Friday, November 14, 2008

Freaky Friday (or year, for that matter)

Now that's just plain weird to me:

Roger Federer did not advance to at least the semis of the Masters Cup, falling to Andy Murray in a match that was almost as close can get. I didn't think he would win against Murray in the round-robin portion going in to the tournament, but I thought when it came down to brass tacks (playing for a chance to get further), he would come through. I never thought I'd see him losing twice in one event! He fought hard, but it just wasn't meant to be, I guess.

I guess when you look back on Federer's year, the prevailing storylines will be his health and the three-pronged attack from Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Murray. Federer started off the year with some form of mono and ended it with a bad back and stomach virus. In between were the above-mentioned three nipping at his heels, with Nadal even overtaking him atop the rankings.

There were some losses to dudes Federer would've never dreamed of falling to, such as James Blake, Mardy Fish, Gilles Simon and Radek Stepanek. Amid that, though, the guy still made three Slam finals, winning one, and the semis of another. And also, he did win a Gold medal at the Olympics in doubles.

So despite the illness and injury and ridiculous losses, 2008 was still a year that 99.9 percent of the players on tour would dream of having. It just wasn't as dominant as we've come to expect from him after the past few years.

(Photo: Getty Images)


Naf said...

Yo, Van!
I'd say that even with Fed at full strength, this year still would have been a struggle. It was only a matter of time before the younger guns mounted an attack. So, Fed won't win as many Slams a year, but the rivalries are great for men's tennis. Which is good for all of us!

van said...

Hey Naf!
The rivalries were great for the sport this year. I just wish Roger would've dished out a few more lumps to those guys than he took. But I guess it's inevitable the tide will turn. I don't consider myself a pure Fedopphile; I just hope he doesn't fall short of the Slam record.