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?!
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.
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.
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!