My last post on Federer and Nadal touched quite a few nerves.Some one accused me of being biased against Roger,another stated that Nadal plays like a cow and looks like one and a lot of others merely stated well, they dont want to comment.All these guys are Federer fans believing as so many millions across the globe that their idol is perhaps the greatest of all time.Replying to those comments, yes I am biased against Federer in a way and No..Nadal does not play nor look like a cow from any visible angle .His butt picking habit not withstanding he is one of the hottest tennis stars I know. Though now of course he may come third in that current list after Djokovic and Verdasco.
The reason why I write this post is because I realised that my blog stats soared with the last one but on a more serious tone its because I felt that the last post was incomplete.
so why am I biased against Federer? I started as a federer fan when the Swiss began his career,it was fine until the moment people started hailing him as better than Sampras.That for me was sacrilege.When I heard that, I wondered if it was true and even spent anxious moments . After Sampras had retired I had not seen the sport for 2 years.
Federer was lucky in the sense that he had Agassi in his twilight,Safin all imploded,Roddick not so talented and Hewitt – I am yet to figure out what happened, as his prime opponents.For all their ability these guys do not hold a candle to the kind of opponents that Sampras faced,taking into account of course that Andre was past his best when Federer began to ascend .Sampras is the greatest because he dominated with such imperial authority the most competitive era in men’s tennis.
I still wonder why the media switches its claims so easily.Agassi had called Sampras the best when he lost to him, he later bestowed it on Federer when he lost to him,the same goes for Henman and a host of others who extolled Roger and are now questioning if he will ever win Nadal again.Even Sampras when asked to name his potential successor at the time of his retirement had said it would take the game of Safin and the mental strength of hewitt to dominate as he did.He did not name Roger Federer then.
I am not trying to belittle Federer, I am a fan of the sport and any fan worth his salt will know that Federer is gifted with the most talented all court game that ever was.Better than Nadal? Definitely yes.Better than Sampras? Also a yes.I am only suggesting that he is not the best player at the moment nor is he the best in history.By player here , I mean his ability to win.Talent need not translate into success always.Ask Uncle Toni.
Nothing is wrong with Federer’s game, its the same. There is no perceptible change to it before and after the arrival of a man called Nadal.If Federer could be called GOAT then he must be now too.His game is the same.The only hitch is that Federer is all elegant and grace when he is not challenged,when he is, it falls apart.He has made the same uncharacteristic errors against not only Nadal but also against Murray and Djokovic.
He reminds me of the other supremely talented Swiss ,Martina Hingis.It was painful seeing her come apart against the powerful ground strokes of the Williams,Capritati and Davenport.Her game was Swiss perfection too except her serve that is.But elegance and talent did not withstand the power and athleticism of the Williams.
If you are to go on and call Federer GOAT then it would put us in a quandary with Nadal .What would you call this guy who so thoroughly dominates Federer?
Federer lacks perhaps the one important weapon in his arsenal-the Champion’s Mind.Genius can be outdone by hardwork and dedication.For being focused single mindedly on a goal is genius in itself.Thats why the day Federer stops thinking of everything else apart from winning Nadal, he will do it not once but quite a few times.