I AM ECSTATIC. Because ROGER FEDERER has won this year's FRENCH OPEN.
- Equalling Sampras (another fave)' s record of 14 Grand Slams.
- Becoming a champ on all four surfaces, a long ten years after Agassi.
- Settling the debate on who is the greatest player of all time (in my mind, though, there was no debate, it was only a matter of numbers).
I know, there are the nitpicking-Nadal-naysayers who will smirk about his huge deficit against his Spanish-nemesis. It WAS a stroke of luck that Nadal got eliminated early on in this year's French Open. But then, champions are made of talent, hard work, determination, and a generous dose of luck-by-chance. And who cares, actually? The records books will write down his name as the winner, and that is enough for me.
Actually, I am not just a Federer-fan, but a Federer-fanatic. You may wonder at a sedate 36-year-old college-teacher behaving in such an uncharacteristically juvenile manner, but even I was surprised, a few years back, when I started following Federer's matches regularly, by my passionate involvement with his game and with his destiny as a tennis player. I had thought that kind of nail-chewing intensity of tension (while he played), that kind of euphoria of elation (when he won) and, yes, that kind of broken-hearted agony of depression (whenever he lost) was a thing of my volatile teenage past.
But then that is what Federer is all about. He has made me revisit my adolescence. He has made me feel again the pure see-saw of emotions that the best of sports can kindle in the spectator. During the French Open final, there was a fan in the stands carrying a banner which said ROGER and MAGIC, with the words written like a + sign, intersecting at the G.
That's Federer for me.