I DON'T EVEN CARE IF HE LOSES THIS MATCH. I LOVE THIS MAN. HE NEVER STOPS TRYING. ALL THE CRAPPY CRITICISMS ABOUT HOW HE DOESN'T LOOK LIKE HE'S TRYING WHEN HE'S LOSING, THEY CAN ALL GO TO HELL. BECAUSE ROGER'S SHOWN TODAY THAT HE DOESN'T STOP TRYING AND HE WON'T GO OUT WITHOUT A FIGHT.
HE IS SUCH AN INSPIRATION. FUCK, I HOPE TO HELL HE WINS. HE CAN DO IT IN 5 SETS.
COME THE FUCK ON ROGER.
WTF broken in the fourth set.
Shit, still no break back in sight. Narrowly survived some close service games.
I hope Switzerland wins the World Cup match. I want Roger to have something to be happy about if/when he loses.
My only comfort is that he's trying, and that, win or lose, he's still the greatest of all-time.
YES MY CHAMPION BROKE BACK AND SURVIVED BREAK POINT WHEN SERVING AT 5-5 TO HOLD SERVE WITH A MAGNIFICENT DROP SHOT.
BREAK FOR THE SET ROGER!!! I'LL WATCH THIS SHIT UNTIL THE BITTER END!!!!
FIVE SETS HERE WE COME.
AFTER SOME SERIOUSLY BAD UNFORCED ERRORS FROM FALLA AND FOCUSED PLAY FROM ROGER, HE WINS THE FOURTH SET TIE-BREAK 7-1 AND TAKES THIS MATCH INTO A FIFTH SET.
ROGER PLEASE REMEMBER THERE'S NO TIE-BREAK IN THE FIFTH SET AND THAT YOUR LOYAL FAN NEEDS TO GO TO WORK TOMORROW SO PLEASE BREAK EARLY, HOLD SERVE, AND WIN!!!!!!!!!!!
YESSSSSS FUCKING-A YESSSSSSSSSSS THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT!
Match isn't over yet but a 3-0 lead, up two breaks, is more or less it for the Colombian. Sucks to be him, but this is WIMBLEDON. Nobody messes with Roger Federer in his beloved tournament and lives to tell the tale!
Hope this ends quickly. I don't think I can take any more of this stress! (And it's damn humid tonight. Sweating buckets in the living room.)
HELL FUCKING YES!!!!!!!
Final score: 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-0.
Despite almost dying of a heart attack, and being so nervous I literally felt sick, I fucking enjoyed this rollercoaster match. A large part of that had to do with how I knew, or believed, that Roger wasn't going to lose to a 60-something ranked player in the first round of Wimbledon, not even when he was down two sets to love, or down a break in the fourth set with Falla serving for the match. Of course, when Falla was serving 5-4 in the fourth set, I was going crazy texting Wei Chuen, "Omg if he loses you must comfort me!" and thinking it was the end.
BUT I BELIEVED HE WOULD DO IT.
And I stayed with him throughout the whole five sets, the entire 3 hours and 18 minutes, and I would've stayed with him until the fucking bitter end even if it he'd lost the match. But he fucking won, and after the whole string of shit losses in matches that he should have won, this victory seriously vindicates the patience, the belief, the faith and perhaps the stubborn hope that a true Fed fan has demonstrated thus far. Any other fair-weather fan would've checked out after he lost to Soderling in Roland Garros, or perhaps earlier; but the real fans stick around and believe in him, even when it looks like all hope is lost.
God, this victory, though not mine, and which has absolutely nothing to do with me, is so damn inspiring. He was backed against the wall. He stared defeat in the face at 4-5 fourth set, with an opponent whom he'd schooled in four previous occasions without conceding a set but who was playing out of skin, but he didn't give up. I said it earlier during the match when he was losing and I meant it, and I'll say it again: I wouldn't have loved him any less if he'd lost, because he was trying. Didn't always work, but he was out there fighting with all his might and all his heart. He wasn't always mentally checked in, and only showed up at the tail end of the third set and the fifth set, but he did everything that he could to hang in there, to fight back, to give himself fighting chances, so that he continues to pursue a 7th Wimbledon title.
Why is this important? Because for someone so damn negative, such an overwhelming display of positivity, of determination and grit, is...I don't know, all I can say is that it's deeply, deeply inspirational and inspiring to me.
His long-time fans always talk about his fighting spirit, and even my boyfriend says that he always gives himself chances to win. I hadn't seen that fighting spirit in a lot of his recent losses. But today, in this match, he really fought his heart out. You could see the disappointment in his body language when he made yet another unforced error, and you could feel the drive and the excitement in him when he yelled "Come on!" after saving four break points in the fourth set to go up 6-5. And the vigorous shaking of the fist when he finally won? Absolutely classy, considering his opponent had just lost a match that he should have won.
Falla had SO many chances to close it out. At the start of the tie-break they'd each won 139 points. It couldn't get any closer than that. He served for the match in the fourth set, but couldn't get himself a match point because Roger simply upped his game when it mattered the most, even when he didn't have much game for the majority of the time until then.
See, while I acknowledge that Falla played out of his mind for the first two sets and then some, I simultaneously refuse to believe that Falla's insane level of confidence had nothing to do with the flat game that Roger was playing. Falla isn't a Rafael Nadal, or a Novak Djokovic, or even a Lleyton Hewitt. His best result on tour is the QF of a 250 tournament. He lost to Roger 6-1, 6-2 in Halle last week. I started watching this match thinking it was going to be a walk in a park, but after a loose service game in the first set, hot off the heels of some amazing serving before that, Roger got broken - and after that, everything went downhill.
The pattern was familiar, and I dreaded the likely result. Roger didn't show up at all until he saved his own ass in the third set and finally broke for the set. So yes, Falla played really well, but Roger allowed him to. A lesser player wouldn't have been able to capitalise on such a golden opportunity, so hats off to Falla for having the balls to take it to Roger and not choke until, well, the fourth set tie-break.
But it was because of Roger's bad play that Falla even had the confidence to play out of his mind. And Roger, being the champion that he is, toughed it out mentally, and finally stuck it to Falla - won the fourth set by some miracle, and then turned the tide around. The tide didn't fully turn in Roger's favour until he'd won the fourth set. And Falla, for all the fight that he shown in the first two, three sets, even the fourth, couldn't keep it up in the fifth.
Roger did to him today what Nadal always does to his opponents: He worn him down mentally, and ultimately planted the seed of doubt when Falla couldn't win the fourth set even when he was playing out of his mind. The worst thing, the worst possible thing, that could happen to a tennis player is to lose even when you're playing your best. For Roger, his game becomes unhinged when he's losing (see how perfect he was in the decider when he was up an early break and then dismantled Falla completely, his shots full of confidence that was lacking previously); his confidence is pegged to his first serve and the accuracy of his shots. For other players, there's nothing much worse than still losing to a player who's playing below your level even when you're playing the best tennis you've ever played in your life.
Falla's only consolation is that he lost to Roger Federer, six-time Wimbledon champion, collector of 16 Grand Slam titles, and arguably the greatest player of all-time. He should be proud of himself for pushing Roger to five sets and making me spew insults at him, wishing for him to choke so that Roger could have an easy victory. And really, pushing Roger to five sets after not winning a single set in four previous encounters, in the first round of Roger's home tournament (so to speak), is really quite something.
I'm still so excited about this. I'm so happy for him. I really loved watching him dig deep to save himself when he was down 0-40 in the third set, then playing such magnificent tennis in the decider. My god, those drop shots he was pulling out left and right, off both wings, they left Falla quite flummoxed. And the only two times they didn't work in the fifth set were when Roger missed them. I love the perfect disguise on his forehand drop shot - faking a forehand, then hitting a drop shot. Absolutely perfect.
Of course, it would've been better if he'd displayed such great tennis from start to finish. But, like he said, he's lost many matches that he should've won - but today, he won a match that he should have lost.
No complaints from me. I just feel so lucky to be able to watch him play. He's truly incredible, and what moved me most about this match was the way he fought through all the issues with his poor form and finally eked out a victory.
Unrealistic as it may be, I'm still hoping he wins the tournament. I think, in all likelihood, this scare would serve as a good wake-up call for him, so that he'd remember to show up for his next match. I'm hesitant to expect a walk in a park for his Round 2 match against a Serb qualifier...but that's what I'm gonna hope for.