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Tag: roger federer

Not Fade Away

roger-federer-wimbledon-warm-up-2015

Over at Grantland, Brian Phillips has a nice story on Roger Federer:

He likes doing this; that’s the point. Being on tour, being competitive, being celebrated: This stuff feels more satisfying to him than the lonely relishing of some legacy in which he had a better head-to-head record against Djokovic. So why not keep it going as long as he can? And not to get too dogmatic about what’s basically the story of a person liking his job, but isn’t that the model of grown-up maturity that we should want from an elite athlete? So often, great players in their late careers wind up eclipsed by their own narratives, their choices constrained by a whole complex of considerations involving memorialization and pride and morning-sports-zoo yell. Think about, say, the question of Kobe’s retirement — how free does that decision feel? There’s an entrapped feeling around Kobe that Federer seems to have sidestepped. And fine, maybe he wouldn’t have sidestepped that so gracefully if his decline hadn’t been so gradual, but then, that’s also part of the point. He’s living the life he actually has, not some portable-across-platforms version of the athlete’s journey.

In America, at least, how we read any great athlete’s ending still seems influenced by Michael Jordan’s merciless stage-managing of his own second retirement. (The “real” one, not the baseball one.) Hit the last shot, seize the title, never lose, never show weakness, end on a big banging chord that the audience remembers forever; then you’re a champion for all time, in the same way Cheers never closes. That this is, actually, such an impossibly grotesque and dehumanizing approach that not even Michael Jordan could resist coming back to screw it up should possibly tell us something. But there it is, an ideal that every generational-apex-type star has to contend with on some level. Any concession to the imperfect human process of finding your way toward what you want has to be understood in terms of the toll it takes on the memory you leave behind.

I can’t speak for you, but me? I’ll take Federer’s version.

[Photo Credit: AFP]

Still Number One

SI‘s Scott Price was with Roger Federer yesterday after Federer won Wimbledon for the seventh time:

Finally he left the broadcast center, and stepped outside into the rain. Centre Court loomed a few hundred feet away. Federer’s sneakers squished on the slick tiles; workers hauling equipment stood aside to stare. This Wimbledon gives him 17 majors in all, six more than his archrival, Nadal: A nice cushion in the great race the two run but rarely admit. On Sunday, Federer just might have put the greatest-of-all-time title out of reach for good.

“Do I care?” he said. “I guess I do, because I’d be lying if told you I don’t care at all. But for me it’s the same thing as the Novak loss and trying to beat him. Rafa has an amazing career, we have two such separate lives and worlds and things we do and the way we do them. He’ll always be a legend and a great champion, so for me if he does beat my record it almost doesn’t matter. Because I did things he can never do. He did things that I can never do. It’s the moments that live and the memories that are with me that are most important.”

Still, he was asked, it’s nice to widen the gap?

“Yeah,” Federer said, smiling. “If you like.”

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Tea and Sympathy

It’s Andy Murray vs. Roger Federer in the Wimbledon Final. Enjoy.

[Photo Credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images]


Win/Win

Roger Federer is back in the Wimbledon Finals. It’s the eighth time he’s made it this far–he’s won six of ‘em. On Sunday, he’ll face Andy Murray, who just became the first Brit since 1938 to reach the Wimbledon Finals.

I’ll be pulling for Feds but should he lose it’ll be a cool story for Murray, who has never won a Major, and for Great Britain.

[Photo Credit: AP]

Bow Down

Roger Federer, that great champion, that old man, beat Novak Djokovic, who was previously unbeaten this year, today at the French Open to advance to the Final.

Word to God.

Federer will play his nemesis Rafa Nadal on Sunday for all the marbles. Here’s hoping he’s got one more great match in him. To beat Nadal at the French would be something.

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