Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Perspective on Roger Federer's Wimbledon

Most of those who read my blog are, I'm sure, crazy Federer addicts like I am.  That means that you are probably, like me, still working through the disappointment that Roger wasn't the one kissing the trophy on Sunday afternoon.  To be honest, for me his whole year was building up to Wimbledon.  I knew how much he wanted to win it, so that made me want it all the more for him.  The whole time in Halle as he marched closer to his 8th title there, my thoughts were on the Wimbledon trophy.  The whole two weeks at SW19 as he played brilliant tennis, getting broken only once in his first six matches, losing his one set in a tiebreak, I was dreaming of him lifting that beautiful prize he has held seven previous times.  And when he played a masterful class A match against Andy Murray to beat him in straight sets, really not even giving him a chance, I thought this surely must be the year.

The problem is, though, that when expectations are set so high that there is only one option that is acceptable - being the 1 person of 128 left standing at the end - that leaves room for a lot of disappointment if it doesn't go according to plan.  And it did until he ran into a very impressive world #1 Novak Djokovic.  I know a lot of Fed fans are still smarting at this loss and may not want to think about Djokovic, but we have to give credit where credit is due - he really did play an amazing tennis match.  Every time Roger had chances Novak came up with a clutch serve or a brilliant get.  Thankfully Roger was able to take the second set in a wildly intense tiebreak that gave me heart attacks over and over, but he just wasn't able to keep it up, for sure in part due to what was happening on the other side of the net.

Roger sounded quite positive in both his trophy ceremony speech, in which I thought there might be some emotion shown, and in his press conference.  Though of course disappointed, his disappointment wasn't at the level I would have expected and he sounded like he still has much passion to continue playing and pushing forward.  

I know for me, though, I allowed myself to have only one acceptable result for this tournament, for him to win it, something I hadn't been letting myself do as much the last couple years.  I'm going to try with everything I have to not be at that point anymore - where I fully expect him to win a tournament.  Do I still expect him to win titles?  Of course!  But to expect him to win a major at the age of basically 34, I'm just not going to do it anymore.  I hope desperately that at some point in the next couple years he absolutely delights and thrills his fans, and surprises the skeptics, by winning at least one more.  But if he never does, I will love every moment that he continues to play, appreciating that he is still playing beautiful tennis at this stage of his career and not only that - he is #2 in the world.  We would have killed for that in 2013.  

So to sum it up, yes I'm still bitterly disappointed and sad.  But at the same time I realize I set myself up for it.  He got to the final of Wimbledon and I'm going to appreciate that fact and try not to dwell on any negatives.  Hopefully he's having a wonderful vacation time with his family and we will look forward to seeing him on the hard courts of North America after the rest that he deserves.