Monday, November 26, 2007

All Hail Roger Federer - The Tennis Genius

I was lucky to watch the finals of the Shanghai Masters Cup, last Sunday, between Roger Federed and the surprise finalist, David Ferrer. David was on a hot streak entering into the finals, while people has started wondering if Roger is not the same player he once was. However, it tooks just a few minutes for Roger to show David and the world who the boss is.

Words fail me to describe the game of Roger Federer. His ability to execute one stunning shot after another, consistently over a 5 set match, is unlike anyones' I have ever seen. And I have been watching tennis regularly for the past 18 years now. Coming to this specific match, I believe it was one stunning shot that turned the match around, in Rogers' favour. He was facing break point in his first service game, which he managed to save. In the next game, with Ferrer serving, he hit a brilliant backhand slice on a powerful Ferrer inside out forehand. David managed to hit it back, which Roger lobbed back. David Ferrer showed great strength to chase the ball and keep it play, but Roger Federer was at the net for an easy put away. That point visibly took the winds out of David Ferrer; his spirit was broken, and the rest of the match was a pure exhibition of Roger Federers' incredible genius.

I have watched some great tennis players - Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and I firmly believe that when it comes to tennis skills, Roger Federer stands head and shoulders above all these great players. Sure, Stefan had the finest serve and volley game, and Boris and Andre had phenomenal charisma, Pete could possibly be the toughest player mentally, but Roger brings it all together in a manner that makes watching him play sheer pleasure.

Rogers' game is a work of art. It touches you emotionally in a way good music, good movies do. It is no longer a game, where winning and losing matters. Sure, it helps that Roger wins most of his games, but I would gladly watch him lose, if he continues to give me the same pleasure of his game as he does today.

My only regret is that tennis will be an infinitely poorer game once he decides to call it quits. But till then, whenever he is playing, stop whatever it is you are doing, and just enjoy the spectacle of the greatest tennis player in action.

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