Monday, June 21, 2010

Don't Call My Name, Alejandro

You'd think it would be relatively easy, being a fangirl of the greatest player ever. But no. It's tears and tantrums and occasionally wanting to die, even though it's all worth it when times are shiny and good. We're spoiled, we Federer fans, because our guy comes through so often for us - when he doesn't, we whinge.

But perhaps the sweetest moments (aside from those special moments when he holds up the shiny trophies and has a little cry to himself) are when he is forced to fight, when he is pushed to the brink and when he finds a way to win anyway.

It was not GodFed we saw out there against Alejandro Falla. He didn't seem to have too much of a game plan and he was playing short... and Falla was playing crazy out of his skin good. Falla was on fire, if you will (yes, I went there). But that's the thing about the great ones. They have the ability to find the way.

Let's talk a bit about Alejandro Falla. It would be easy to say that this is the start of big things for him, but I think that would be disenguous. I think this is the best match he has ever played in his career and I don't think he's ever going to top it. He served for the match against Roger Federer. He was SO CLOSE. This will be the story he tells his grandkids - the day he almost beat the greatest player who ever lived on Centre Court in Wimbledon. The day a little bit of that greatness rubbed off. The day he played the greatest match of his career. The day he was so close, and yet so far away.

Things seemed to click for Roger once he got that break back in the fourth, and I think once he got that first mini break in the tie break it was all over, red rover. He raced through that set like he was late for something, and that's when he played vintage Fed stuff. He uncorked a few, one might say. The commentators on TV here said that he was playing the earlier parts of the match as if it were a clay court match, and I see where they were coming from.

I don't think this is really what Roger wanted for his first round, but the dude came through a tough epic, so maybe the fight will be good for him. I've been worrying he's been getting complacent - maybe this will be a very rude wake up call. Just because your draw looks like a cakewalk doesn't mean it is in fact, a cakewalk.

But well done, Roger, for winning a match you should have lost. And congratulations, he-whose-name-is-a-Gaga-song, for playing the best match you will ever play.

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