How did ‘e do zaaaaat?

At some point in our lives as tennis fans, all of us have taken a look at Roger Federer, with his bouncy curls, swooshy polos and trophy-studded life, pulling off an impossible shot while skipping through fields of tulips, and wondered out loud to ourselves:

How did ‘e do zaaaaat?

These questions have come far more often in 2012 than in previous years. It has been pleasantly surprising to discover that even as time takes away some aspects of our former talents, we can still get better. This year, Roger Federer has reacquired that leech-like ability to simply cling onto his opponents for survival, no matter how hard they try to pull him off.

The stats do not lie. In his career, Roger Federer has lost matches that were far more in his favour than this: Nostrils hit 46 to Woger’s 36, made only 26 errors to Woger’s 37, with 21 aces to Wodge’s 7. And perhaps most telling of either player’s ability to survive and slay – Woger had just 2 breakpoints on Nostrils’ serve to Nostrils’ 8.

Whereas Woger could not find his way into Nostrils’ service games all match, he took the only opening he got late in the second set to take the match into a decider. Nostrils, on the other hand, made impressions in most of Woger’s service games, only to flub the shots that would’ve nailed his opponent and taken him to the Serious Challenger level.

Post-match, Nostrils released a series of rather aspirational statements, telling the press:

“I stepped on the court believing I could win and left the court knowing I could win.”

“Thanks to all my supporters for the support and kind words. I had it and I felt I deserved it, I just came up a bit short. Next time!!” He later tweeted.

Believing, knowing, deserving. It was all rather Oudin-esque from the young Canadian. But somewhere between the winning belief and knowledge was the very reality of loss: the groundstrokes he missed with enthusiasm and fear on breakpoints, the return of serves that he just hasn’t quite mastered, the half chances he couldn’t make whole against an elite player …  the Future is so close, but we’re not there yet.

And what of Roger Federer?

Twice this year, one of the most promising young ‘uns on tour came at him with purpose and conviction. Twice this year, he was taken to the brim of defeat. And both times, he defended his ground through some trying conditions. Other than easing my occasional doubts about his mental toughness, these are the sort of matches that leave me wondering –

How did ‘e do zaaaaaat?

Really? You matchy-matchied your outfit to Smurf Clay?

In other matches, Nadal eased past Kolya 62 62, uncharacteristically dominating play with his serve and short, aggressive points. Say whut?! No grinding on clay? Given Woger’s S&V tactic later, I dare say this was more of a response to the conditions on Smurf Clay rather than a reflection of Nadal’s clay game this year. The serve dominated on other courts also, as Jo-Willy blasted past Ryan Harrison 62 76 to set up his next round against Dolgo, and del Poop held off Headbanger 64 76 for a straight sets win.

Elsewhere in Madrid, the tournament has official gone from quirky oddball to full-blown batshit insanity. has reported that tournament owner Ion Tiriac is considering changing the colour of balls to fluorescent green or orange for better contrast with the blue clay.

While he’s at it, might I suggest making the balls glow in the dark for the fifth set thrillers on dark, dimly-lit nights at Roland Garros?

xx doots


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5 responses to “How did ‘e do zaaaaat?”

  1. pban says :

    it was a similar sort of win that set me on the long road of batshitcrazy that is Fedfandom…remember wimby final 2004 .somehow i love these wins more than the TMF sightings but only in retrospect not while my ulcer flares up at 3amh

  2. Marco Iacoboni says :

    Nostrils?????? 😀 😀 😀
    Too bad I could not watch that match. Must have been fun. I like Nostrils. I was afraid he would do to Fed what Fed did to Pistol Pete. Not yet! Good old Fed. These are the best wins.

    • dootsiez says :

      I really really hope Nostrils finds himself as far away from Federer as possible at Wimbledon and the Olympics. For both of their sakes

  3. Katarina_YYZ says :

    LOL at “Nostrils” nickname. Poor Milos 😀 My parents said he looks like a cartoon cow… like the one on the Laughing Cow cheese package. 😛

    Roger is looking pretty damn good for a guy who took 6 weeks off and is now (apparently) playing on an ice rink surface.

    And Fiasco has taken out Nadz. now how did e do zaaat? 😛

  4. Marcoiac says :

    Federer is playing some scintillating tennis, moving god-like on the court, serving beautifully, and overall hitting the ball like a fabulous painter would use brushes on canvas. Hope he can finish it up tomorrow. You never know, of course, but it’d be a fitting ending to a week that started with the miraculous Houdini-like escape in the match with Nostrils.
    We’ll see. 🙂

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