1. Roger is so sweet and everyone loves him!
Roger has been voted ATPworldtour.com's Fan Favourite for the sixth consecutive time, and this is what he posted on his website:
I would personally like to thank all of my fans and active members of rogerfederer.com for your help in me being elected "fan favorite" for the sixth consecutive year! This means so much to me and I am deeply grateful to all of you for your loyal and unwavering support.
See you soon
I absolutely love how he takes time out to post messages to his fans on his website. Even if he didn't compose the message himself, at least he had the thought to get someone to write a 'thank you' message for his fans. I also love how his fans are the first to know of any major events in his life, e.g. his baby with Mirka, his withdrawal from tournaments, and usually the press goes to his website to obtain "quotes" from him to write in their reports. I absolutely love it. Considering he's pretty much a celebrity superstar-type, he doesn't even need to have that personal touch to his website; but he does. For whatever reason. Maybe he really is that nice, as much as my cynical, cautious side tries to resist such an easy conclusion.
Still, my ranting about how he's the superior sportsman to, well, all the other tennis players out there has proved to be true once again. ATP players have voted him to win the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the fifth straight time. Nadal won Player of the Year, which makes sense since he won 2 majors while Roger only won 1; but the Sportsmanship Award is independent of one's win-loss record. It's reflective of one's on-court behaviour, respect for the rules of the game, his sportsmanship.
Roger is the pinnacle of men's tennis, not just because of his beautiful tennis, beautiful achievement; it's also because of the impeccable sportsmanship that he has. One of the MANY reasons I love him so much.
2. Tennis in real life
This picture encapsulates perfectly the stance that one should adopt when getting ready to receive a forehand:
My parents dragged us for buffet dinner on Tuesday on celebration of their wedding anniversary and I felt so full and bloated that I resolved to pull myself up at 8 in the morning the next day to play tennis with the wall at KR, which I did. Half an hour later this dude joined me. Half an hour after that he asked if he could coach me.
FOR FREE! Like, omg, yes please! He massively corrected my forehand and oh my god, I swear, my forehand was the most consistent in those two, two-and-a-half hours alone. I hardly felt like I hit the ball anywhere else but the centre of the racquet! And it was all because of the above picture.
Namely: according to the guy, I had a tendency of dropping my racquet when I was preparing to hit a forehand. Instead of giving in to gravity, one should do what Roger did in that picture: hold the arm almost perpendicular to the rest of the body, take one step forward with the left foot, rotate the upper body clockwise, and when you're within hitting distance of the ball, brush the ball up to create topspin.
I knew all about the brushing and the topspin and I thought I was doing just that; but the guy said I wasn't, that I was blocking the ball back, which resulted in it flying super high and with no spin. A flat ball, in other words. It's fine if the goal is just to get the ball over the net and into the boundaries of the singles sidelines; but my interest in tennis isn't purely recreational. I want to do it right. And all thanks to the guy, I am one step closer to unlocking all the secrets and mysteries to the forehand for good!
The downside is, I shanked a lot of backhands because I started to over-think it. I don't think I've opened the racquet on so many backhands before and I was quite annoyed with myself. I was really conscious of where I was holding the racquet, whether I was dropping it, where is the optimal spot to position myself for the optimal point of contact. Many times I hit the frame and it felt really tight, and not relaxed and easy like before.
Then again, it wasn't like the consistency was there before anyway; I'd hit one good one, followed by many shanked ones, most of which hit the frame. So yeah, nothing was lost, and much was gained. And the best part? The guy didn't offer to take me on as a student after that, and merely said we could hit together if time permitted.
YAY! I really don't want to get a private coach 'cause it's freaking expensive, and I don't want people messing with what I know about tennis. I just want to figure it out on my own. But of course, sometimes you think you're doing something right when in fact it's not; but that doesn't really justify spending $200 a month on tennis lessons. Not to me anyway, not when I watch tennis LIKE CRAZY and know a thing or two about playing.
OKAY I'M GOING TO WATCH AMERICAN IDOL NOW.