented:

    FUCHEINE YEEEEEAAAAACHHHHHT!

    C’MON NOW!

    And since you invoked my favorite female vocalist of all time once more, another excerpt that’s appropriate for this occasion:

    “You taught me precious secrets, of a truth withholdin’ nothin’. You came out in front when I was hiding.

    But now I’m so much better, and if my words don’t come together, listen to the melody, ’cause my love is in there hiding.”

    Those lines apply to one Paul Annacone. He did indeed teach Fed some precious secrets about the return game, which – if sustained throughout 2011 – will put the Cherry on Top indeed.

    Yes, Karen Carpenter tennis always has something good to say. (As does Don Draper tennis…. couldn’t find a way to integrate Mad Men into all this… must work on that for 2011.)

    • jandemom says :

      To Wilbon & all the others predicting/expecting/wishing for/proclaiming Roger’s tennis funeral — pffffffttttt! He’s not done yet, not even close — so shut it!

      Great week of tennis for Rog, and a great way to wrap up the season. Don’t you think, Matt, that the confidence Roger has built up this fall season will do him some good going into 2011? Look how well he’s played since that USO semi (sorry to bring it up!); I think it’s got to help him, even if it’s just a little voice in the back of his head during a tense point in a match.

      Here’s to slam success in 2011!

    • sunnygrrle says :

      I know i’m preaching to the choir Matt, but I just wanted to say that I second the whole helping the H2H disparity thing . I spent a significant amount of time over a tennis.com making the same point… Feddy’s WTF win has me de-lurking all over the place!

      I wrote that At 29, playing in a year when many have bleated about how he is past his prime, where he has admittedly lost matches on 4 separate occasions while holding match points, and was knocked out in the quarterfinals of 2 Major tournaments, he comes to the WTF to meet a man who has arrived playing some of the best tennis of his life, winning 3 Majors to complete the Career Grand Slam. A man so highly motivated to win this tournament, to capture the one missing jewel in his crown, that he all but declared that he took time off and re-organized his schedule so that he could be properly rested and fully prepared to compete. And it was this man that Roger definitively and with authority, defeated to win his 5th year end title.

      The common rebuttal made by Federer’s fans regarding the skewed H2H is the number of matches played and won on clay vs. hardcourt…and when factoring out those matches on clay it would be a bit more even. But my point is that today’s game shows that if he can win at this stage in his career here against today’s Rafa there is little doubt in my mind and there should be very little in any other REASONABLE, KNOWLEDGEABLE tennis fans’ minds that the Federer who showed up to win 5 straight U.S. Open’s against 5 different opponents ( showing his incredible versatility) would have beaten a Rafa whose U.S. Open record was 2R, 3R, QT, 4R, SF for those same years for a majority of those matches. He wasn’t even good enough to show up to play against Fed on Fed’s favorite surface. And during many of those same years Fed was good enough to show up to play Rafa on his favorite surface.

      So even though the Haters will still hate…I can feel better knowing that an old man beat an young gun in his prime…even if he was all “tired out” from his match…;-)

    • dootsiez says :

      FUCHEINE YEEEEEAAAAACHHHHHT!!!!!!!

      Matt – re what you said on double standards, I completely agree. I think back to something Wertheim tweeted yesterday during the final. Someone asked him who he was rooting for, he said “for the better story”. Every Federer loss is billed as a decline rather than a combination of factors because it *is* the better story, just as every Nadal story cites some sort of physical ailment because it fits in with the overall narrative of each of these players’ careers.

      These narratives, constructed by the mass media, is then reinforced again, and again, and again after each win and loss.

      Wither true reportage.

      As for your lack of Don Draper tennis, the way Federer played yesterday … it’s toasted.

      • Deborah says :

        That comment from Wertheim shows what little credibility he has left as a tennis pundit. I’m sure he had a preconceived idea as to what that “better story was” .

  5. pban says :

    aye aye to everything Matt says,agree adout that US open hope as welll

  6. jandemom says :

    Another enjoyable post, doots – but that’s not news, is it? Thanks so much. I always enjoy reading your take on tennis & Rog, and it’s helpful to have friends to frazzle with!

    Excellent way for Roger to end yet another wonderful (though at times distressing) year, and excellent for tennis. #1 & #2 playing in the last ATP match of the season and making it memorable. Yay!

    Mmm, yes, how is Federbear these days? He’s certainly had a rough year so I too hope you’re being extra good to him.

    Here’s to good health and a great 2011 🙂

  7. flo says :

    “all these things I do take in with cautious optimism”

    Cosign. Guarded optimism. Ms. Anna Wintour should be happy. Don’t over read it but he turned the corner. Nadal is still the bookie favourite for AO and the probably for the next two. But yes hope springs from a nice chain of wins, rolling 4 top 8s and then outdueling Nadal. HIghlight of the year outside of AO ’10

    • dootsiez says :

      Honestly, I’m not sure if Aus Open is “too soon” or “not soon enough”, but I do think Fed has a more than decent shot at Wimbledon and US Open next year if he continues playing like this.

  8. Shepadd says :

    First time since the French Open 09 that I cried at a tennis match! And cry I did! It was the perfect ending to this season, and the look on Roger’s face was just priceless. Rafa is a
    class act to not challenge that ball, but at that point he knen it didn’t matter!

    • sunnygrrle says :

      I couln’t decide if it was the act of a classy man or a dejected, defeated man…which would be so out of character for Rafa…but then again…so was that ludicrous, bratty outburst during the Birdy game that the press did not make a Federsize Mountain out of…because of course, since he wasn’t Federer…

      But I went with class act in the end…

  9. elisha says :

    Loved the match. Watched a bit of it with the comms, but they all sounded so gleeful saying that Roger always had issues when it came to match-time with Rafa, so I muted it like Ivo Karlovic said he muted it b/c the commentating was so freaking awful. I’m so happy to be part of this wonderful group of Federer fans!!

  10. marcoiac says :

    u don’t need a shrink. u r fine. just keep writing and posting….. 🙂
    anyway, it was a gorgeous match, and one of the things i liked most wasn’t the fabulous CC BH or the formidable serve out wide on deuce side. nope. it was the many mistakes he made. do i need a shrink? i don’t think so. his returns long and out, his going around the ball to hit an inside out FH that would land wide, those were mistakes i like, because they were part of an aggressive game plan. and he didn’t falter. he didn’t go back to chipping his returns after making those mistakes. he did stay the course. about time. my favorite cocktail is the federluthicone, no doubt about it. i think they can still improve. there’s no limit to better human performance. there were moments when he would get entangled in a long rally. they (federluthicone) have to figure out how to get out of those things. his CC BH was gorgeous, but he didn’t try many BH dtl, probably because rafa’s CC FH comes at you with so much junk, so much spin driving the ball wide, that it’s much easier to use the direction of the ball and hit CC BH. but if they manage to figure out how to deal with that and hit an occasional BH dtl, that’s another weapon in the arsenal.
    these are some of the things they have to work during the break. this is just the beginning.

  11. astraldrops says :

    “psychotically, emotionally invested in this sport.”

    Add financially to that list too.

    What can I say? Roger you have done the deed that I asked you for. I pray that he carries this momentum through to the Oz Open and continue his magic :3

    BTW I got teary-eyed as well, but not as much as the FO- that day I was ridiculous. This win meant a lot to him- you can so tell from his expression when he won. Love you Roger, Love you doots for being a star this year with your amazing writing keep it up! (BTW can we have FPF back? :D) And see you next year. 2011 here we come.

  12. dari says :

    Is it possible to say that I have been to happy/busy and that this is my first time here to say
    CONGRATULATIONS, ROGER F*ING FEDERER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Just beautiful tennis, the backhand was not a weakness at all, and I just bet it feels damn good to beat so many top players and only losing ONE SET to the #1 badass at this time, rafa nadal.
    I cant trade this win for a major one, nor can we project this win into a win at AO, but this couldn’t have done anything but boost Roger for the next year. If he really can manage to play his best tennis, he is indeed unbeatable. Can you imagine the prospects of that?!!
    On another note, I did not watch the match live, I had some important social business that afternoon, but that did not stop me from putting my federbear in my purse like a freak and carrying it with me through out the afternoon’s activities. and gosh darnit that shit worked out! i partied into the evening in celebration of the thxgiving weekend and ROGER FEDERER’s WORLD TOUR FINALS WIN!!!! KING OF THE WORLD!
    anyway, thankks for a super lovely post putting it all together. Time for a break until the exo’s?
    I LOVE TENNIS!

  13. jfK says :

    Still on cloud 66 🙂
    Roger played some really magical tennis the past week in London.
    Hey doots, does this mean that we can get FPF now until the AO starts? pleeaasee 😀

  14. ClayBuster says :

    Jeebus Dootz, you’re such an awesome, warm-hearted, passionate-but-fair writer!
    You make my Fedal Heart go ‘ZING!’

    Keep it going. I hope to be able to post a short report over here in one of replies on your blog of my upcoming Fedal Fix in Zürich in about three weeks’ time… would you like me to? 🙂

    THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!!!

  15. Freudo says :

    I wanted to see a clean vid-shot of the final point of the match. Here it is: A larger version of the serve angle! IN!

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