So the Wimbledon draw came out yesterday. Roger Federer has been placed in the same half as Murray and in the same quarter as Rafa. Here is the full draw. This is Roger’s projected path:
R1-Hanescu, H2H 5-0
R2- Dutra Silva H2H 0-0 / Stakhovsky H2H 1-0
R3- Rosol H2H 0-0 / Fognini H2H 2-0 / Melzer H2H 3-1
R4- Almagro H2H 5-0 / Janowicz H2H 1-0
QF- Nadal H2H 10-20
SF- Murray H2H 9-11
Final- Djokovic H2H 16-13
Here is what Roger said about the draw: “If you want to win this type of tournament, you have to beat the best anyway. You don’t want to hope for a good draw; you don’t hope for the worst draw either. At the same time you have to feel confident enough that you can do it all. It’s not an easy draw for Rafa, it’s not an easy draw for me, it’s not an easy draw for Andy. I am very much focused on my first round. If then the quarter-finals with Rafa would come along, it’s great news. I’m super excited. We’ve had some monster matches here in the past.”
Meanwhile, back on planet earth, my twitter timeline resembled a volcanic eruption of lava tears of pain and torture. Fans all over the world expressed the 5 stages of grief and if twitter had audio, the dying calls of wounded deer would have filled-up cyberspace.
As I read and re-read Federer’s comments I couldn’t help but envy him. While he’s a super athlete with the mentality of cold hard steel, I am not. I don’t have what it takes to see these draws and yet be more interested in having a practice session with Lleyton. (They were watched by Lleyton’s son Cruz and that cuteness can’t be described so here’s the Instagram link :))
I am not made like you Roger, I admit to my vulnerability of being simply human; of getting angry when I see a tough draw; of getting scared when you are down a break or a set; of getting despondent when you lose a match. I can’t recover like you, I can’t move forward as quickly as you do and it’s harder for me to shut off my ears to the nonsense that your pseudo fans and haters spout with each bad moment. But don’t feel too bad for me Rog, there is a flip side to this too. When you win, you maybe do a fistpump, raise your arm and gently clap your racket. On the contrary, I get to yell, scream, and jump up and down with delight. And when you sign the camera and wave, I happily wave back 😀
But back to the present, unlike Roger, I am wary of this draw. He’s facing the only two active players who have a positive H2H against him, one after the other, both at the peak of their powers; and that’s just to get to the final. But Roger would tell me, I’m getting ahead of myself. Who knows what the first week of slick, fast, low-bouncing grass will bring to the entire draw? So my plan is to focus on the first week for now and practice breathing into a paper bag to calm my nerves. I’ll cross that second week when we get there.
At the same time, I recognize that if this win were to happen, it would possibly be his greatest one yet. I remind myself there is none who moves on grass like him. I also realize that of all the courts in all the tournaments in all the world, Wimbledon Centre Court is his Fortress of Solitude. He comes here and gets rejuvenated while the doubting world watches with disbelief. It was here in 2003 when the talented 21 year-old finally fulfilled expectations with his first Grand Slam title. It was here in 2009 when after a tumultuous 2008 he regained his crown as the King. It was here in 2012 when, contrary to popular opinion that he was long done, he snatched his 7th Wimbledon, his 17th Grand Slam and the world number 1 all in one sweep. Maybe for the 8th time Roger will don his superhero cape and mesmerize us again. Could 2013 bring us some more magic? I am putting my faith in his genius and saying, Why not?
We won’t have to wait much longer. The Maestro, as the men’s defending champion will play the first match of Wimbledon 2013 on Centre Court this Monday. Allez Roger!