As far as Wimbledon's I'd like to forget go, this one ranks up there pretty highly. And it's not just because of Federer's demoralising loss to Berdych in the quarters - though that is obviously part of the reason! No, it actually comes down to the fact that the final was really spectacularly uninteresting.
We have been blessed with some classic Wimbledon finals of late. Wimbledon 2007 - Federer takes down Nadal in five sets. Wimbledon 2008 - the match widely touted as the greatest of all time, when Nadal prevailed over Federer in a heartbreaking 8-6 final set. Wimbledon 2009 - if you want to talk about a heartbreaker, ask Andy Roddick how he felt after going down to Federer 16-14 in the fifth, giving Federer his fifteenth Slam.
2010. Rafa Nadal beats Tomas Berdych in three sets so dull it's almost agonising.
This is not to take anything away from Rafa, who had a stupendous tournament. (I find myself saying that I don't want to take stuff away from Rafa a lot, for some reason - I suppose that as a Federer fan I'm always looking at things from a very specific perspective.) This was the tournament where people started to talk about Rafa not just as the dude that stopped Federer being far and away the greatest of all time, but as a candidate for the title of Greatest himself. But none of that makes the final any less than dull.
I don't especially want to talk about the Federer/Berdych match, which had me swearing and crying and screaming like a maniac. One match I will talk about, though, was Federer's first round - which also had me swearing and screaming and crying. Who ever would have thought that there would be a day when Alejandro Falla would be serving for the match at Wimbledon against Roger Federer? Not me, that is for sure, and I would venture that the thought hadn't really occurred to many other people either.
I think that that was when I realised that this Wimbledon was probably not going to be Federer's. But when Federer came back from the brink of defeat, I wasn't thinking about that. There have been a bunch of matches this year when Federer has lost from a match-points-up position. Let's not forget that he's fought his way out of some pretty dark holes himself.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago