Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Prime Time Show of Tennis - 1

You see, I'm not in the best of spirits when Roger Federer loses a match in a Grand Slam. It's no good if the slam is Wimbledon and it only gets worse that he lost from a two sets to love lead. And so naturally, I wouldn't be seen talking about it. But I still want to write on this blog so I tactfully skirt around the issue like this. But given recent events, my spirits seem to have lifted enough to bring that episode out and compare it what just happened.

Of the many records he has set in his career, the 178-0 stat after winning the first two sets is not the most monumental one of them. For instance, it doesn't compare with the 23 straight semi-final or better performance he accomplished starting Wimbledon 2004, or the 285 weeks he spent at the No. 1 spot. But its tells everyone that Federer is certainly one of the best home stretch performers. So when Tsonga snapped that streak, it must've raised doubts. When Federer goes two sets to love up, it doesn't necessarily mean he is going to win. Even more so when you consider that Federer did not stop playing well, just that the opponent started playing much better. Another thing which people started pointing out was that most of Federer's recent grand slam losses have come against players who hit the ball hard. And when I say hard, I mean rip the fluff out type hard. Berdych, Soderling and Tsonga all do that. The same guys who he would've beaten two years back in surprisingly short straights, were bombing him with unplayables and getting results. Perhaps the time had come when he was getting passed by younger, bulkier models.

The excitement in the build up to the US Open quarter-final had several contributors. No one must have failed to notice that both were drawn in the same quarter. And no one expected either to fall anywhere less. And Tsonga's recent demolition of Roger in Montreal was still fresh in everyone's minds. (People generally do not forget important Wimbledon matches) Both players lived up to their seeding and set up the clash too. And then even nature contributed by washing out a couple of days of play, just to give enough time for all the press and tongues to set the anticipation to impossible heights.
The match wasn't of the same level as Wimbledon. But one thing was pretty much in plain sight. Federer was out hitting Tsonga and except for a few more errors, things were 2007 Roger-esque. Funnily enough, by winning this match, Federer has setup an even more talked about and highly wanted semi-final with Novak Djokovic.

The top four have made it to semi-finals yet again in a major and the peak of men's tennis certainly looks good. I'd recommend you keep your schedule free at 2130hrs IST on this Saturday.

No comments:

Post a Comment