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Roger Federer has the best game in tennis

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I hate to admit this, but off late, I have become a huge fan of Roger Federer. The guy never seizes to impress me. Yesterdays semi final clash which most people thought would be won by Novak Djokovic went so horribly wrong for them when Federer started playing his trademark game from the very beginning. Novak Djokovic came into this match with an unbeaten streak of 41 games in 2011 and 2 short of equalling McEnroe’s record 43 games in a season. He was in prime form and in contrast, Federer was not playing his best tennis for some time.

The match started and it was clearly visible that Federer was aggressive right from the beginning knowing that he cannot outlast Djokovic by playing defensively. Aggression was his only choice and believe me, he played sublime tennis. The first 2 sets were a treat to watch. Both players fought point to point in the first set resulting in Federer taking the set in a tie break and in the second set, the constant pressure Federer put on Djokovic started to show and he took it 6-3. Djokovic and Nadal have the same kind of game where they run around the court and make you play that one more shot to win a point. Trying to outlast them by playing defensively is hopeless which Federer has already experienced (His defeats to Nadal in 2008 Wimbledon final and 2009 Australian open) . He had a game plan and the execution was just brilliant. He took his foot of the pedal in the 3rd and Djokovic took it 6-3. It was an example of how tough it was to beat Djokovic. You have no time to relax. One small mistake or lapse of concentration and you lose the set. Federer realised it, and Djokovic with some confidence now fought for every point in the 4th. They went on breaking each others serve and in one game Federer was on the back foot with Djokovic making him run from one corner to another. Djokovic approached the net with a good shot toward the left corner of the court. Federer ran, stretched out and hit a back hand passing shot and my day was made ! Only he could have hit it. The whole crowd was on its feet and there were people bowing to him. Even Federer was not able to hold back and put his finger up, probably to still indicate that he has the number 1 game. It was the stroke of a genius, a man who never loses control of what he is doing, a master and a champion.

There are very few people who evoke this kind of emotion in me. Sachin Tendulkar is right at the top. Others are Zinedine Zidane (Decimating Brazil single handedly in 2006 world cup quarter finals), and Rafael Nadal. I didn’t like Federer and didn’t want to like him either because he was arrogant during his post match interviews and appeared to me as a headstrong fellow. When Nadal defeated Federer in the finals on Winbledon 2008, I was overjoyed. But watching him closely over the past few months and also some of his previous matches has made me wonder whether there is any one in modern era who has such a sublime game. I cannot ignore the fact that he’s a champion, but most of all I cannot ignore the fact that his is a game of a genius and that was what was on display yesterday. Federer is 29 and probably has just one more year left at the top and he’s still playing some brilliant tennis.

I am all set to watch the finals this sunday and I am rooting for Nadal  :-), but with a softened stand towards Federer. May the best man win.

Written by Vivek S

June 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Genius

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