Anyone who has been following tennis is already familiar with the subject that I am going to discuss. Or I would rather revere with the term legend than using subject because to describe someone who is a one in a lifetime, it would be very rude and strictly out of manners. For someone who is new to the world of tennis, all you might be wondering about is where is this new religion worshiped of which you have never even heard of? It is simple: anyone who is passionate about tennis respects this religion. It is the case of admiring finesse and class, and expecting some majestic style of tennis display in every single second spent in what may take over an hour to a whopping five hours or even more depending on the performance that is delivered.
Ever since his professional debut in 1998, there has never been the case of turning back and regretting over his decision to enter into the tennis world for Swiss maestro Roger Federer. Federer made his mark in the tennis world with an impressive win over 14 times grand slam winner Pete Sampras and another american Andre Agassi who were considered the best in the game during Federer’s early tennis career. It was no surprise that the tennis pundits soon talked about this youngster in the days to come and even compare him to the likes of Pete Sampras, Roy Emerson and Bjorn Borg. With a superb display of class and defining the game with his own style of play, Federer soon began to rule over tennis and quickly established himself as the world number one.
|All those glorious 17 Grand Slam Titles|
Federer’s god like style of play and his beautiful backhand with a mix of fine volley and deceiving fake shots pushed NY Times author David Foster Wallace to pen his next feature tennis article as FEDERER AS A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE in August 20, 2006 and it has even been updated at a later date. In it, Wallace captures the essentials that perfect Federer’s world class tennis display. Once a person reads it, he is compelled to experience what Wallace delineated of Federer when he watches one of his games.
Federer has redefined the era of tennis by breaking as many records as he can on the way. Among these, many consider his record 17 grand slam titles to be the most defining one. By doing so, he surpassed the record held by Pete Sampras. Other notable records include his seven Wimbledon titles and his stay as a world number one for record 237 consecutive weeks. On his way to a glittering tennis career, he has played many great matches against notable opponents like Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro. But for me, the 2009 Australian Open 4th round match against Czech Tomas Berdych hails as one of my best matches.
The five set thriller continuously provided a breathtaking action with either player very close to winning the game. Among others, the 2007 Wimbledon final against Rafael Nadal and 2009 Wimbledon final against Andy Roddick have been my favorites. In the latter game, the match was forced to a fifth set thriller and with strong display of tennis from Federer, Roddick was outclassed securing a pulsating win for the Swiss giant.
On course to worshiping this religion, it was necessary to watch the full match sometimes without any accelerating heartbeat (as I was very sure about the result) and sometimes with the game taking my breath away. It was a joyful experience sitting in front of TV late night and busy biting my fingernails only wishing a win for Federer. There were even times when listening to the live game via BBC World Service was the only alternative to the bad cable service or the frequent blackouts common in our country. Nevertheless, there was always some way to get information about Federer’s quest for a major title.
It is necessary to understand the spirituality that his game puts into the audience. Once you begin to watch his game, the definition of class itself sprouts out. The level of passion and an adrenaline rush about the end result compels to search for answers about the intricacy of the game play and notice the subtlety in the shots that he directs and those of his opponents.
Federer’s wife and his twin daughters cheer on in his 2012 Wimbledon match
Even from Federer’s game, it is very easy to conclude his personal life. The joy at sharing the wins with his wife, Mirka Federer and his twin daughters, Myla and Charlene, at the Wimbledon 2012 was viewed by many Federer fans as his commitment to the family. In an interview in ‘Talk-Asia with Monita Rajpal’ in CNN, he does not hesitate to reveal the mental images of his family coming up during the matches and admits that it is very difficult to reprise his role as a father, a husband and a celebrated player. He is even respected by his adversaries which is justified at a charity called ‘Hit for Haiti’ during the Australian Open.
As Federer ages, there is no doubt that there will be tough competitions from the younger generation of players and it will be more tough in winning major titles which is what is happening right now. But even as he ages, the memories of his every games will be fresh in my memories and his stories of superb display will always find a place in the coming generations of tennis addicts. We just have to make sure that his religion continues and leaves a legacy for the future tennis stars to follow. Until then, RF rocks!!