Hello everyone. It’s been that time of the year. The Roger Federer off-season – Fall Edition. He probably spent the time relaxing on an undisclosed, pristine, private beach in the Maldives. I did not. Not even on a dirty, public beach. But I have been leading my life sans tennis which has been surprisingly lovely because finally, I have been able to go to sleep at a decent time. The US Swing really took a toll on me with the conflicting time-zones so I was absolutely burnt out and fell quite ill right after the US Open. I did manage to watch Roger’s Davis Cup matches but other than that, I have been mostly tennis free.
However I can never go too long without some tennis and Federer and so I started to think about what to write my next post on. That led me down the memory lane of what we’ve been through already this year. So, I decided to make a random list of my version of the highs and lows of 2014. This list is based on my own preferences, my views and how I felt about each match or tournament and not on any scientific analysis. Still, I thought it would be cool to jot them all down before Roger comes back on tour in Shanghai. So here they are:
My take on Roger’s 2014 thus far:-
- The Grand Slam I enjoyed the most: Australian Open. It was the first slam, Roger played very well and we got fun Jim Courier interviews. More importantly it gave a sense of hope for the new year and better days to come.
- The ATP tournament I enjoyed the most: Dubai. This is absolutely based on my gut reaction and nothing else. Every match he played was tough and in most of them he had to come back from behind but the reason I loved it so much is the contrast it presented against 2013. In 2013 he lost matches he could have won. In Dubai, he won matches he could have lost. As far as I was concerned, this was a big turning point and I was finally able to leave the fear of 2013 behind.
- The Grand Slam I enjoyed the least: Roland Garros, and not just for the usual reasons. I got the feeling Roger didn’t enjoy this year’s French Open either. He never looked comfortable plus it was the first time he traveled with both sets of twins, there was a lot going on behind the scenes I’m sure.
- The ATP tournament I enjoyed the least: Monte Carlo, for many reasons. Not only was he reallllly close to winning a title he had never won, he had put us through some hellish matches in the tournament too. I am still not over Monte Carlo and I don’t ever want to revisit it. By the way, Rome doesn’t count in my head; he was there for all of 2 minutes.
- The most important title: Cincinnati. Dubai was important because it got him on the board, meaning at least we could breathe easy knowing he has a title this year. Halle was not only a great preparation for Wimbledon, it was also the first time in 2 years he was able to defend a title. But in my mind, Cincinnati was the most important title this year. He really needed a Masters title, he hadn’t won one since Cincinnati 2 years ago. Plus he had already been in the finals of 3 Masters Tournaments this year where he had taken the runner-up trophy. He was overdue and thankfully it came right in the nick of time, a week after the bad loss at the Toronto final.
- The best 5 set match: Toss-up between the Wimbledon Final vs. Djokovic or the Australian Open R4 match vs. Tsonga. By best here I mean the best quality of tennis. The Wimbledon Final is here mainly because of that amazing 4th set. But in the Australian Open match vs. Tsonga, Roger was at his genius best.
- The best 3 set match: Dubai SF followed Indian Wells Final in 2nd place. It’s no surprise I chose two Federer vs. Djokovic matches. They have really pushed each other this year and the entire Dubai SF match was a highlights reel of spectacular shots. Indian Wells final was good till the gut-wrenching tie-break in the 3rd set *sigh*.
- The most hard-fought match: US Open QF vs. Monfils. This was an easy choice. Roger saved 2 match points for the first time in a Grand Slam to come back from 2 sets down to win this intense 5 setter. People who say Roger has no fight in him needs to have this match shoved into their faces every time they utter such nonsense.
- The most confusing What-The-F match: US Open SF vs. Cilic. I know he was spent after the QF but to lose in straight sets that quickly to Cilic… I… well… hmph. By the way, out of Roger’s 10 losses this year, only 2 were in straight sets, this SF match and the Toronto final.
- The most annoying loss: Monte Carlo final vs. Wawrinka. He was up a set; he could have finished it off in the tie-break of the 2nd set, but no. That was the best chance of winning Monte Carlo. Plus you know he won’t go there again so it’s not like he will get another shot at winning this elusive title. Gah!
- The win that should have been a loss: Monte Carlo SF vs. Tsonga – Only 2/19 break points converted; enough said.
- The loss that should have been a win: I was going to put the Monte Carlo Final in this one but that one annoyed me for weeks and deserved it’s own category. So 2nd place moves into 1st and it was the Miami QF vs. Nishikori. Argh, I really do think he should have won this one, especially since he was playing well in Miami before that match. Kei pulling out with injury for the SFs the next day just added salt to the wound *sigh*
- The most heartbreaking moment: Wimbledon Final. It was such a perfect run to his 9th final at Wimbledon; even more so considering the disaster of 2013. The moment seemed just right, till it wasn’t. This was the only loss of the year that didn’t make me angry, annoyed, or irritated in the slightest. It was just incredibly sad, still is. Every time I think of that 4th set I still get very emotional. He wanted this so so so so badly and he almost had it, almost.
- The most endearing moment: Reaching the Davis Cup Final. Not only was Roger beyond thrilled, but Severin Luthi and Stan Wawrinka lifted him up on the shoulders and ran around the arena in respect. As they put him down Roger quickly wiped a few tears away. Aww ❤
- The funniest moment: Halle SF vs. Nishikori when the Maestro didn’t realize he had won the match. He was all pumped up after winning match point but then promptly returned to the baseline awaiting the next point when finally, the cheers and laughs from the crowd and a bewildered Kei on the other side of the net gave him a clue as to what had happened 😀
- The best outfit including the shoes: US Open Night aka Darth Federer followed by Australian Open Night kit.
So there you have it; a quick look back at Roger’s 2014 till now. He still has Shanghai, Basel, Paris Bercy, the World Tour Finals and the Davis Cup Final coming up on his schedule so plenty of tennis to look forward to these two months. Maybe my list of highlights will change when I look back again after the year is complete. Meanwhile, if the rumors are to be believed then Roger is due to land in Shanghai on Saturday 🙂 Less than a day to go before we kick off the last leg of 2014! I have a good feeling about the ending of the year; I think there’s still a bit more magic left! 😀
***Photos are Getty Images as far as I know. If I am wrong, please let me know.***