Monday, 13 February 2017

The Legend of Federer Continues Rising

Let's get things into perspective here.

After the dust has settled on the Australian Open of 2017, we have witnessed a married father of 4 children beat four top ten opponents, win three 5-set matches (2 of them back-to-back) and defeat his nemesis and toughest challenge in the final, to lift the trophy. It is also his 3rd major as a father.

All this was done at the ancient (by tennis standards) age of 35 after not playing competitive tennis for the last 6 months while recovering from knee surgery.

Even for the immortal Roger Federer, this was an utterly astonishing achievement.

We have witnessed something truly historic. At 35 years of age, Roger Federer is the second-oldest male singles player to win a major tournament. The oldest to do so, Ken Rosewall, was not even in my lifetime (1972).

It will go down as one of his very finest major wins, for all the compelling reasons listed above. The following are some of his other impressive major triumphs:

The first is always special and to date this remains Roger's tidiest major win, hitting just 91 unforced errors in his 7 matches.

This win saw Roger go 7 for 7 in major finals, an astonishing run. He broke down in tears after receiving the trophy from one of his idols, Rod Laver.

For the first and only time, Federer won a major without dropping a set.

Finally Roger won in Paris, completing his career Grand Slam after losing in the final the previous 3 years. Despite not having to face Nadal in the final, who lost in an earlier round to Soderling, this was a legendary event as Federer tied equal with Pete Sampras' record of 14 major wins.

A piece of legendary history was made when Federer beat Roddick in the final, winning his 15th major and becoming the most successful major champion in the history of the sport. 

After poring through piles of statistical data of Roger Federer's 18 major wins, I discovered that he has NEVER hit more winners than in the Australian Open 2017! He hit a total of 402 winners throughout his 7 matches in Melbourne! His attacking instincts are sharper with advanced age, keeping the points short to his benefit. But it's his enduring class and quality that continue to stand out.

There is something sacred about the way he plays.

He constructs points in a holy silence. A muffled audible of exertion on the occasional second serve is the only anomaly. Even the greats have to struggle through some shots.

Federer creates his masterpieces with no more than the hallowed sound of his feet dancing around the canvas accompanied by the sound of the ball bouncing off the fibres of his instrument of choice - his Wilson paint brush.

Humans' common origins result in godlike gifts and talents which lead us to admire the divine, the unexplainable, the out-of-this-world feats we often see when Roger enters the court.

He was born for tennis.

He has become tennis.

Roger Federer is not God, but the devotion and loyalty he generates lifts him into a royal, deity-like figure.

Murray and Djokovic bowed out with a whimper, Nadal with a thousand grunts of valiant effort, and though they will undoubtedly make noise again later in the year, it is the hallowed silence of the maestro which speaks the loudest.