On Matters That Matter

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones

It was a crazy Sunday

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Far too many headlines and news pieces could be found on Andy Murray being the man who would stop Roger Federer from winning his 15th Grand Slam title before Roddick altered the script. The altered versions then mentioned the American as a postscript to Federer’s charge towards his 15th Grand Slam title.

What unfolded though was a crazy script. Federer’s head was spinning after the gruelling game and he was using the word crazy to describe just about everything. Roddick was sitting exhausted in his chair, physically drained and emotionally distant after the scoreboard read 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14. Roddick perhaps didn’t know till the crowd reminded him that he had played the lead role in the script.

It was assumed what Roddick must be going through, so he faced the statement that after such a match he must be feeling that it is a cruel game, the No from Roddick was loud and instantaneous. He looked at the crowd and said that not too many people get a chance to be where he was. It was indeed a crazy final, a final in which the script was written for the loser. Federer lifted the trophy. Roddick lifted the Centre Court.

Federer had reached the final dropping just one set. And at his best he plays as if he is the only one on the court and every ball that comes from the other end is there for him to show his repertoire. Here he was the first one to admit that he was not in control of the match. Roddick did not have such a smooth ride to the finals. He reached here battling Hewitt in a marathon five-setter and defying all odds to beat Andy Murray in four sets in the semi-finals.

It was crazy as Roddick looked very relaxed and Federer just a bit tight when they walked out to the Centre Court. Roddick came out firing in the first set and stunned Roger by his initial blows. A couple of stunning passes whizzed past Federer when he tried to come to the net. Roddick broke Federer to take the first set. In the second set tie-breaker Federer came back from being 2-6 down to take it 8-6. That was the lifeline he desperately needed in order to play with some freedom and flair.

Roddick didn’t allow him that freedom today and Federer struggled to find his mojo, still the champion led by two sets to one as he took the third set tie-breaker. Roddick took an early break in the fourth set and served it out to level the game. This was now unchartered territory as not a single match out of the previous 20 between Federer and Roddick went to the fifth set.

Roddick had broken Federer twice before the marathon fifth set started, while Federer had failed to convert his few chances. It was crazy as Roddick held his serve for 37 consecutive games before he could hold no more at 14-15 in the final set that Federer took 16-14.

It was crazy that Roddick made the greatest tennis player ever fight for every point in the longest Wimbledon final ever by games. After this there are two options Roddick said, “you lay down or you keep going. The second one sounds better to me.”

Federer’s greatness and place in history was not that much in doubt before this tournament started, but everything about Roddick was in doubt. It was this crazy Sunday in which Federer won but it was Roddick who cleared all the doubts.

If Roddick goes on in the direction he has taken it would no longer be crazy if majors start coming his way. He has shown everybody that he can play some tennis sometimes.

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Written by Deepan Joshi

July 7, 2009 at 12:41 am

2 Responses

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  1. The match was an absolute thriller. All credit to Andy Roddick. He served like a serving machine until the last game which was the only service break he faced. It was undoubtedly the best Wimbledon final that I have witnessed. Roddick can go a long way, if he continues like this. At the same time the legendary Federer has once again proved that he is the king of tennis. Astonishingly, for more than 4 hours, neither of the player let tiredness overcome their aggression.

    Sushant Nag

    July 7, 2009 at 11:00 am

  2. The match was more thrilling than a Hollywood flick… But ultimately Federer held his nerves to lift the Cup… I saw the complete match, and it was really tense, till the very last serve…

    Deepan, congrats… It was the best piece on this marathon battle that I read anywhere… Seems, you love Tennis more than anything else… Keep it up, buddy…

    Vivek Rastogi

    August 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm


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