HELL FUCKING YES FINALLY A FUCKING TITLE AFTER 7 MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay up for 3 sets so I went to bed after the first set. I really wanted to watch the whole thing and experience Roger's victory in real time (I believed he'd win this time around, I really did) but I really couldn't sleep at 3-plus and still be alive for work a few hours later, so I sacrified my Federer Time for...work. Bleah.
I must say though, I was quite annoyed watching the first set. Roger had two clear chances to break in Fish's second service game but squandered both chances with silly unforced errors. That game hit about 5 deuces, during which I was hoping Roger would break, especially when Fish had game point and then smashed it way out. But Roger wasn't able to capitalise. I thought, Okay, fine, he'd get another opportunity later on; but boy, I was so wrong. Roger couldn't even sniff a break point until the freaking third set. The first set was one that Roger really should have won. He was even up 5-4 in the breaker with two serves to come. I expected him to serve two bombs down the centre but nooo, it didn't happen. When Fish had set point he hit another huge-ass first serve, unreturnable, and then nabbed the set.
I was SO annoyed. The match was Roger's to lose from the start and he really went to lose the first set! Fish was obviously the weaker player from the start: his groundstrokes barely went anywhere, he wasn't that great at the net, and he struggled on his service games while Roger coasted through his own service games. And it wasn't even like Fish served consistently well; it was just that Roger couldn't do anything with his second serves. He couldn't get a read on Fish's first serves as well.
Fish definitely got lucky in the first set. But I'd say Roger got lucky in the third and deciding set. Roger played a fantastic second-set tie-break, turning on the aggression from the very first point and snatching it from Fish 7-1. In the third set, however, he seemed to go on some weird walkabout and stopped hitting winners. His unforced errors escalated, and watching it on tape I actually started to wonder how he actually won. Fish actually played better in the third set - kept his serve consistent, kept his service games short, stayed focus when he had to, and he seemed content letting Roger do himself in with the unforced errors.
Unfortunately for Fish, Roger wasn't about to stay passive. He's the kind of guy to take matters into his own hands, and so when he finally had a break point at 4-4 final set, he started putting pressure on Fish, attacking him from all angles of the court, and finally forcing an error off Fish's backhand side.
And that was all it took. Roger served it out to 40-30 and found his first serve once more. When Fish's backhand sailed long, Roger raised his arms and clenched his fists. Finally, finally, another victory for Roger Federer. It's been way too long, since January, and it's been way too long since his fans had a victory to celebrate. A win is a win is a win, so it doesn't matter that he made a few more unforced errors than winners, and that he couldn't capitalise on 15-30, 30-30 chances, and that he couldn't do anything with Fish's second serves. What matters is that Roger's finally back to his winning ways, proving, once more, that it isn't over until he says it's over.
I love this man so much. This bodes VERY well for his US Open chances. Robbie Koenig (commentator) has officially picked Roger as his favourite to win the tournament, and I couldn't agree more. I think Koenig is the more palatable of the Koenig/Jason Goodall pair and he makes some really interesting comments during matches (for example, during the Baghdatis match, Roger rushed the net on break point on Baggy's serve. Koenig commented that Roger leaned slightly to Baggy's right/Roger's left to force Baggy to hit the down-the-line pass, which is harder to make as opposed to the cross-court. Baggy missed) so I'm quite okay with him. Goodall is a bit annoying 'cause he's something of a Murraytard which, yeah, annoys me.
But anyway, who cares. What matters is this:
It's also been so long since he's last won a tournament, so here's a picspam!
Poetry in Motion
Victorious Once More
That's One Hell of An Ugly Trophy
Now go re-claim your US Open trophy! I can't wait!
Too lazy to talk about other things. Maybe another time.
Edit: Actually, I want to say that I was really, REALLY nervous when I was watching the match. The last time I watched a final was the Madrid final against Nadal, which I pretty much expected him to lose so it wasn't that nail-biting for me (but it was still stressful. Why do I watch tennis when something that's supposed to relax me stresses me out?!). But this final? No matter how much Fish has improved, a loss to Mardy Fish is utterly unacceptable. There are players that he can lose to and I'd just be like, Okay, fine; the opponent is good and Roger just wasn't good enough. But there are players that he loses to and I'm like, WTF ROGER, THAT GUY SUCKS AND YOU LOST TO HIM? Andy Murray would be a good example of this, though last week the loss wasn't unsurprising considering Roger's back-to-back three-setters leading up to the final. But an even better example? Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon. I DON'T EVEN WANT TO THINK ABOUT THAT.
(Caveat: I used to be able to say I like Berdych but his whiny ass has pissed me off so much that I can't say that anymore. Also, I noticed during his Rogers Cup match with Roger that he's such a one-note kind of player. There's nothing inherently wrong with bashing the ball, but it gets fucking boring when that's ALL you do. I swear, Berdych has no slice. Even when he's on the defensive he hits a topspin backhand back. And I really think Ernests Gulbis is a much better player - he plays more intelligently and generally offers a more exciting gameplan than ball-bashing Berdych. I still like Berdych's forehand though. Berdych and Soderling are the same actually, but I definitely like Soderling more. He's funny.)
If he'd lost to Mardy Fish, that would've been a huge, HUGE WTF loss. No disrespect to Fish or anything; it's incredible that he's now ranked #18 when he was nowhere to be found this time last year. He's put in the effort to improve and it's paid off and I'm genuinely for him. He also seems like a really nice guy during the trophy presentation, and I was a bit sad that he served so well, just to get broken in the 3rd set at 4-all.
But MAKE NO FUCKING MISTAKE. Fish is nowhere near the level that you'd need to be at in order for me to say that Roger had no shame losing to you. To be fair, my default position is that Roger's the best ever and that no one can beat him if he's playing his best tennis. But there are some quality players that I wouldn't feel that grossed out at if he lost to them (the top few players, except maybe Murray and Djokovic. Okay, Djokovic has a really good game when his head is screwed on right but Roger's owned him on so many occasions that I can't swallow a defeat to him).
Fish just isn't one of them. I was trying to work how what it is that let him beat some really good players en route to the final and all I could come up with was the serve. He's definitely got a huge serve - but so does Ivo Karlovic and Andy Roddick. So what? Actually, Fish is a very typical American player: huge serve and nothing much else to back that up. His groundstrokes were average (for a professional) and net skills were maybe slightly above average. And that's true for all the American players: Roddick, Sam Querrey, John Isner.
I'm just not fond of the serving game, so for that reason I'm glad American tennis is dying.
But anyway, like I was saying, I was legitimately nervous when watching the match. I hadn't felt like that in quite a while. I expect myself to be so nervous that I'd be on the verge of throwing up when I watch the US Open final. With Roger, of course. I won't accept anything less.