The unstoppable Federer express

Monisha Dikshit Roar Rookie

By Monisha Dikshit, Monisha Dikshit is a Roar Rookie

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    Roger Federer continued his comeback by winning Indian Wells. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

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    Roger Federer’s 6-4, 7-5 win in the men’s final at Indian Wells, over countryman Stan Wawrinka, was the third time Federer had won the tournament after lifting the trophy at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne.

    The first two titles came in 2004 and 2006, years he went on to end the season as the best-ranked player.

    Will history repeat itself? Only time can tell. But with Federer, even the seemingly impossible can metamorphose into reality.

    The tennis world expected him to be done and dusted. The experts curiously anticipated a graceful retirement after a Grand Slam drought since 2012, and a six-month injury layoff after last year’s Wimbledon.

    At 35, he has not only defied age but also his staunchest critics to script what he calls a “fairytale” story for himself.

    The monumental wins he has carved out this season as an underdog have left even his devout followers awe-struck.

    The quick, attacking returns on opponent’s serves, the aggressive and flawless backhand (cross-court and down the line), the improved athleticism, coupled with a new, bigger racket have seen Federer deny his opponents an opportunity to play their shots.

    While his association with Stefan Edberg provided him the platform to unearth the required aggression in his game, plus his confidence, present coach Ivan Ljubicic has done a tremendous job in honing Roger’s erroneous backhand and cultivating his seemingly lost mental edge. And Federer could not have gifted Ivan a better gift than victory at Indian Wells on his coach’s 38th birthday.

    With three successive defeats inflicted on his long-time nemesis, Rafael Nadal, and a 13-1 record this season (6-0 against the top ten), Roger is proving his comeback in the final set at the Australian Open was not a flash in the pan, given some critics had attributed his victory to the faster courts at Melbourne.

    His 25th Masters title and 90th overall saw him surpass Andre Agassi as the oldest winner of a Master trophy, at 35 years and 223 days.

    Any addition to his trophy cabinet will further cement his position as the greatest of all, who redefined the sport with his genius, passion and on-court wizardry.

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • March 21st 2017 @ 4:06pm
      Eddard said | March 21st 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

      It was another great win for Federer. It will be interesting to see if he can back it up in Miami, but given he had the walkover with Kyrgios and didn’t lose a single set you’d have to think he’ll be fresh enough. And with Djokovic and Murray out he’ll be the favourite for that too.

      • March 22nd 2017 @ 3:16am
        express34texas said | March 22nd 2017 @ 3:16am | ! Report

        Fitness has never been an issue with Fed. He’s been the fittest player on tour for a long time. I’ve never seen him look tired, except after the greatest point ever against Hewitt in Indian Wells 2005 Final. He was on court for about 5 hours total in Indian Wells. He exerts much more energy in a single practice sometimes.

        The problem with him and any other aging athlete is whether his body will break down or when it will break down. He needs to take it easy on his schedule. Play Miami and probably 2 of the 3 Masters clay tourneys before the FO, or even just 1. Now that he has a huge lead in points for 2017, he’s probably thinking reaching #1 at some point this year is possible, but hopefully he doesn’t think about this too much. He needs to focus being at best for the GS. Murray/Djoker look like they’re in a bit of trouble. They’re looking way up at Fed currently, and while there’s probably not that many players that even have a chance to win a GS currently, the tour is stacked up at the top. Many great young players today.

    • March 22nd 2017 @ 8:36am
      Rugby Realist said | March 22nd 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      Agree with express34Texas. I hope he doesnt worry about no1.
      And I hope doesnt overdo the clay court season. Wimbeldon remains his best opportunity for another slam.

      Another slam still seems unlikely, but the mini comeback is a joy

    • March 22nd 2017 @ 9:31am
      clipper said | March 22nd 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      The confidence seems to have gone up and is noticeable in the break points he now wins. This was one area that Nadal used to have over him – the AO final was one of the few times his break point percentage was above Nadals.
      The way he is playing attractive, attacking tennis you would hope he can continue as long as Rosewall or Connors.

      • March 22nd 2017 @ 3:55pm
        Kev said | March 22nd 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

        That and his backhand was unstoppable which was surprising considering how he often struggled against Nadal with that shot given the left right combo and the heavy topspin Nadal puts on the ball.

        • March 23rd 2017 @ 2:12am
          express34texas said | March 23rd 2017 @ 2:12am | ! Report

          I haven’t seen a lot of those earlier matches Fed/Nadal, but Fed is standing closer to take the ball before it bounces too high and is more committed to aggressive tennis, which is saying something for him. I’m sure he tried different things before, but didn’t really seem like it much. Why did it take so long for him to play like this?

          After Miami, playing on clay/tennis should do his body good. He looks completely healthy. I don’t expect any injuries hopefully, but never know.

    • Roar Rookie

      March 27th 2017 @ 9:28am
      James Ditchfield said | March 27th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      Every time I watch him play, it reminds me just how privileged I’ve been to have lived in an era dominated by Roger Federer. It also amazes me that I’ve seen headlines such as this for over a decade now, when many other sporting icons have come and gone over the same period, and not just in tennis.

      • March 27th 2017 @ 9:42am
        clipper said | March 27th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

        Not only having the privilege of watching Federer, but also being in the era of 3 of the top 5 players of all time, each pushed to new heights by each other plus the greatest female player in Serena.

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