Nike Presents: Roger Federer in “Fly Swatter” - Federer vs. Fly: Game, Set, Match [x]
Roger Federer defeats Potito Starace 6-1 6-2 in the 2nd Round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia
LOL she looks exactly like her dad when he screamed ‘shut up!’ on the court.
omg. this is GOLDEN.
I have spent hours of my life over the last decade or so engaging in tennis discourse, either in person or on the Internet. In this time, I have observed the various fan groups, combed over countless comments, and participated in endless discussion about all things tennis. Fans have come and gone, the game has changed, and opinions have changed with it; it’s all very fleeting.
I can say, however, that at least one clear theme has persisted over the years: the strength, resiliency, and resolution of the Federer fan. Regardless of the circumstances, good and bad, that Roger Federer’s career has endured, his fans have always remained beside him.
Their loyalty to Federer, which I share, has been undying. Thinking back on this, though, it is not the Federer fan who should be credited for such devotion, but it is the legendary player himself. For his fans, Federer has made it rather easy to stand by his side, particularly in comparison to other athletes of his caliber.
Many journalists, for example, like to suggest that Federer’s career is blessed. He has maintained a streak of health, bout of mono and minor back tweaks notwithstanding. 32 years of age in just 3 months, Federer has already enjoyed a unique longevity, one characterized by record-breaking success. His fans have been able to enjoy him for far longer and far more steadily than they, and I, ever expected.
The Swiss man’s personal life is just as stable as his tennis career, if not more so, and it seems as if it always has been. Behind Federer exists a supportive family and a devoted team of friends; in matches, they are present enough to provide support but calm enough to remain unimposing.
Furthermore, Federer’s demeanor on court is one of composure and serenity. He has few, if any, eccentricities or distracting nervous ticks. For instance, his play is of a reasonable pace, featuring an uncomplicated and efficient pre-service ritual and service motion. Very rarely do Federer’s on-court actions detract from his tennis.
This, of course, is due to Federer’s evidently healthy mentality, which is not characterized by such things as self-doubt, a complex of inferiority, or an air of misery or anger. Some of his peers seem to view tennis as a life of suffering and pain, but Federer appears more than happy with his life on tour. When thinking of Federer’s mindset, one imagines his peace of mind and level-headedness. His decisions are often rather measured; emotionally impulsive he is not. Perhaps most consequential, he bounces back from defeat quickly—sometimes within hours of a loss.
To continue, the future of the Maestro, as he is sometimes known, is anything but uncertain. He has a clear plan for the remainder of his career and will reportedly retire on a fortune of several hundred million dollars. His family and thriving foundation will surely occupy his time and provide fulfillment. Whereas most professional athletes retire with battered bodies and a future full of surgical procedures, it seems unlikely that this will be Federer’s fate. If he so desires, a senior tennis tour awaits his presence and, unlike some of his peers, his health, graceful playing style, and positive mentality about the sport will allow him to participate.
Finally, I tend to see Federer as a man of Teflon—someone to whom criticism does not stick. Though many faultfinders and anti-fans have attempted to tarnish the Federer image over the years, he has always escaped unscathed. This is partially due to Federer’s disarming, amicable personality, droves of supportive fans, and ability to handle delicate situations diplomatically.
However, it is mostly due to the flimsy nature of the criticisms launched against him, which occasionally involve something as silly as the wearing of a sponsor-provided article of clothing. More often, though, it is a dissenting claim of arrogance supported by a single line of dialogue heard in a several-thousand-word press conference. Usually innocent, true, and acceptable in context, they are made more serious through cherry-picking and liberal interpretation. These criticisms neither impact the tennis-watching experience nor influence the sport of tennis negatively; they are so insignificant and unmemorable that they fall away over time.
Therefore, Federer fans of the last decade have not been forced to deal with many of the issues one might expect when entering into a tennis fan group of such a prominent player:
- Worrying about potential injury has hardly been a problem.
- Painfully long stretches without Federer present in tennis were few and far between.
- Watching him suffer with injury was rarely part of the deal.
- There was no excuse making for obtrusive, embarrassing family members.
- Forcing oneself to get used to oddities and eccentricities has never been a task for the Federer fan.
- Concern over his post-retirement future is nonexistent.
- And, weathering or defending against criticism required only the use of logic.
For fans who have experienced Federer’s entire career, it has evidently become considerably easier to brush off the unfortunate moments, which have been admittedly scarce and mild by comparison. In such moments, his fans can not only bask in the successes of the past, which are many, but also take solace in the longevous, healthy, and happy career that Federer continues to have.
Indeed, fans of Roger Federer have had a blessed run, a blessing bestowed by Federer’s talent and hard work, and it may continue on for years to come.
Roger Federer defeats Radek Stepanek 6-3 6-3 in the 2nd Round at the Mutua Madrid Open
Roger Federer practices with Marin Cilic in Madrid - May 3rd 2013
“I had a great time visiting Rolex at Baselworld. Here’s a picture from a recent photo shoot with their brand new watch…” [x]
Happy 35th Birthday to the phenomenally supportive Mirka Federer! - April 1 2013