Yes, Fed Fans, it was torture. Especially given those first thirty minutes or so, when it appeared that the dream really could come true: a full flight Roger Federer, playing flawless, brilliant tennis, might actually win a French Open final vs. Rafael Nadal! Up 5-2 in the first and with a set point on Rafa’s serve! Even the most cynical of Fed Fans couldn’t resist basking in the golden glow of his greatness.
It was a fleeting moment, but damn, did it feel good!
And that, my Fedophile friends, is why you should – despite your understandable dejection and despair – crack a smile before the end of the day.
A few more reasons:
This may make you grimace more than grin – but the second set tiebreak, that third set – in a not-so-alternate universe Roger won this match in straights.
The quality of the Fedal rivalry. It *only* went four but gosh, these guys created some gorgeous tennis. It was just a fantastic match from both guys. Especially after Roger’s scratchy start to the season, it was joy to see him at his beautiful best.
At 29 years old, Roger played some of his best and most physical tennis of his career at this tournament, going toe-to-toe with players five years his junior. This is a damn good sign as he goes into his favorite tournament on his favorite surface in a couple weeks.
It’s not even Roger’s best surface.
Roger won more games in the first set of this match than he did in the entire 2008 final vs. the same guy.
Roger fought for it. As agonizing as it was for his fans to watch him make and then lose all those chances, no one can ever again question our man’s desire and devotion to win, much less his manhood, against Rafael Nadal & Co.
His backhand is improving. In fact, his entire game may be improving.
(Wimbledon starts in 14 days!)
The World No. 3 is still No. 1 in the hearts and minds of tennis fans – just ask the French crowd.
The way Roger negotiated a super-challenging draw – losing only one set before the final – sends a major message to the lockerroom and the media.
Okay, let’s be frank: When Roger broke Nole’s streak on Friday he made everyone in the tennis world shut the eff up. . .
. . .except for Mirka, who was so happy she gave us a quote!
And it’s a quote we can all take to heart, Fed Fans: “He’s the best. For me, at least, he’s the best.”
And as both guys said at the end of their trophy speeches: l’année prochaine!
So, how are you guys feeling?
*Sorry, made a few unforced errors in the first version of this story – changed straight sets to four sets and Thursday to Friday for Nole vs. Rog!