US Open: Why Federer Will Win 18th Slam Despite Djokovic & Murray in His Way

With two strong contenders—Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray—standing in the way of the World No. 1, some are already talking about how weakened Federer’s chances are. But, should it matter to the Swiss maestro?

Well-trodden path

This is not the first time that Federer has had to wade his way through younger opponents. Leave aside players like Stepanek, Haas, Hewitt and Roddick because most other players are younger and perhaps, stronger.

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Andy Murray: Will the US Open Be His Next Eureka Moment?

Some of us can script our own life story, only a rare few of us can edit it. It is this editing in sportspersons’ lives that decides where they will eventually stand.

Federer has done it: from being a racket-smashing youngster to a man on a seemingly never-ending tennis campaign of seduction with his preternatural authority in shot-making. As for how influential he is as a human being and as an ambassador of sport, a lot of ink has already been spilled.

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Roger Federer: This Beauty Isn’t Just a Streak. It’s the Feast of the GOAT

Many prayers have been heard. Many questions have been answered.

But, of all the solace one could savor having followed the Swiss genius loyally till his seventh Wimbledon title, the record 17th Slam and his march back to No.1, a blissful break from all the bunkum about his dying legacy tops the list. Period.

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After Nadal, Roger Federer Is Up Against His Second Biggest Enemy

The celebrations of the truly epic final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the 2012 Australian Open had just begun. Firecrackers were lighting up the sky. Champagne corks were popping. Djokovic was being elevated to the highest ranks. Tombstones were being erected for Maestro Roger Federer.

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Pic source: Getty Images-B/R

Djokovic-Nadal: Signalling a More Riveting Rivalry in 2012

As it rained confetti at the 100th Australian Open awards ceremony, there stood Rafael Nadal next to Novak Djokovic—facing floodlights of despair, looking lost, but still holding on gracefully. A layer beneath this grace was the look of a stranger in a strange land.

The Rod Laver Arena was no more the paradise that he inhabited some Slams ago. Someone else lives in there. And that someone has found answers to all the puzzles that helped him rattle his opponents and win ever so emphatically. The more defeats he suffers at the hands of his nemesis, the farther he walks from this paradise. Continue reading

Is Murray the new brain-teaser for Nadal?

Has Japan Open put together another brain-teaser for Rafael Nadal?

Having lost to Novak Djokovic in six of the 10 finals and beaten British No.1 Andy Murray in the last five matches, Nadal must have thought it would be yet another day in the post-tsunami Japan bringing in yet another victory over the world No. 4.

How Murray lost the first set of the Japan Open Finals today is a no-brainer: the same defensive Murray putting the ball back in and failing to dish out winners. Nadal kept thundering down winners after winners, while Murray struggled with his first serve. Continue reading

Over the bump. Should it matter to Federer?

Looks like I am late to catch up with this current tennis season. Montreal whizzed past with, expectedly so, No.1 Novak Djokovic lifting the trophy, winning five ATP 1000 tournaments in a year, and tucking in “a winning percentage of 98.1  better than McEnroe’s season-ending percentage of 96.5  in 1984”.

No.2 Rafael Nadal and No.4 Andy Murray exited in the first round itself, while No.3 Roger Federer fell to Tsonga in a 3-setter despite playing some of his best tennis shots. Continue reading