What is even more amazing is the clinical, ruthless way in which he dismantled Andy Murray in straight sets. He served at 75% and after saving a break point in the first game of the first set, he gave Murray no further looks at a break point (only one game went to deuce). I can't remember the last time he served so well against a top 10 opponent. This is giving me hope for his 18th slam, and while I'm excited, I'm also nervous and apprehensive. What if his level drops against Djokovic? What if he doesn't serve as well on Sunday? What if he loses to Djokovic in a Wimbledon again? Last year was enough of a debacle; I can't go through it again.
I suppose that is why I'm watching in my living room and not out there playing for the most prestigious title in tennis and the record books. Marion Bartoli, in her post-match analysis, remarked on how clear-headed Roger is, and it's no wonder he's one of greatest player of all-time. I'm just - I really want to see him win a major again. I am OCD about numbers; I only like numbers that end in 2, 5 or 8 (I am not making this up). He has 17 major titles. He needs to make it 18 because it's a nicer number.
I'm going to be so nervous watching the final on Sunday. I was almost okay with Murray winning so that I could watch the final, not caring who wins. But oh my god, how amazing it would be if Roger won on Sunday. I can't believe it's exactly three years since he's last won a slam. Judging by the way he's played throughout the whole tournament, and especially in this semi-final, I think the title is his to lose.
I am a great admirer of great shots. Great shots from any player will draw gasps from me. Still, I honestly don't think that any player plays tennis like Roger Federer does. He pulls off great shots with such ease and such elegance that he elevates them to more than just a tennis shot. It's performance art. It's being rendered speechless in front of a masterpiece of a painting, speechless in the face of the stupefying beauty of the human spirit and the depths of human creativity and genius. One return winner from Roger off a Murray second serve produced incoherent utterance of awe from me: while it was a standard inside-out forehand return winner, it was not a standard inside-out forehand return winner. It was like a missile, it was like an arrow, piercing through the air with such speed that you'd miss it if you blinked. He hit it at such a sharp angle, and so flat such that the ball almost skimmed the top of the net, and there was absolutely nothing that Murray could do. It was an incredible shot. It was such a good shot that words cannot possibly do it justice.
Watching Roger in full flow like this gives me the same feeling as looking at a Monet or van Gogh or Sisley, or reading Julian Barnes or any of the greatest writers in the English language, or listening to a Ravel or a Chopin. I am in awe. It is so moving. He is so light on his feet, dancing around the court like a cat. It is beyond comprehension that a man is able to play tennis the way Roger Federer does.
I am so glad that I channel-surfed to that sports channel which had the Federer/Safin Wimbledon match that night in 2008. Otherwise, I would have missed out on something majestic and beautiful.