July 17, 2012

Roger That!- A tribute to the legend by Aditya Raste

"I would be honored to even be compared to Roger. He is such an unbelievable talent, and is capable of anything. Roger could be the greatest tennis player of all time." -Rod Laver, Tennis Great.
Aditya Raste pays a tribute to the tennis legend, Roger Federer.

Roger That! - A tribute to the legend 
by Aditya Raste

Wimbledon 2012,
Final, Center Court,
Set 4, Game 10.
You could have easily mistaken it to be his first ever title, judging by the sheer joy on the face of the greatest tennis player of all time as he sunk to his knees in yet another page into an incredible histoire à succès.
And yet 17 Grand Slams (7 Wimbledon, 5 US Opens, 4 Australian Opens and 1 French open) later, there wasn’t an iota of arrogance about his demeanor. Proclaimed by many as the greatest to have ever graced the tennis court, on June 16, 2012 Roger Federer added yet another feather to his cap-surpassing Pete Sampras’ record of the most weeks as ATP World No.1.

His 24th Major final didn’t begin well for him by any measure. His timing was off and he made unforced errors. Andy Murray dominated and won the first set comfortably. Even in the second, which Federer took 7-5, he looked well out of his comfort zone. But then the ruthless and elegant side of his game came to the fore and he made the Scotsman suffer. The deft backhands, powerful and crafty forehands, shrewd placement and impeccable timing were a joy to witness. With each passing minute, Federer grew in stature and Murray’s frustration started to get the better of him. Federer triumphed yet again. Final score: 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4.
Born 8th August 1981, Federer turned pro in 1998 and claimed is first major in 2003- The Wimbledon beating Mark Phoilippoussis. He blossomed thereafter and dominated World Tennis monopolizing the US open and Wimbledon for the next 5 years. He also claimed the Australian Open in ’04, ’06,’07 and ’10. The French Open, though eluded him until 2009(courtesy Rafael Nadal) when he crushed Robin Soderling in straight sets to claim what remains his maiden and only Roland Garros title.
It hasn’t been a bed of roses for him. Nadal constantly got the better of him on clay and went on to break his Wimbledon streak as well. And Djokovic’s advent combined with Federer’s failure to claim a single Major in 2011, it was thought he wouldn’t be adding to his jaw-dropping tally of 16 Grand Slam titles. But he rose to fight again and restored himself as World No. 1. There was no one doubting his greatness, but with this achievement, he may have settled the debate of the best ever tennis player for a very long time to come.

Jimmy Connors sums up his versatility perfectly-

"In an era of specialists, you're either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist...or you're Roger Federer."

            Roger Federer is an example to follow in all walks of life. His work realted to social causes and charity are admirable. His never ending passion for the game and down-to-earth mentality is a truly rare quality.
Many get carried away by success and fame, become arrogant and later when success wane off, but true legends like Roger Federer remain true to their roots come what may. His legacy will live on for as long as there is tennis. 

I saved this quote for the last- one that expresses his true grandeza:
This is a guy who buys drinks for photographers and thanks reporters who show up for his press conferences.”
—Sportswriter Rene Stauffer on Roger Federer.

No words can quite express his grandeur but I hope this piece makes all Nadal and Djokovic fans out there respect him more!
Auf Wiedersehen!
-      Aditya.

Sources: 1.Wikipedia
                2. http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Federer/Federer_they-say.html
                3. http://wallpaperstopick.blogspot.in/2012/06/roger-federer.html