Up until a very short while ago, I had started to believe that for history to be truly made, or for a match to really have a huge impact on me, then Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer must both be on court. Today however, greatness presented itself on Wimbledon Centre Court in a different form, and the fighting spirit and determination, I so much admire, were exuded from a player other than Rafa. This year, Wimbledon was blessed by none other than Andy Roddick.
I realize I am sounding as though Roddick were the one who made history today not Federer. Fear not Fedophiles, I am not taking away from what Federer has managed to accomplish today. But in all fairness, such greatness is always expected from the Swiss, but the way Roddick held his ground today, serving from behind the entire 5th set, and pulling off those massive holds each time, all the way until 15-14 was truly impressive.
If you look at the match stats today, you wouldn't really know which stats belonged to which player, because it was Federer who served more aces and Roddick who converted more break points. Of the 107 winners Federer hit today, 50 of those were aces. I bet Roddick didn't think he would be out-aced today, I know I didn't. Despite those aces, it was Roddick who managed to break twice, once in the first set and once in the 4th, while Federer couldn't convert a single break point until the final game of the 4 hour 16 minute match, in the 77th game to be exact.
But at the end of the day, a very impressive Roddick was left disappointed once again, after suffering a loss at the hands of Federer for the 3rd time in a Wimbledon final.
The American, who remains a one-Slam wonder, showed form this tournament particularly against Andy Murray and Federer, that I didn't really know he had. His volleys have tremendously improved, which together with his serve and baseline power game, have made a very solid player out of him. I really hope he can shake this loss quickly though, because as heartbreaking as it was, Roddick should leave Wimbledon with nothing but confidence in his game and more importantly, Larry Stefanki, who I believe has done wonders with Roddick (but perhaps needs to teach him how to properly play a backhand slice, am I right?).
Okay moving along, now I must start stating the obvious and pay tribute to Federer. This time last year, he was in tears talking to John Mcenroe after losing to Rafa in back-to-back Grand Slam finals, he was on his way to losing his number 1 ranking and some people were doubting whether the Swiss would ever hit top form again. Earlier this year, more tears came when Federer lost to Rafa again in a Grand Slam final, and this time it was in Australia, and the skeptics continued with their skepticism.
After a less-than-Federesque first part of the season, where he lost to Murray in Doha and Indian Wells, Djokovic in Miami and Rome, and Wawrinka in Monte Carlo, Federer switched gears and went cruise control all over everybody else's asses including Nadal's very famous one.
Within a 6-week period, Federer has managed to complete a career slam, regain his number 1 ranking and break Pete Sampras' record of all time Grand Slam titles by making Wimbledon his lucky 15th. The skeptics can rest now.
Congratulations to both Federer and Roddick on a final people will talk about for many years to come. Now I can go back to checking on Rafa, and await his return, as I truly believe he mustn't be written off this season just yet. Watch out for the Spaniard at the US Open this year!!!
It's hard Andy, we all know. Federer told us after the match how heartbroken he was to go 1 in 5 in Wimbledon finals last year, making us realize how awful it must be for you to go 0 in 3!! Yeah he's a real sensitive guy like that!
The second most disappointing thing today after Andy's loss was Michael Ballack's shirt. The word hideous comes to mind