…I was wondering if after all these months you’d still like to read my posts.
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything at all for this blog. My last post was back in October 2015 after the US Open. Since then, life got in the way. Work, personal commitments, illness and my best friend’s wedding all served to take away my attention from tennis. Not so much that I missed Roger’s matches because I didn’t. But I had no time to write at all. Actually, that’s probably not entirely true. I am sure if I had really wanted to, I would have found the time somehow. But while last year was a good year for Roger, he had 3 losses that hit me hard. And for reasons I still don’t fully understand, those losses made me lose my interest in writing.
It felt like so much extra work all of a sudden, to carve out time in the midst of everything else and write when I knew the pattern that would unfold. We would get a great tournament with Roger in fantastic form from only to get Novak in the final and lose the plot. It became predictable, almost routine. And sports aren’t fun if you already know the result. Well, it is if you are a fan of the player that’s winning everything, as we Federer fans know too well from the past. But we are no longer in that past and last year’s Wimbledon, the US Open and the World Tour Finals killed the fun for me in that order. I still enjoyed watching him play of course, I don’t think that will ever go away. But writing about the build-up as he went deeper into a tournament knowing what the final result might be felt like a chore and so, I stopped writing.
Now that I look back, other than those 3 heartbreaks, Roger had a very good year. With the exception of the Australian Open, he performed well in the Grand Slams. He also did well at the ATP 250 and 500 tournaments. Winning 6 titles in a year is no joke, just ask Julien Benneteau. The only reason he ended the season ranked #3 is because he did surprisingly badly at the Masters level. Yes he won Cincinnati and he reached the finals in Rome and Indian Wells. But out of the other 6 Masters, he skipped 2 and had 2 R2 losses and 2 R3 losses. That’s a lot of points Roger lost out on and thus Andy took the #2 spot in the year-end rankings. Still, had he won just 1 of the 3 losses I mentioned earlier, the year would have been fantastic no matter what his ranking turned out to be. Obviously that didn’t happen and so we ended 2015 with Roger being the 3rd best player in the world.
I wasn’t sure what 2016 would bring but I had a feeling it would follow similar patterns to 2015. So far we’re only in the 2nd tournament of the year and although he didn’t win in Brisbane, he was ill that whole week so I think we still don’t know where exactly his game is at. He had two good matches at the Australian Open thus far but had a difficult time in his 3rd round match. His draw is very tough so he has already faced opponents who are better players than their current rankings suggest. The journey ahead is not going to get any better so we shall have to wait and see how it goes.
In other words, it’s still too early to predict how this year will go. Yet regardless of the uncertainty, the New Year filled me with a renewed sense of hope that all beginnings tend to bring and made me want to write again. But since it had been so long, I wasn’t sure exactly how to start writing or what to write about. I had been mulling over this dilemma for the past few weeks until suddenly, it hit me 2 days ago: Roger’s 300th Grand Slam match win was coming up. ‘300’ has a special significance for me because I started this blog over 3 years ago with my first 5 line post about how Roger was 1 win away from ensuring 300 weeks as the World #1. It seemed only right that I start writing again as Roger reached another ‘300’ milestone. And so, as the umpire called ‘Game, Set, Match, Federer’ in his 3rd round match, I knew it was time for me to write… something, so here I am.
Hopefully I can keep writing as the year goes on. Maybe, despite the evidence thus far, 2016 will bring fun surprises and amazing and unexpected wins. And if not, then possibly I can ride on that wave of optimism and write anyway. There are however, 3 facts that we know will happen no matter what. 1. Roger will keep setting new records 2. Roger will still play the most watchable and entertaining tennis of all time and 3. Roger will remain an amazing, lovable and fun human being both on and off the court. Perhaps those 3 immutable truths alone will keep my blog alive 🙂
***Photos are from the Australian Open site***