Monday, July 06, 2009

Gotta believe in magic

There were many, many moments in the nail-biting, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick when I genuinely feared my darling Roge wasn't going to make it. Roddick was playing some awesome, awesome tennis, and his booming serve seemed unstoppable, even for the Mighty Fed, who failed to break A-Rod throughout the entire match... until the very end.

In a tightly contested, interminable 5th set that finished at 16-14, Federer fended off the very focused, very ferocious Roddick, and more than anything, I felt sheer relief surge through me as the match was finally won. No question about it, Andy had played better tennis, but destiny seemed to insist on having its way. Tonight, Federer claimed 3 things: his 6th Wimbledon title, a record 15th Grand Slam championship, and a place in history as arguably the greatest who's played the sport. With this win, he will also be reclaiming the world #1 ranking from Rafael Nadal (sorry Tommy!). And though I was more emotional when Roger won the French Open last month, I feel even more proud of him now, especially since he overcame such a formidable opponent. At one point during the 2nd set, which Federer won in a tie break where he was down 5-1, a single word kept running through my head: MAGIC. There really is something about the way the man plays that almost appears otherworldly, and even when it looked like he was going to be thwarted by his favorite whipping boy (their head-to-head record now stands at 19-2), the Swiss Maestro managed to hang in there and in a matira-ang-matibay showdown, made the American blink first.

That being said, I would like to give mad, mad props to Roddick, who was simply smashing, not just in the final against Federer, but in his semis match against Andy Murray and quarterfinal against Lleyton Hewitt. I have never been a Roddick fan, but this is a new and improved A-Rod, no longer the cocksure hothead he was before. I was blown away by the spectacular skills he put on display at Wimbledon, and during the 5th set tonight I even actually found myself on the verge of relenting and saying "let him have it", he's worked so hard to get to where he is.

But my heart is too loyal to Roger, and I am ecstatic that he survived this closely contested, sensational slugfest. I don't know if this victory at Wimbledon was written in the stars, or the workings of that old Swiss magic. In any case, I'm glad I kept my faith in FedEx (though I came dangerously close to cardiac arrest), and I'm glad I witnessed one of the most amazing feats in tennis achieved by a living legend I love.


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