Picket Fence Vid: Bébé Féd.

2000 Roland Garros, third round. Some Frenchie decided to record a match on Court 2 on VHS.

And what’s more? He/She decided to keep it.

10 years later, this match would be converted from VHS to DVD and airmailed to Australia, where it would be encoded, edited, and uploaded onto youtube.

I wonder if that person, or any of the spectators watching on Court 2 that day, realised that the guy with the terrible hair would go on to be the winner of 16 slams and achieve Hair God Status.

I wonder.

A few points from the match that I couldn’t include in the highlights

  • Federer could’ve won in straight sets, but lost early breaks.
  • He could’ve lost the fifth set after going down an early break. He got mad (at himself), but then he got even.
  • For someone who’s so used to Federer’s ninja demeanor on court, it was disconcerting to see how emotional he was during a match 10 years ago. It’s a story too-often told, but it brings home just how much he has forced himself to grow up and control his emotions over the years.
  • By 6-all in the fifth set, Kratochvil was so fatigued he could barely move. Federer by contrast didn’t show any visible signs of exhaustion. How many 18 year olds these days have this level of fitness? Or perhaps this underscores the efficiency of his game.
  • Breakpoints. He had. SO. FRIGGIN. MANY. Didn’t think it was possible for me to rage over a match played more than 10 years ago, but THERE YOU GO.
  • Federer eventually won 76 64 26 67 86.

xx doots



16 responses to “Picket Fence Vid: Bébé Féd.”

  1. Liz says :

    Fascinating! It shows how much his clothes have changed too, from the fairly universal baggy get up to the snappy attire of today.
    Also, he was clearly an accomplished volleyer then and doing plenty of it.

  2. Carol says :

    Thank goodness he stopped wearing hats so we can see his face!!!

  3. Freudo says :

    That was fun. It’s all there. I was hoping he could be at the top etc but had been on his bandwagon since 1999, “No Matter What!”

  4. Deborah says :

    Thanks for posting this. It reminds me how impressed I was with Roger after viewing the documentary “Roger Federer-Replay” that used to air in the States on TTC. To see him analyze what was getting tin the way of his success and then set about to fix it it one of the things that makes him such a great champion. A little like what we’ve seen this fall.

  5. marcoiac says :

    cool. it also shows that some bad habits (BPs conversion) are difficult to overcome. but, if the final set ended 8-6, there can’t be a 7 all in the fifth, right? anyway, i think fed is both a fabulous athlete and such a dancer on the court that he spends much less energy than any other guy. i don’t think i ever seen him fatigued. which should be a good predictor for a looooong career, unless injuries or sudden lack of motivation end it.

  6. ClayBuster says :

    Awesome vid, thanks so much for posting!
    You can clearly see in this vid that we’re dealing with a Genious-to-Be here. What a difference with the ball-bashing generation of youngsters of today – ‘formidable technique!’ as the commentator says.

    And OH, that hair! I well remember his hair being the first thing I noticed about Rogelio, all those years back. “What a cutie!… oh wait, he can play quite a good game of tennis, too. Better keep an eye on the lad.”
    I’m glad I did, ever since.

  7. dari says :

    Wow, heard more “c’mon!’s” here than we see now in a whole tournament! How can someone change so much?! I like roger just the way he is now, i may not have been drawn to this louder version as much as the silent assassin type he was when i first came to know him. Eh, well, he probably would have gotten me somehow anyway.
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Louis says :

    Hahah, you should have counted the number of “c’mons!” Roger shouted throughout the match, these days we see it like once or twice per match, if we heard it at all. I have mixed emotions about Roland Garros even though I attend it every year ever since I saw Roger get beaten by Le Sod 😦

    Anyways, great video, shows how great Roger was back then (the perfect technique, often appreciated by the commentators) for a teenager.

    • dootsiez says :

      Ah Louis, sorry you had to see that match 😦

      But you know what? I got a good feeling about Roland Garros next year. Not sure about a victory, but I don’t think lightning will strike again. (ANTIJINX!)

      • Louis says :

        I hope so too please! Still I hope Roger can mantain his actual level of play throughout next season, still debating over going to the AO or not, I think I’ll wait a little bit more to see how Abu Dhabi and Doha turn out even though they don’t mean alot.

        Rog got close this year in Bercy, damn Monfils! (and look I’m french!)

  9. Lady B Good. says :

    COME ON!!!!!!!!
    Thanks Doots for this wonderful early clip of El Maestro! Very instructive, the metamorphosis is now
    complete! AND HOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Wouldnt you agree?

  10. lapinroyal says :

    Great find (or good hoarding… 😯 )!
    Eww for the over-sized polo!

  11. Yalan says :

    Thanks for this! His hair – so tragic, so hilarious.

    But more seriously, his movement on clay is majestic.

  12. anewor says :

    how come I can’t view/see the video? help!

  13. breadstix says :

    This is actually incredible!

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