rogerfedererfan

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

Ramblings of a Federer Fangirl

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Roger+Federer+Roger+Federer+Charity+Match+WauXbf2InDQlWhen Roger Federer lost his Australian Open SF match my first thought was “I hope he’s ok.” And then my train of thought went as follows: “Well, he has his entire team with him, Seve, Stefan, Stephane and Tony and thank goodness for Mirka that amazing woman, and oh! He’ll get to hug the twins once he goes back to the hotel… aww, that’ll be really sweet”. My primary concern was whether he was fine, mentally and physically. Once I thought of the support system he has, I felt better, knowing he will be taken care of by people who love him. But what about his tennis? This shank, or that missed break point? I didn’t think about those, not for a while. A full day later it hit me why: I had been worried about Roger Federer the person, not Roger Federer the tennis player.

Of course tennis is a part of it, a large part. But for me Roger is like a close friend. Except, Roger Federer and I have never met in our lives and we never will. Yet, not only do I care for him as a friend, I feel like I know his family too. I know them well-enough to know that Stefan Edberg, the newest team member seemed to fit in like a glove. Every player’s box has their own flavor and Edberg appeared as if he’d been a part of that box forever. I know that his daughters Charlene and Myla like swimming and dancing more than tennis and that they helped decorate the Christmas tree. I know he and Mirka are expecting their third child this year. And I know he high-fived her when Stan won vs. Novak in the QF.

I know all this without being a paparazzo or a stalker and that’s because Roger let us know himself. Most of the information I wrote above came directly from Roger through social media or interviews and press conferences. He lets us into his life, which includes his family, team, players, fans and a host of responsibilities. I realized then, that my utter lack of objectivity about him and my transition from a tennis fan to a shameless Federer fangirl is completely and utterly all his fault.

Bdsz4r_IAAEdZFsI was a Sampras fan before I discovered Federer but my experience as a Sampras fan was very different. I loved Sampras’ two first serves (yes, his 2nd serve was like a 1st serve, it was that good), I loved his basketball jump smash and how he had laser focus and determination. When he won, I ooh’d over his winners and when he lost I rued the shots he netted. But never did I think about whether he had someone waiting for him at the hotel to hug. Now granted, the media was not as invasive back then and social media didn’t exist but Pete never had that friend vibe that Roger exudes. In fact I can’t remember any player of the pre-Federer eras who did. Tennis was a job and they were professional tennis players. Then along came Federer who made tennis a lifestyle. Sampras loved Tennis. Federer loves the World of Tennis.

Roger met his wife on tour, celebrated record shattering victories on tour, experienced tormented moments on tour, embraced rivalries on tour and advocated for the tour. Getting married while on tour? Not a problem. Wait the wife is pregnant? Um, don’t you know he married a Queen? Almost 9 months pregnant with twins, this woman sat through a 5 setter Wimbledon Championship match as her husband broke Pete’s record of Grand Slams. But traveling with not one but two babies? What about sleep before a match? Pfft, please. The Grand Slam prize money for lower ranked players should be increased? Yeah, he’s on that already, as the President of the ATP Players Council. The victims of the Haiti earthquake need help? Simple, arrange a fundraiser a day before a Grand Slam and get other top players and rivals/friends to help. Kids Day? Hello! He’s the National Kids Day Ambassador at the Australian Open.

Roger+Federer+2014+Australian+Open+Day+10+iO7AhcSeQkblSee what I mean? He lives and breathes the tour. What’s more, through it all, he has remained himself, complete with his dad jokes and dorky giggles that distract you from the fact that he is a tennis god… well until he hits one of those shots that stun you into reverent silence. But back to the topic at hand, really, when I think about it, I had no chance of escaping his charm.

As such, when he loses a match I sympathize as if my best friend just lost an amazing job opportunity after going through several interview rounds only to stumble at the end. When he gets injured I react the same way as when a family member is ill, I fret incessantly. When he makes a joke I laugh like how I laugh at my mother’s silly jokes. When he wins a title, I cheer and cry from pride and joy the same way I did when my brother graduated from college, beaming so much that my face hurt.

Roger Federer has robbed me of my ability to enjoy tennis purely as a sport. Because now I bring excess emotional baggage to each of his matches that he does not deserve. But then again as we have established above, this is his fault anyway, so maybe indirectly, he does. I have to say I don’t enjoy his matches live the way I do with players I don’t care about. I am nervous and tense and I constantly talk to him via my screen saying words like “cmon!” and asking questions like “Are you f***ing kidding me with these break points Rogi? Do you realize I have already torn off two clumps of hair from my head and it’s only the first set?” There are also phrases I sputter which tail off into unintelligible gibberish in the end like “OMG Roger that dropshot was just askdjkihkhekhweufkhhl!”

Roger+Federer+Roger+Federer+Charity+Match+V6yXB35cn0VlNope, I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘pleasant’ experience; ‘manic’ is probably a better word for it. I always have to watch his matches again (only his wins, not losses) post result, to fully appreciate his tennis, free from the roller-coaster ride of watching it live. Yet, given the choice, I would never skip a match. I repeat these experiences over and over again, complete with cringing and whooping. I know it makes no logical sense. But that’s how he has impacted me; he took away all logic. It is that illogical heart that believes this year is a new beginning. It is that same heart that gets sad (temporarily) whenever he loses any match no matter how hard he fought. He makes me feel with my heart rather than think with my head. I am irrational, unreasonable and emotional about Roger. I swear it’s not my fault. I wasn’t like this before. He made me this way.

As I come to the conclusion of this post, I realize it didn’t have any specific purpose. I guess I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings about him because I’ve been missing him. I know he doesn’t know who I am and I know I don’t matter at all. This is as one-sided as it gets. But despite that reality, I miss him anyway, the way I miss my friends and family when they travel or move away. But it’s worth it though, because every time he comes back on tour I get the same joy as when I go to pick up loved ones at the airport who have been gone for a long time. As proof of this, just as I was putting the finishing touches to this post my twitter timeline exploded with the breaking news that Roger has decided to play the Davis Cup in Serbia! It’s almost spooky actually, but maybe missing him so much caused a ripple effect! 😀 I can’t wait to see him happy and cracking jokes and making me giggle again…. Oh and also his beautiful tennis… that too 😉 Good luck for the Davis Cup tie Roger! Hopp Suisse!

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24 thoughts on “Ramblings of a Federer Fangirl

  1. Ish – This is me right down to the ground! I agree 10000% that he caused this! With his infectious (and dorky) smile, to the way he relates to people and how he lets people in..I’m hooked. No one moves me like he does. I love him so much sometimes that I worry about my sanity – I mean he doesn’t know I exist (yet) I always say. We are going to be best friends. I’d have loved to marry him – he’s my perfect guy. Look at me go on your wall! Hahaha

    You definitely hit the nail right on the head…except on one thing: You matter a great deal! We all do! That’s why we feel the way we feel..because he cares about the lot of us. That cannot be faked and that’s what resonates with us when he does the things he does. We are a family to him.

    That’s why I’ve never felt (and tbh will never feel) this way about any tennis player or any team. Ever

    Tola_rf

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    • Tola!!! Your comments are awesome! I’m not the only one he has hooked! That’s the thing with Roger, it’s so much more than tennis! I always laugh at the GOAT discussions because they are always based on stats and records but for me, that’s just one reason why he’s in the discussion. To me he’s GOAT for so many more reasons! How he is a role model in every way, how he is so friendly with everybody, with fans, with players ranked in the 800s or those in the top 10. I’m with you, he really is the perfect guy! and I seriously worry about my sanity. He can make or break my day Tola, this is not good. He has wayyyy too much power over me. My day could be completely crappy and then he changes it in a split second with a joke, or an interview, or a tweet or of course a match win.
      And thanks for saying I matter! Awwww…. I guess when I was writing the post I was thinking he doesn’t know I exist and who am I really. But like you said we are also a part of his family, made me teary to read that! So thank YOU for brightening up my day even more!
      Sending hugs and love! And thanks again for reading and commenting! ❤

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  2. Amazing! I spent the entire time reading this nodding my head! Wouldn’t it be an interesting study as to how so many different people, from around the world, all ages are drawn to him. I used to think I had lost my mind. Seriously, especially given my advanced age! How could I care so much for someone I’d never know personally. But I don’t worry about that anymore. My friend @A_Gallant refers to his joyful play and I have to agree. Even when things aren’t going well, there is an inherent joy in his nature that comes through and draws people to him. Thank you so much for giving words to what so many of us feel.

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting Deborah! You know I was so self-conscious of my obsession that I told no one in my ‘real’ i.e. ‘non-tennis’ life about this blog for a good 6 months. Even now I have to check myself and remain alert as to whether I am talking about Roger too much 🙂 But that’s the life of a Federer fan and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Finally I have embraced the crazy and now my family knows they need to leave me alone when his match is on and my friends know not to talk about him when he loses. You’re right about him cutting across ages, there are fans on my TL who weren’t even born when he turned pro. and then there are those who have been following tennis for generations prior but when we became fans of him we all had the same magical experience. And that’s what binds us all and melts us into one collective puddle whenever we see that service motion, or hear that giggle 🙂 Hope he has a good DC! He looks like he’s having a great time!

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      • It used to embarrass me that I was known for being such a Fed fan. I was just at a conference and all my friends were coming up and asking how I was doing (Roger had just lost in the AQ semis) but no more. I’ve embraced my passion for him. I was a casual tennis fan before Roger. Really just paying attention to Wimbledon and the US Open. How my world has expanded. What wonderful friends I have made both in person and virtually.

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      • Haha, I too have embraced it now, at least with my close friends and family. They were a suspect initially about the blog but then they saw that fellow fans like you comment as well so they now know there’s a big world out there with a ton of Federer Fans. They know I’m a part of yet another family and now they ask me about him every once in a while to see how he’s doing 🙂 Meanwhile, I found twitter and a combination of twitter and the blog has connected me to wonderful people like you who I can share my passion with unabashed and unashamed! So thanks a lot for reading and commenting! 😀

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  3. Ishitaaaaaa! <33333
    Asdfgklghjkllgdfkgklf you know I'm so spechless….. :"))))))))))
    I'm very happy finally you wrote a post again! I just woke up in the morning and you welcomed me with your amazing post and now I'm crying. I do really feel the way you feel. Exactly the same, indeed.

    To be honest, I cried last year when Roger lost his SF against Murray in AO, but after one or two days, then I was OK again. And this year, I didn't cry when he lost against Rafa last week (I thought I was OK), but it just brought me so much pain… More than last year. I don't know. Especially after Stan finally won it.

    On that epic final, I just thought about Roger all the way. I watched Stan and Rafa but I actually didn't root for either Stan or Rafa. I just want Roger. Only him. 😦 of course I'm happy for Stan because he has worked soo hard in the past. But yeah, you can feel in the way I feel too. I don't know how to say that. ❤

    Maybe I haven't recovered til yesterday night. Till that Davis Cup news finally at least cheered me up. (The most important thing, finally we don't have to wait till Feb, 24th :p) and when Roger is happy, how can we not happy too? <3333
    I miss him a lot!

    Awww Ish.. You always successfully wrote everything rightly from your heart. What comes from the heart, touch the heart. ❤ And it touched my heart too. :") Maybe I'm gonna read this post again and again in the future! Loved it as much as your Wimbledon post! (My favourite!).

    THANKS ISHITA!
    It doesn't matter that I commented here, right? Because 140 characters on twitter aren't just enough to express my feelings right now. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your post to me! See you on twitter! And we'll absolutely have a great weekend! Hopp Suisse! ❤

    *hugs*

    – Lala –

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    • Lala! You wrote such lovely comments that you made me teary! I had the same mixed feelings about the final and didn’t watch it really. I had a busy day at work thankfully and avoided most of it. I wasn’t on twitter for a few days after that because I was just so sad. But then I thought about him and that’s when it hit me, I care for him so much more than just tennis reasons. So it hurts much more than just losing a match. I worry about his well-being and his future.

      I’m glad the Davis Cup news made you happy. And once you see the photos of him in Serbia you’ll be even happier because he looks like he’s having the best time 🙂 Just seeing Roger in a good mood automatically puts me in a good mood to, simple as that. This weekend we got a nice surprise gift and I’m looking forward to watching him play 🙂

      I know you loved the Wimbledon piece and I’m glad I was able to write another post that you liked just as much, or at least close! And I LOVE that you wrote here rather than on twitter. 140 characters are really not enough when talking about the RF experience. Do feel free to write on the blog whenever you wish!

      See you on twitter and let’s hope for a great weekend! Allez!

      *hugs back!*
      -Ishti

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      • Awwww you were so right, Ish! 😀
        How happy I am, just got back from a super tiring day at Uni, opened my twitter, and seeing my whole timeline and it’s all about Roger! Everything!! 🙂

        What a magic. After almost one week when all the focus are all about Stan (my timeline too! And i just wanna hide), now Roger is overtaking the whole twitter :”))))))

        Seeing all his pics from today practice, today draws, and the video from the draws, how come our Roger always looks good in all his pics? I mean….. HOW? <3333

        I couldn't help it but saved them all in my phone and I absolutely in love to see him all in red and white. And that shoes! Almost forgot to mention it…. It's the coolest RF shoes I've ever seen. And it suits him really well, esp. with his matching jacket. ❤

        Yes, Ish! I love this post as much as your Wimbledon post but that Wimbledon post made me crying so hard :p hahaha. Because it's just too good. It's a masterpiece. It captured all my feelings and you just put everything so well in words.. :") hmm. That moment. I hope Wimbledon this year will bring us sooo much JOY. #pleaseGod <3333

        Thank you once again for always making me smile with your lovely words, dear Ishti! and thank you so much for the reply.. 😉

        I caaan't wait for tomorrow! Now I have to go back to study because I have an exam week starts Monday! But watching Roger this weekend is a must. #RogerAlwaysComesFirst :p

        Have a great night, Ishti. ❤
        *bigbearhugs*

        – Lala –

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      • Lala! Apologies for not replying earlier… wordpress-internet problems. Thank you so much for your comments! Now that Davis Cup is over, the wait begins, exactly 21 days left, or rather 3 weeks. But it was supposed to have been 4 so we got a bonus this weekend. True we got to see him play only once but that was enough because we also got to see him be happy and smiley, being dorky and cheering for his friends which was just fabulous! I agree with you, he looks good in every single picture! His hair is at epic levels now, #FedCurls rule!

        I’m so happy you liked the post. Interestingly the Wimbledon post was somewhat tough to write, I guess because it had a lot of emotions I was fighting through. This post was one of the easiest I’ve ever written, I really was just rambling, I typed my thoughts while I was having them. I think that’s why I’ve been surprised that quite a few people liked this post 🙂

        But back to Roger, I too feel this will be a good year. I don’t know why exactly but I do. I’ve had a feeling since the end of last year that this year would give us unexpected results. And a part of that unexpectedness would come from Roger winning when all the ‘pundits’ have written him off. This is not based on any evidence whatsoever, except my illogical heart of course 😉 Nonetheless, the year has just begun, 10 more months to go. Let’s wait and see!

        Good luck with your exams, I guess they start today! Sending you big bear hugs for luck! See you on twitter and thanks again for reading and commenting! ❤

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  4. Many thanks for this heart warming post, so much worth waiting for. So well written, and said everything perfectly about exactly how we die hard Fedfans feel! That is exactly why your blog is my favorite among all blogs on Federer. Please keep writing more.

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    • It’s lovely to know that there are fellow fans who feel the same way. Roger means so much more to us than tennis, although that’s how it started. He’s the perfect role model for players and fans alike! Thanks for your words of encouragement. Readers such as yourself make this an interactive experience which in turn constantly inspires me to write more so really appreciate you reading and commenting!

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  5. Oh Ish! You have a gift with words 🙂 You really really do. Thank you for writing this up the way you did… I recognize so many things… Starting w/ the whole fan of Pete thing, but it being so different than how it is with Roger. Although Pete was Stefan in my case as you know 😉 Stefan got me into tennis. Made me love the game. And then came Roger with his gorgeous tennis, hitting shots I had never seen before, doing things on that court that made me go ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ every time he did them… It included a lot of jaw-dropping moments and still does to this day… For yrs I could follow his matches (although unfortunately not all of them) and some of his interviews and during those yrs more favs came. Tommy, Delpo. But they were not Roger. They just weren’t.

    And then I got more time on my hands and I got to see more of Rog. More interviews, more videos, matches I had never seen before and I got to the point where I didn’t just love him like no one else, but where he touched my heart and my soul. With his energy, his sense of humor, the way he looked at life in general… I saw someone pretty special and up until this day I’m so happy I had the chance to see all of that and actually to live in the era he lives in and plays tennis.

    I can listen to him for hours. He teaches me things about tennis and about life. He makes me smile when he’s happy and sad when he’s down. I miss him when he’s not there and when he is there, I think all is right with the world. It’s strange, I know, but it really works like that. He also made me adopt a few of his habits. That means I’ve adopted the 24hr rule after a loss, it means I’m usually quite a gracious loser (or at least I’m trying to be really hard!), it means I can be snarky w/ the press too if they ask another idiot question… It means a lot of things but it basically means he’s ingrained in my system. I think that’s the best way of putting it.

    And most of all, he made me love a sport that I already loved even more while I thought I couldn’t… And then maybe the (only) difference between you and me comes up. He made me love it so much that I looked further than Roger. There was Delpo, there was Tommy, but then also Ferru came, Grigor, Stan. That’s his doing :). And I don’t love them like I love Roger, cause that is impossible. Although Ferru comes close as you know. But I love them. And I get invested in their matches. One more than the other, but I care. And I’m happy about that and grateful too and I also sometimes think ‘Damn you, did you have to cause this? Now there is even more heart ache with losses, other matches, other players. Now I’m emotionally invested in others too’. I didn’t plan to, but he made me. He transfered his love for the game to me so much that I have a fav list these days. A list. It’s a bloody annoying list at times, for the reasons I mentioned earlier, but it’s also a list that he helped create and that I love dearly. I often think of the thing he said during one of the JC interviews “I’m a big fan of tennis. I watch all the night sessions if I can”… I know Roger. I know you are. And thank you for making my love for the game even stronger. Because despite more heartaches, it also gave me so much beautiful tennis to watch and while they’ll never come close to you, I’m so glad they’re in my tennis-life. I really am.

    That’s how I see it. I’m not sure if it comes across fully as I intended it too but you know most of it anyway… It was nice to write it down actually.

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    • “he touched my heart and my soul. With his energy, his sense of humor, the way he looked at life in general” -absolutely Natasja! I feel the same way! and then also “I can listen to him for hours. He teaches me things about tennis and about life. He makes me smile when he’s happy and sad when he’s down. I miss him when he’s not there and when he is there, I think all is right with the world.” – I was vigorously nodding my head in agreement! You wrote so many comments that I agreed on and even though I knew most of it I’m glad you wrote it here anyway, it allows other readers to see your point of view as well and besides, you have so many quotable quotes there that it deserved to be written out!

      I know the one area where we are different is how Roger has lead you to other players and to embrace the tour beyond him. I am quite jealous of the fact that you have been able to do so because it will make the transition easier once he stops playing. Meaning at least you won’t abandon the sport. I hope I can reach that point there myself because I know right now I’m not there yet.

      I’m glad you mentioned his interviews and that you learn about tennis and about life from them. That is one of our big common areas, we both LOVE his interviews. I could listen to him all day. His tennis knowledge is beyond nerd levels, I still don’t know how he remembers so much detail about his matches. He loves watching tennis too. He knows all about the history and in particular I LOVE how much he respects the previous generations. He was like a kid at the ATP Heritage Event and with Rod Laver at the AO, he was nervous and overwhelmed. His passion for the sport is so great that he loves all of it, the past, the present and the future.

      As for life lessons, he teaches those on a daily basis simply by how he carries himself. I read somewhere just 2 days ago that one of the AO car drivers was asked who are the nicest players and the driver said ‘probably Federer or Nadal’, then the person said, ‘well those were the stars, what about out of all the players?’ and the answer was ‘that WAS out of all the players’. Considering the circus he has to face with the media and the fans day after day, month after month, I am constantly amazed at not only how polite and nice he is but how he retains his dorky side too <3.

      I could obviously go on and on forever, but I'll stop now. Thanks for reading and writing your comments! As you can see, I loved them! Hoping for a good DC tie!

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  6. OMGGG Ish. You’ve just taken the words out of my head, honestly!! This is exactly how i feel! My mood is sooo heavily influenced by Roger! I can be really depressed but just an empty tweet can also make me feel alright, no kidding! That’s the effect a guy, whom I’ve never seen and will probably never meet also has on me
    I feel there are fans, and then there are Roger Federer fans. But most of the time, it doesn’t feel like we are just fans, we belong to one big family :’) And honestly, he makes us feel like we are also a part of his amazing team!! He’s that kind of a person, who’s mere existence makes us feel good 🙂
    The only difference is that I started watching tennis when Sania Mirza (!!!!!) become a sensation. It was such a big deal here when she played Wimbledon. And then I saw Roger and i was just blown away.
    I sometimes wonder as to how this happened, how I’ve let him rule my life. But like you said, it is his fault. He’s just sooo bloody peRFect!!!!!!! The worst feeling for me is that I’ll probably never get to see him 😦 fingers crossed though!!
    I’ll just end here. THANKS a lot for this wonderful post, it made me sooo happy on reading it 🙂
    P.S. Really sorry for rambling. I dont have anyone here who get it, makes me feel better being here! I actually feel sane haha!

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    • Arpitha, First of all, I’m so glad you ‘rambled’! Look at the heading of my post, it’s all my ‘ramblings’ too 😛 I don’t have anyone in my non-virtual, non-tennis life who get it either. I created this blog because I had so many thoughts and no one to share it with so this was my way of feeling connecting to the world of Federer and tennis (in that order!) As for my mood, he can drastically change them, make a bad day good and a good day bad in the blink of an eye. I am powerless it seems 🙂 But at least after writing this post I’ve realized I’m not the only one who feels this way! But it’s not our fault because as you rightly pointed out, he’s bloody peRFect!

      I finally got to see him last year, just one match, after many years of following him and even that one match, even though it was a loss, it was SO worth it. I really really hope you get to see him someday, he’s even more perfect in person, which sounds impossible I know, but he is. I wrote a post on that titled #feelingthelove so if you want a quick read, look that up in my archives from last November.

      Thanks a lot for reading the post and ‘rambling’ too! The blog is fun precisely because of readers like you who add in their own thoughts and make this an interactive experience 🙂 Hope you visit the blog again! Meanwhile, get ready for a weekend with Roger, I’m having to change my plans as we speak! 😉

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      • Ooh you mean the Davis Cup? I’m actually glad he’s playing. Other than the fact that we get to see more of him, it’s nice to see him playing for the country 🙂
        I have read that post, it was so touching. Have bookmarked it so that I can read it whenever I’m not feeling so good 😉 Have to read the older ones now 😀

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      • It was so nice seeing Roger be all happy and smiley right? I had a feeling when we saw his schedule for this year that he ‘might’ play DC simply because he dropped the Rotterdam tourney. So he still gets some time off post AO and before Dubai. But then once we knew Mirka was pregnant I wasn’t sure if he would add that in. I have issues with DC, both in terms of the unfair pressure that’s put on him as well as the DC format itself with potentially 3 5-setters in 3 days. But above all, I want him to be happy and I think that’s precisely what happened. Plus thanks to Marco and Michael, he didn’t have to play more than one match which is great.

        Anyway, now we’re back to waiting, 3 weeks till Dubai. I’m sure he’ll take some time off before training again. Meanwhile, thanks so much for reading the post! Would love it if you read some of the others whenever you’re bored and need a bit of Roger in your life 🙂

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  7. Amazing how you can put into words my exact own feelings. Now I know I’m not mad. Or not alone at least. And now I know it’s not my fault. It’s his!!! That’s the kind of fans he’s been building up! Once I said: “That’s why we call ourselves a family”. He really built a huge family. That’s the key of his charm. And he may never will meet us but I’m sure he knows we are out there and really love him.

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    • Exactly! See? We are not alone since we all go through this same experience. And it IS his fault. I wasn’t like this with any other player before him nor any other player even now. So he is the one that causes me to be this crazy 😉 And like you said, we are a family, he makes us feel that way. He’s truly one of a kind, our Roger. And we are blessed to be in the same era as him. I hope, like your last line, he knows we are out there and really love him, I hope he does ❤ Thanks so much for commenting! Do visit the blog again! 😀

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  8. I’ve wanted to return to this post and comment on it properly not only because it’s just great, but because it’s really made me reflect a lot on my own attitude to Roger. And since the joys of Roger’s playing in Davis Cup are over and again bleak Rogerless weeks are coming, the moment seems fitting. I’m afraid it will be more about myself than about you, or even about him, but I would like to let you know just what this text has meant for me.

    I discovered Roger late, very late. An early tennis fan, I lost contact with the sport (mostly with Eurosport) just before his breakthrough and woke up only after his prime, around 2010 or 2011. I don’t recognise his outfits, I don’t know his records by heart, I can’t recite when he won which major. Much of his magic I had to get to know via short YouTube videos “Federer’s 10 Best …”. I discovered him in the time when journalists lamented the uncharacteristic numbers of unforced errors, when he wasn’t number one, when everyone was amazed by Novak and Rafa.

    And yet, I fell for him. Step by step I lost my ground and objectiveness. Instead, I became protective and possessive. Yes, when he loses, I am disappointed for him and worry about how terribly he must be feeling. I’m furious whenever anyone mentions his retirement. I wonder how you react when anyone mentions the Australian Open final in 2009, referring to it offhandedly as the one “when Federer cried”. Such comments cut me to the quick every single time; I feel like this event must not be mentioned except in reverend whisper, like a holy moment. When commentators bitch about Roger’s errors during his matches, I stop yelling at him and start yelling at them to shut the f*** up because they don’t know sh**. And I am jealous: of his wife and friends, of the fans who have the chance to meet him, get a tweet from him, watch him live, run a blog about him, know all his records by heart. Of course I’m happy about all this for his sake, but at the same time, well, I’m possessive like, well, like a woman in love.

    What a moron, I thought. I didn’t worry about my sanity, really, but I didn’t feel very good about this idolatry either. Until I finally decided to go on Twitter — only for him, to follow him there. And then I discovered you, and then the whole crazy FedFam. And this post.

    I still feel possessive and protective. But you’ve helped be become okay with it. Jealous as I might be in a dark corner of my heart, in a much larger part of it I rejoice at not being alone, at having the chance to share ideas, emotions, pictures and dorky jokes, and worries with you all. To grow stronger through the combined strength of all these insane fans out there, drooling, fretting or frothing over anything related to Roger Federer.

    This post has helped me become more honest with myself and accept something I found immature and embarrassing. I am not going to tell all my friends and family about the extent of my Federerocentrism, but I’ve dared tell myself. (Oh dear, it sounds like I’ve admitted I’m an alcoholic or something. A Federeraddict 😉 I’ve created an RF album on my laptop. I’ve picked RF T-shirts I want to buy. I’ve started planning going to tournaments in Europe which I could possibly afford. Thanks to you and the people I got to know through you. Thanks to this post.

    This part of life isn’t going to become peRFect now, of course. I’ll always regret the time I missed. I’ll always feel possessive. I’ll always worry. I’m dreading the moment Roger ends his career. I’ll always share the note of sadness I think I sensed in your text, because it must hurt somewhat to feel so strongly about someone who doesn’t reciprocate these feelings, and definitely not for you as an individual. But this part of my life has grown much warmer, you know?

    So just — thank you. For this post and for many others, for its great honesty and courage, for your tweets. For your being a shameless Federer fangirl. Thanks to you, I’ve become a joyful one.

    Like

    • I don’t even know where to begin. I have re-read your comment multiple times already and each time I love it more. Your comment alone is a blog post in itself. You have described ME in so so many ways. I missed out on Roger too. I didn’t like him on principle because he defeated Sampras at Wimbledon! After Sampras I left tennis so I missed out on 2003, 2004 and only in 2005 did I begin to even think of watching it again. I reluctantly fell in love with him. I didn’t realize it was happening because I was in complete denial. Plus back then, I honestly didn’t have access to so many tourneys. I was only able to watch the Grand Slams and some of the Masters. So in terms of following the entire tour, that happened as late as you, 2010 onwards. The simple reason being I finally had internet to be able to stream matches though the speed was awful. But at least I could follow scores online.

      So for me too it was a gradual process. But like you, I found myself getting angry when people called him washed up, and actually, since the Rome final last year, I have watched his matches without any commentary at all. I find a stream where the commentators are speaking in a different language just so I don’t understand what horrible things they are saying about him. If only English streams are available, I mute it in between points. I can’t take all the negativity.

      As for being lonely in your fandom, I know ALL about that. Nobody I know follows tennis at all, not my friends or family. I have no one to speak about it even casually, let alone talking about Roger. My blog was at least 6 months old before I told my best friend about it and even now, only 6 people amongst my friends and family combined know about it. I started my blog because I wanted an outlet for my insanity about this man. I joined twitter at the same time initially for just getting up-to-date information on Roger. Whenever I would do a google search on Roger, twitter results always seemed to have the most current news, daily, heck even hourly news! 😛 So I joined only to know more about Roger. But then it turned into this interactive experience as I found more and more people I could chat with, who seemed to feel the same way! Both my blog and twitter showed me there were other fangirls out there and I wasn’t alone. What’s more, this group transcends all barriers, age, nationality, religion and language. I love how when Roger plays, fans all over the world tune in at the same time no matter what the timezone is 😀

      My blog experience + twitter helped me accept myself as a fangirl. I don’t broadcast it to everyone but I am no longer ashamed of it. How could I be when it’s given me the opportunity to enter a wonderful world of fellow fans? Yes, people in my non-tennis life don’t get it. But I’ve realized three things through this. 1. Life is too short, since this makes me happy I will keep being a fangirl, those who love me truly will accept me as I am. 2. This passion I have actually makes me a happier person in my non-tennis life too. E.g. I don’t love my job, I like it but don’t love it. But now that I have another way to channel my passion, I am generally in a better mood even at work, not as frustrated :). I have my own secret world so when things go bad in my non-virtual life, I know I at least have the fandom and my fangirliness to help cheer me up! 3. I have made new friends and acquaintances in the process (some are quite close indeed) which would have never happened otherwise. Also, as a woman, to know there are so many fellow tennis and sports fans out there makes me feel like I truly have a place where I belong. Women are generally expected to be passive or worse disinterested when it comes to sports so I always felt out of place… till now!

      I know this has become a realllly long reply but I wanted to do justice to your wonderful comments which touched me greatly. My last comment before I end is this: Please don’t feel that because you missed out on the early years of Roger that your experience is any less. I think the fact that you became his fan post 2009 shows you are really a true fan, you love him for who he is, and not his records and titles. I have friends on twitter who are as young as 14 and are crazy about him, teenagers who became his fan after Wimbledon 2012 and live and breathe Roger. They missed out too but they love him the same as those who followed him since 1998. That’s the Federmagic right there! The fact that you are here, now, in 2014, supporting him makes you a real Federer Fan and I for one am glad I met you 🙂 Like I’ve discussed with a close friend before, better late than never. Think of the people who are missing out on him even now! I shudder at that thought.

      Thanks again for writing your beautiful words, they made my day and they also made me teary at work! *hugs* See you on twitter! ❤

      Like

      • Now I have to thank you for your beautiful, cordial and wonderfully long reply — it made my day (this + Roger’s tweets = so happy me!). I went through other readers’ comments and your responses only after submitting mine and realised how close our experiences are; your reply brings even more details I’m delighted to find out about.

        Funnily enough, I used to be a great Sampras fan, too; I remember kneeling in front of the TV and shaking my fists at him, fearing he would lose a match — and he lost. After him there was Agassi, and then just tennis limbo for many, many years. Until Roger.

        No, of course our initial missing out on him doesn’t render our experience and emotions now less intense or true, or justified. I only regret that I couldn’t share so many moments with him, and so many happy ones, too. It’s somehow as if I weren’t part of them and they — of me. Do you feel anything similar? But in any case you’re perfectly right: what really counts is that here we are, happy Federer fangirls, supporting him no matter what ranking, no matter what form, no matter what hairstyle even 😉

        Perhaps in some ways it’s even better that there are no tennis fans among your family and friends. My father is a great tennis and Federer fan and has actually followed his entire career, but almost exclusively in terms of sport. My ex-partner is mostly a tennis fan, but also a Fed fan. The result is that I’ve got way too many occasions on which to talk about Roger, get overexcited and fangirly and earn stupid looks! Talk fangirl with men… I also always feel like murdering my father when he becomes too negative during a match or my ex when he questions Federer’s grit or determination (and they don’t go with mute keys, dammit). So I’d rather have no fans around than doubters ;P

        I can very well understand that you prefer not to hear commentaries during matches. I can never decide to give up on them entirely, as Polish commentators discuss the technique a lot and I hope I can learn something. But the price is very high indeed when Roger has a worse day.

        Did you actually feel ashamed of being a Fed fangirl, or do you mean rather embarrassed? In my case it’s the latter; I definitely can’t see anything shameful in nurturing such positive feelings and being passionate. Even in a very fangirly way. And yes, especially if that landed us in the middle of a fantastic FedFamily, full of wonderful people from around the world! (And even more especially since it got you this amazing Wimbledon jacket — I read the post about it today and feel sooo happy for you! Congratulations on the recognition and the brilliant gift!)

        Finally, I would like to mention one more thing I failed to include in my self-centred comment yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your analysis of the RF effect and found it very accurate. Yes, it must be the combination of Roger’s personality and his way of bringing it to you, of sharing his wonderful self with others. What I find particularly valuable is that, while Roger lets us quite far into his world, he doesn’t go overboard with it. He doesn’t beg for attention, he seems to give us as much as he really wants to. We can feel intimate with him without violating his intimacy. Yes, he — shares himself, in a warm, genuine, joyful way.

        Thank you again for all you’ve written and write every day. I’m sending you big happy hugs. See you fangirling! ❤

        Like

      • Apologies! I didn’t realize I hadn’t posted my reply! It’s remained as a draft all this time 😦 well here it is again. Your point about watching tennis with family members is interesting! I never thought of it that way! And you’re right, no mute button there! That would be tough 🙂 as for being all fangirly with men, I understand that entirely and at the same time I am also pleasantly surprised that I still have male followers on twitter. I think they’re awesome for putting up withe all my fangirly-ness and still chat with me regardless 🙂

        I wasn’t ashamed of being a fangirl, but probably embarrassed like you said. I think though, even more than embarrassed, I felt alone and questioned my fan experience. I thought I was the only person who was THIS addicted and that it wasn’t right or healthy. Now that I discovered this world I know I am not alone and have a place and a group of people to belong to…. although I’m still not sure whether it’s healthy 😉 Oh and thanks for reading the Wimbledon jacket post! It was the most amazing and biggest surprise. I still can’t quite believe it! I check the box every few weeks just to check it’s still there 🙂 I wore the jacket when I finally saw him live at the WTFs in London last year 😀 I wrote about it in the post #feelingthelove in November last year if you want to take a look.

        And lastly, with regards to your comments on Roger, you are right, he lets us in just the right amount and it feels so genuine too! And you are spot-on about not feeling like we’re intruding because he sets the boundaries perfectly! He gives just the right amount for us to remain addicted but not overdose 😉

        Still 2 more weeks of waiting but I’m sure he’s enjoying this break with his family and training hard too. Can’t wait till Dubai! Meanwhile, thank you again for your lovely reply! 🙂 See you on twitter!

        Like

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