Thursday, June 29, 2017
Roger Federer wins again in Halle, giving high expectations for Wimbledon
Once again on Sunday Federer fans were treated to a masterclass display by our Maestro as he won a record 9th Halle title and his 92nd overall. You'd think that after so many that it would start to get boring or routine after a while, but that is so far from the truth. And looking at his happy face with his trophy, you would think it was one of his first.
It was one of those matches where he was simply in his groove. Sure, Zverev didn't play his best, but much of that was due to the fact that Roger didn't allow him to. Watching him play when he's in this mode is without a doubt one of the most beautiful in sport. The variety of shots he comes up with, his incredibly graceful movement on court, and the ease with which he does it never gets old. But of course, anyone reading this blog is intensely aware of all of that, so I don't need to go on, though we do need to be extremely appreciative to still be able to watch this level of play at 35 years old.
After Roger's surprise loss in the first round of Stuttgart I wasn't necessarily nervous, but I couldn't help but wonder what our expectations should be after the 10 week break. Just because he had an absolutely incredible dream comeback after his 6 months off, that doesn't mean it will happen again. As one of my twitter friends reminded me, he could very easily have been ranked around 30 after Australia if he had lost early, which wouldn't have been surprising after such a long break. Instead he completely spoiled us by winning three prestigious tournaments, putting the locker room on notice that he's still a force to be reckoned with.
Still, though, what should our expectations really be? All of a sudden he is considered by many to be the favorite to win Wimbledon again. Whether that helps or hurts him, I don't know, or if it makes any difference at all. Of course a good draw would help, but look at the "quarter of death" draw he had in Indian Wells and what he did with that! I think it really depends mostly on himself. When he's playing the way we know he can, when he's confident, aggressive, and serving well, he almost certainly will win any match he plays, especially on his special grass surface. The question is, of course, will he?
I'm trying not to "expect" him to win, or to feel like it's not successful unless he does. But though my mind tells me those things, and that he has already given us so much by winning in Australia, my heart knows how disappointed I will be if he doesn't win. However, I'm going to try to enjoy every single moment of watching him the next couple weeks on the hallowed tennis grounds of Wimbledon, and I know he will be loving every moment.