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


April 12, 2016

Roger+Federer+ATP+Masters+Series+Monte+Carlo+RxgaU5En6qjx7:00am: I actually woke up and jumped out of bed in one quick motion. I have a major presentation at work today in exactly 1 hour 30 minutes from now. Panic is settling in, need to get ready fast! This day is packed with a lot of different events/happenings but I have no time to think about all of them right now, one task at a time Ish, let’s start with washing up and a quick breakfast.

7:33am: Out the door and in the car and already 3 minutes behind schedule according to my frantic glances at my watch. Please traffic gods, be kind this morning.

7:47am: Traffic isn’t bad actually! Maybe this will be a lucky day, I need the luck for the presentation, for the lunch meeting I have after that and then there’s Roger… NO! Stop it Ish! We’re not there yet. We have the whole day to manage before we reach Roger, keep those butterflies out of your system for now.

8:00am: I was so super efficient that I reach my destination 30 minutes before my presentation and the office security has only just started to unlock the doors. Hmmm, maybe I can take a quick look at twitter on my phone, the TL seems extra busy today; excitement building up over HIS first match. A mental calculation tells me it’s still at least 10 hours away. I wonder how he’s feeling. Um Ish, he’s not even up yet. He’s still sleeping while you look like a crazy woman pacing up and down the office lobby staring into your phone. Stop it!

8:30am: I am ready with my presentation. The audience however is not. Let us remember that this is a South Asian country where being on time is considered social faux pas. I drum my fingers on the table in impatience and nervous energy, this presentation is for the donors so a lot depends on this going smoothly. Is Roger… Uff! You idiot! Don’t you remember that he’s still sleeping on his 1000 thread count bedsheets? You did a timezone check only 30 minutes ago! It’s 4:30am there, for goodness sake! I sip water to calm down.Roger+Federer+ATP+Masters+Series+Monte+Carlo+VZPPkUnqAdux

8:45am: Here we go with the presentation! Oh, suddenly the mic’s not working? You mean I have to yell across the room to be heard over the ACs? Sure, no problem, my bad for expecting something more.

9:30am: Presentation done! Good questions were answered with good answers while stupid questions were answered as well as they could be, because duh, they were stupid questions. Now I can relax and watch the other projects get roasted, hehehe. Wait, so this means I can sneak peeks at twitter! And no Ish, he’s still not awake so don’t even bothering wondering how he’s feeling. Not yet.

12:00pm: Back in my own room at the office. Barely able to sit down before a colleague comes rushing in with some emergency. I look up in the midst of this conversation to see another colleague hovering in the back waiting to catch my attention. This was going to be one of those days. I reluctantly put the phone aside, minimize the twitter tab on my desktop and open up excel files with a sigh.

1:00pm: Lunch meeting at the restaurant downstairs with my supervisor and her supervisor. I hate lunch meetings. It’s never about the lunch and always about the meeting. To a foodie like me, that’s just insulting. But this wasn’t my call so I head downstairs. Coming down the stairs I realize its 9:00am in Monaco, Roger must be awake by now! Is he nervous? Is he super chill? Would have been nice if Mirka was there but looking through twitter it doesn’t seem like anyone has seen her.

1:25pm: Meeting hasn’t started and I am starving. Why? Because being on time is a social faux pas, remember?

2:45pm: Lunch meeting done. I barely remember what I ate. It was some kind of pasta that was supposed to be eaten hot but had significantly cooled because I had to spend my time talking instead. Boo!

3:00pm: Back in my office room but this time, there is no line of colleagues waiting for me; alone at last! I plop down on my chair, exhausted but content. The lunch meeting had gone well, despite the sorry pasta, the presentation had gone well, especially when compared to the ones that followed, hee hee. This was a good day! So then why am I feeling nauseous suddenly? I am still feeling nervous; residual adrenaline? What IS IT?

Roger+Federer+ATP+Masters+Series+Monte+Carlo+DX-uQEb5AUex4:00pm: Relaxing music on youtube fill my ears through headphones. I have been mostly undisturbed the past hour yet my anxiety is not going away. I drank water, I had tea, but nothing is helping. Am I falling ill?

4:10pm: YOU ARE SO STUPID ISH! Of course you are nervous! ROGER FEDERER IS ABOUT TO PLAY HIS FIRST MATCH IN OVER 2 MONTHS! AND YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A PILLOW TO SCREAM INTO! *sigh* It’s actually been so long since I’ve watched tennis that I had forgotten what pre-match nerves were like. Damn Roger, you’ve been gone a while! 😥

5:00pm: All my things are gathered, desktop already shut down, I am ready to head home. My colleagues eye me suspiciously until one of them quips up “Is anything wrong? You never leave before 6:00pm!” I say I am exhausted from the day’s meetings and the presentation so I shall leave at a normal time for once. Count this as lie #1,457 that I have had to tell my office peeps because of Roger.

5:10pm: In my car. Please hang in there Pierre-Hugues Herbert! Delay Andy till I get home!

6:15pm: I am home! And Pierre listened! Roger’s match is going to start more than an hour late. I have plenty of time to prepare.

7:40pm: THERE HE ISSSSSS! Walking out on court with a smile on his face! The crowd erupts! I squeal loudly! I cannot believe he’s back! And guess what! There is Mirka! And Lynette too! YAY! My TL on twitter is full and chatty and excited, how I missed this too! *happy tear*

8:00pm: Roger seemed a bit nervous in the beginning but he’s settling in. Ahhh… that service motion is still as beautiful as it ever was. He’s so quick between the points too. Lopez is making him run but he seems more than ready for it. No issues with the knee that I can see.

8:15pm (approx): The first set is done! He was helped by Lopez a bit in getting the break but then faced 2 break points while consolidating. Nonetheless he held his nerve and soon, one set was in the bag!

8:30pm (approx): Roger is definitely back. Snapping beautiful cross-court forehands and that backhand looks luscious! In fact, Roger looks delicious himself. That kit is beautiful. A lovely maroon shirt paired with bluish gray/grayish blue shorts. Rich colour tones that looked velvety. Actually, he reminded me of my favorite cupcakes ever, the royalty of all cupcakes, the Red Velvet. See? I have proof!velvetroger8:45pm (approx): Serving for the match at 5*-2 and Roger gets broken. Why Roger why? Well I can imagine why, he got nervous serving it out and Lopez picked that very moment to play better than he had played the whole match. So close, but we are not done yet.

8:55pm (approx): Let’s try this again at 5*-4 shall we? Much better job this time around, leaving no room for doubt or error and its Game, Set, Match Federer! My TL erupts and I clap my hands and yell YES! My cat looks at me with disdain but I don’t care!

9:00pm (approx): Looking back on the whole day, I feel a different sense of accomplishment from the one I felt this morning after my presentation. There is a special brand of exhilaration in a shared experience of winning a match, with fans from all over the world; to be a part of something bigger than oneself. I had missed being a part of this community. Had my presentation gone badly and if my meetings had sucked, the day would have still been saved by Roger and my fellow fans. You make my world a better place Roger, please don’t leave us again like that.

The past two months, my world didn’t stop. The earth didn’t stop rotating, my work didn’t stop piling up, my cat didn’t stop being fiercely over-protective of me, and I didn’t stop my obsession with desserts. But this unique experience of being a Roger Federer fan was missing in my life and my days were less bright without him. Whenever anything negative happened I could usually count on Roger to cheer me up but not these past two months.

His absence made me realize a few truths. 1. My life will continue without him but it won’t be quite as fun 2. I have to try and learn not to depend on him solely for my source of positivity, though he makes it so easy. 3. I don’t like or watch tennis at all without Roger. Maybe this will change once he retires and I find the new generation compelling enough. But in the meantime, while I missed him tremendously, I didn’t miss Rogerless-tennis at all. For me there is no point in watching it without him and so I didn’t. 4. I really do like being a member of this Roger community and even though I didn’t tweet as much during this break I always checked my timeline to see how everyone is doing. So this post is dedicated to my wonderful twitter people and to @EfieZac in particular because her DMs inspired me to write this post. Love you Efie! ❤

Meanwhile, Roger is due on court in less than 3 hours so I’ll sign off by leaving this hot shot clip from that match right here to get you ready for today. Good luck Maestro!Roger+Federer+ATP+Masters+Series+Monte+Carlo+3JOhts7Z_rzx

***Photos are Getty Images from***



The streak is over – and we’re still alive

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!