Federer’s “failure” in Dubai


Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim (author of the fantastic book Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played)wrote this in his post on SI.com:

“Faulty Federer falls. Both the gleeful Federer buriers and concerned Federer loyalists were out in full force this weekend. Their man dropped still another match to Novak Djokovic, a shank-o-rific Dubai final that saw Federer lose 6-3, 6-3. While Djokovic played stellar, complete tennis once again, Federer did himself no favors, framing shots, hitting destinationless backhands and finding few answers when Djokovic posed the difficult questions. Federer is now like a stock whose beta/variance is starting to widen. He’s still capable of greatness — that London win over Nadal wasn’t even 100 days ago. Yet the dismal matches are becoming more common. Realistically, we knew the ride couldn’t go on forever. And Federer’s performance is in keeping with the life cycle of a champion. The consistency is the first thing to go. The old weaknesses, such as they are, start to surface. (In this case, the drive backhand.) There’s still magic left in the wand, but it’s not automatically discharged. I directed Federer fans to the 2002 U.S. Open in which Pete Sampras, struggling with his game and arriving with little momentum, found the touch for seven matches. I think that’s pretty much what we’re looking at for the rest of the journey. Know he’s capable of greatness; know it’s no longer a given.”


Roger Federer as a Religious Experience


Now I have seen him live. Roger. Federer. The greatest tennis player ever.

I still have a hard time to believe that I was only a few meters away from the great Fed Express when he rolled over Ivan Ljubicic in straight sets in the Stockholm Open semi-final. I am still star struck from the experience. I am still thinking it didn’t really happen. But it did and it was magical.


What’s up James?


James Blake. One of the most exciting players on the ATP tour. Explosive power, great personality, sportsmanship, fantastic returns and a killer forehand. Always positive. Always going for the lines.

That was four years ago. Now he is still going for the lines, but the shot lands a meter or two out. I hope he can get back to normal form, but after watching the first 30 minutes of the Cincinnati Masters match against Denis Istomin I have my doubts. Maybe it is time to put away the racket?


The Best Tennis Writer


I wish I could write as beautifully about tennis as Steve Tignor does in his column Concrete Elbow. But since I can’t I suggest you check his writing out here

Tignor really captures the beauty, the fighting, the psychologial warfare and the ebbs and flows of a tennis match. He does the game justice with words. The only one I can think of doing it equally good is Jon L Wertheim in his book “Strokes of Genius”.


The longest tennis match in history

The longest tennis match in history ended yesterday with John Isner beating Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the final set after a total play of 11 hours extending over three days. It was an absolutely amazing contest with both players holding their nerve for so long and just managing to serve so well for so long is a painful experience for any shoulder (as well as the rest of the body). I think extra credit should be given to Nicolas Mahut who had to serve to stay in the match 65 times! You can’t do nothing but feel sorry for him and sorry that there had to be a loser in this fantastic match. Isner is playing today already and he is bound to be tired. Would be nice to see him win the match though as no one should be punished for putting in this kind of effort. Thanks for the entertainment, guys!