rogerfedererfan

This blog covers all things RF. It is dedicated to my dearest friend and avid FedFan @EfieZac. May she RIP 💙

The streak is over – and we’re still alive

32 Comments

OK so the loss hurt(s) like hell. Roger Federer lost in Round 2 of Wimbledon 2013. The last time he lost this early at Wimbledon was in 2002, 11(!) years ago. The streak that everyone has been talking about has been that magical run that stopped with this loss at 36. For the past 36 Grand Slams, from Wimbledon 2004 to the French Open 2013, the Maestro has reached every single QF. Not only does that mean he’s shown up to all these Slams (no injury and/or withdrawals), but that he’s gone deep enough and played at least 5 matches (Rounds 1 through 4 + QF) in each of them.

The ATP Top 8 in 2004 – Nice shoes Andy! 😉

Here’s a bit of perspective on that. When the streak started, George W. Bush was still in his first term, Twitter, tumblr and iPhones didn’t exist, and Tobey Maguire was still Spider-Man. If you look within the tennis world, Rafa hadn’t won a single Grand Slam, Murray hadn’t turned pro, and the year end qualifiers for the ATP World Tour Finals were (in reverse seeding) Gaudio, Henman, Coria, Moya, Safin, Hewitt, Roddick…and Federer. Federer ended 2004 as World #1 and didn’t give that up for 237 consecutive weeks, yet another of those ‘streaks’ he has in the record books. He also holds the record for total number of weeks at #1 with 302 weeks at the top.

But I digress; I simply wanted to show how impressive it is that he kept this streak going for 9 whole years. In the meantime, generations of players have come and gone, courts surfaces have changed, ball speeds have changed, racket technology has changed and playing styles have changed. Through it all, we knew Roger would always reach at least the QFs. Why? Because he’s Roger Federer and he has thoroughly, utterly spoiled us. No other players’ fans have had it this easy. Murray fans had to wait out this year’s French Open. Rafa fans went through 7 months and 2 Grand Slams of his absence the past year alone. Djokovic withdrew from the 2009 Australian Open despite being the defending champion. Meanwhile Roger got married, had twin daughters, even changed coaches and yet kept showing up every Slam till at least the QFs. We Federer fans have been a privileged lot for almost a decade. If other players’ fans can support them through their misfortunes surely Roger has garnered enough fan-capital with his fans to receive the same?

Roger's mother Lynette, wife Mirka and twin daughters Charlene Riva and Myla Rose were present at the Wimbledon 2012 post match ceremony

Roger’s mother Lynette, wife Mirka and twin daughters Charlene Riva and Myla Rose were present at the Wimbledon 2012 post match ceremony

If the above paragraphs still aren’t enough to lift you out of the doom and gloom don’t fret. It might take you a while but you will survive. I know this because you’ve survived before or else you wouldn’t be here. Do you think the QF streak is the only streak in the Swiss’ glittering career? I take you back to 2005 Wimbledon. Roger won it and then reached the finals of the next 9 consecutive Slams. He won 8 of those 10 finals, no guesses for which 2 he lost. The previous record of consecutive finals was 7 by Jack Crawford in the pre-Open era. Roger’s streak broke at the 2008 Australian Open and everyone thought it was the beginning of the end. Guess what? He started another finals streak of reaching 8 more consecutive ones from the French Open in 2008. It ended when Roger lost in the French Open QFs in 2010. That was 3 years ago and you’re still here, you survived. He survived as well and reached 2 more finals after that, winning Wimbledon in 2012. Just to add, Roger has reached a total of 24 Grand Slam finals which is also a record of course. Lendl is behind him at second place with 19.

Roger simultaneously kept excelling with another crazy streak, his 23 consecutive Grand Slam SFs that also started at Wimbledon 2004 and ended almost 6 years later at the French Open in 2010. That French Open ended Roger’s 2nd finals streak as well as his SF streak. And yet, here you are, you survived. He did pretty well too, and reached 8 more SFs since then. The player nearest to Roger’s record is Novak with 12 SFs as of the French Open last month. If Novak is to break Roger’s record, he needs to reach every SF from this Wimbledon till the French Open in 2016. A bit more trivia, Roger has reached a total of 33 Grand Slam SFs breaking the previous record of 31 held by Connors.

With this loss another streak will end for Roger. For the first time in 10 years he will fall out of the top 4 in the ATP rankings. That’s a decade folks, a decade of ridiculous excellence. He will be ranked #5 unless Berdych wins Wimbledon, in which case he will drop to #6. I know, I know, that one was (is) a hard one to swallow :(. With regards to this topic I have two comments that might possibly offer some consolation.

The ATP World Tour Final Champion in 2011 - his 70th title!

The 2011 ATP World Tour Final Champion – his 70th title!

One: we’ve actually been through something similar to this as well. Remember post US Open 2011? Roger finally fell out of the top 3 to be ranked #4. He didn’t finish the year at #4 though. He did that magical sweep of Basel, Bercy and the World Tour Finals where he won a record 6th World Tour Finals Championship which was also his 70th title in his 100th final. He ended the year on a positive note – and moved back to #3. That upwards run ultimately led him all the way to winning Wimbledon 2012 and regaining the World #1.

Two: part of the reason Roger was able to get back to #1 in 2012 is because his 2011 was relatively less successful which allowed him to pick up new points in 2012 while others, especially Novak, were busy defending theirs. This is a long shot but if you think about it, 2014 will provide opportunities to improve on 2013, gain points back and help him up the rankings. We might have to wait a while but that’s where faith comes in right?

Don’t take my positivity above as a sign of naiveté. I know those streaks were amazing and each time one ended I felt as though I was gutted. But Roger is a tennis legend who is still active, meaning every single time he walks out on court he sets new records in the history books. We might not have those streaks to fawn over but we have plenty more on the horizon. For example, did you know that if Roger participates in US Open 2013 and Australian Open 2014 he will set the record for most consecutive Grand Slam appearances? Or that he needs to reach 2 more QFs to break Connors total Slam QF record? And if he wins just one more title he will leap over McEnroe and have the third most career titles in history? (they are tied at 77).

I guess my final thought is our champ is by no means done. By that I mean both for 2013 and for his career. In terms of 2013, Federer said “overall I think I’ve been playing actually not so bad, like some have portrayed it. Season’s not over here. Only just in the middle. Still have a lot of tennis left. That’s what I try to use for a good end to the season.” Roger was asked about whether this was the end of an era to which he replied, “No, because I still have plans to play for many more years to come. It’s normal that after all of a sudden losing early after being in the quarters 36 times, people feel it’s different.” I don’t think I could sum it up any better than the Maestro.

While “records” and “Roger Federer” are synonymous in tennis, I personally don’t love him just because of them. I love Roger for his beautiful tennis, his on-court artistry, his off-court charm, his graciousness, humility and class. Yes this is a mourning period but as Roger said when asked about his fans, “they’ll be ok… because I’ll be ok”. He has faith that we will move forward with him. I think as fans we owe him that much that we don’t break his faith.

Forever your fan Roger, see you in Montreal!

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32 thoughts on “The streak is over – and we’re still alive

  1. Finally, someone put my feelings and thoughts into words beautifully. Thanks a million ♥♥♥

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    • Thank you for reading it! I’m glad there are others out there who feel the same way. He’s our champion, forever and always!

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      • yes, we should thank roger federer for “metamorphosing” the tennis we know today. his talent and skills have become an envy to most players, thus they have to hone and improve their skills in order to be at par with federer and, once in a while, have the opportunity to beat him in tournaments. thus different playing styles have emerged, different techniques have been created, making tennis more interesting to watch.

        his court conduct is an inspiration to most athletes. he is an eighth-time recipient of the stefan edberg sportsmanship award as voted by his colleagues. his candidness and spontaneity has amazed the media making him one of the most well-loved and favorite athletes to be interviewed. his humility and generosity has helped improve lives of so many people, mostly children. he has made himself, as much as possible available, to participate in exhibitions that will benefit the young generation or victims of catastrophes.

        his versatility and adaptability has shown the malleability an athlete can dream of because he can adjust in every court surface, in any culture that is immersed in, in any topic that can be discussed. he also epitomizes a pleasing persona, making him an excellent role model to young athletes, and making him an excellent and credible a product and service endorser.

        he has shown deep and sincere respect to past legends of the sport, that he is always in awe of them when he meets him in tournaments. he knows the sport’s history very well. and in every win, particularly in grand slams, he has shown that it is always special. and lastly, he has shown his genuine appreciation to his fans who have expressed their love, appreciation, and faith for federe. thus, the fans are always with him in both triumph and defeat. he has connected with his fans even miles apart, making him again, another record of 10 straight yeas, ATP’s fan favorite player since 2003.

        yes, roger federer’s records have been achieved due to his sheer brilliance and love of the sport, records that are mean to be broken, though not in the nearest future. but what he has accomplished so far in his career are only consolations. the most important things that many have accorded to him the greatest-of-all-time title and a living legend are the contributions he has made to the sport, the things i stated above.

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      • I honestly couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you for your most wonderful comments about our champ! I totally agree that he has transcended his tennis to become a fantastic role model both on and off the courts. Your lovely description of Roger made me smile even though I missed him a lot today while catching glimpses of the Wimbledon SFs. He really is the greatest ever and we are all blessed to be able to see him weave his magic with his Wilson wand. Thanks for reading and your beautiful comments! Allez Roger!

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  2. Very well written! You made me realize that we kinda take his wins for granted sometimes and he’s done so so much for his fans (and himself) that we should just be proud and have faith in him. He’s so not done yet, more wins and titles coming up for the Maestro! 🙂
    And I hope one day Roger reads atleast one of your posts , you totally deserve it! 🙂

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    • Thank you for your comments and completely agree with everything you said. There’s more to come, I’m sure of it. He’s so hungry for it! you can tell from his interviews. As for Roger ever reading one of my posts, that would have to be the best thing ever in my life! I just might faint ;). Thanks again for reading!

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  3. By the way, would you mind if I reblog it? Such a brilliant masterpiece to share ^_^

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  4. That is exactly what I needed for a full recovery

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    • I felt the same way after I was done writing it. It just gave me a better perspective on how amazing it’s been to be his fan all these years. The journey isn’t over for Roger and us. I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for commenting and do visit again sometime!

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  5. Hey,I commented a few hours ago but it didn’t get posted somehow… so I thought I should post it again.

    Very well written!You made me realize that we kinda take his wins for granted most of the time, when he has done so so much
    for his fans and its time that we do something for him i.e,be patient and have faith in him.Because he’s so not done yet,more wins and titles coming up for the Maestro! 🙂
    And I really hope one day Roger reads at least one of your posts because you totally deserve it! 🙂

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    • It did get posted. I have to approve a comment when it’s from someone who hasn’t commented before (I think in order to keep spam away). Apologies for getting to it late! But from now on, you will be able to see all comments right away. And thank you for commenting again because it means a lot to me that you felt that strongly about the post :’). I’m glad I have been able to share my thoughts and feelings about Roger with so many like-minded people! Thanks again!

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  6. That was really an Excellent stuff from you writer (Roger Federer Fan)…..every line was meaning full and encouraging one for us,who were in a deep sorrow….it was Awesome post,thanks for the it 🙂

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  7. Thank you !!!! We’re are fans for all times not just for the good ones. I love Roger and this will never change.

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  8. amazing amazing post ❤ <3² thank you and i hope really one day Roger can read this and be amazed like me and thank you again

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    • Thank you for your encouraging comments! If Roger was ever to read this my life would be made! 😀 I hope the Maestro comes back strong in the US swing and ends the year on a positive note!

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  9. Ok! This read brought tears to my eyes! But its a fantastic one! We can’t complain cos Federer has given us everything! Here is wishin him success in the other half of the season!

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    • And I firmly believe he will give us more. He’s not done yet and neither are we right? 🙂 Thank you for reading and for your lovely words! I hope Roger knows how many of us are out there cheering for him!

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  10. Thank you for this wonderful post, it certainly puts everything in perspective. As Roger is not playing the rest of Wimbleton I’m reading everything about him on facebook. Again this is a wonderful article which I intend to share. Thank you again.

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    • I am having a hard time with WimbledonE as well. Not following it too much at the moment, maybe next week :/. Roger said in his presser that he does turn-arounds pretty well, as evidenced by his post USO 2011 run, so I have faith that he’ll turn this around too. Thank you for your wonderful comments and please feel free to share the post 🙂 Thanks for visiting the blog!

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  11. Sorry, Wimbledone.

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  12. Roger is the best player ever. little drawbacks will never stop him. And I will never stop to encourage this legend..

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  13. It took me while… To reply I mean. I think this might be your best blog so far. The flow I love so much is in it for starters. And besides that, it has the best last paragraph of them all. It’s absolutely beautifully written and I was all teary reading it. It’s exactly how I feel and see it too, you know it.

    I also loved it when you said on Twitter “I love it how he tied us together” (when he said “They’ll be okay, because I’ll be okay”) I never saw it like that. I only thought at that particular moment: “He’ll be okay. Of course, he will be. I’m going to focus on that”. Nothing more. But the link between the two, is indeed very beautiful and. whether or not he made that consciously, I love it.

    And about the loss: for me it was a tough one too because it’s Wimbledon. His 2nd home and the tourney I love most. But I’m over it too. And that partly comes because of your blog. The other part of because I’m a positive person by nature. And the last but by no means least part is because of Roger. I listen to him, let what he’s saying after a loss sink in, take it on board and go from there. We’ve been spoiled thoroughly over the years with all his records, amazing achievements and I feel very lucky to have been and still be a part of that! You’ve summed it up peRFectly and I think, just like you, that there are many great things yet to come!!

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    • Thank you for your wonderful words Natasja. I wish I knew in advance which of my posts are better than the others; I would then try to duplicate that success. Honestly for me, writing this piece was a way of working through the disappointment and coming out into the light at the end of the tunnel. But something about this post resonated with many others and based on the #of views, it’s definitely my most popular post ever. It makes me glad though. That means there are plenty of people out there who are also hopeful of our champ.

      His comment about his fans and him, I don’t think he made that consciously but it was just the phrasing of it… how it came out.. he interrupted the journo actually, he cut him off and said “they’ll be ok…”. As if he was protecting us from the journos too. :’). I don’t know but that comment got me on so many levels, I loved him even more for it.

      This loss was very tough for me too. Different than Rotterdam, Dubai, IW, Madrid and Rome. Like you said, this was his 2nd home and also the tourney that both he and I love. I fell in love with tennis because of Wimbledon – when I was growing up, all our TV channel would show of tennis was old and new Wimbledon matches. My earliest tennis memories are of Steffi Graf at Wimbledon actually; she was my first tennis love, before I discovered the men’s tour with Pete but that’s for another post 😉

      But back to Roger, this loss was and in many ways still is, very difficult. I’m not used to not seeing him in the 2nd week. Plus we have to wait 5 more weeks till Roger’s Cup which makes this almost as long as that break after IW. I think that’s what’s making me miss him more, the fact that we won’t see him for a while after we JUST got him back. But I remain positive about the 2nd half of the year. He can still pick up a ton of points even without the US Open. I hope he does enough to qualify for the World Tour Finals at least. it would be a travesty to not see him there. In the meantime, the outfits for the US Open are already out which strangely helped me look forward to the US swing. Here’s hoping Roger can turn it around soon! In the meantime, we’ll be right by his side, cheering him on. Again, wonderful comments Natasja, I really look forward to hearing your thoughts, you know that ;). So thank you!

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