by Amy Lignor
Okay…even though he is assumed by many to be a shark in them thar U.S. Open waters, Federer’s style is not exactly what most fans like to see. He’s not what you would call the most open guy, yet the fans are purchasing shirts that promote and support him this year. (Perhaps they feel bad because the once young colt is now more of an old horse heading out to pasture?)
Whatever it is or wherever this newfound support comes from, Federer is ready to work his proverbial racket off in order to take this title. He not only wants to prove something to the people, but you can tell from his interviews that he most definitely wants to prove to the tennis world that he is far from grazing in the meadow.
He does still show an aversion to the fans, but Federer seems to be seen as the defending champ in their hearts. Experts have spoken about the number “7” that’s listed next to his name as being a bad sign. It is…in the tennis world; being the seventh seed means he’s coming into the Open at his lowest designation in over ten years. But what if the old adage of number 7 – (the real one, guys, not the unlucky seven – that IS still in most circles the number 13) – is all that Federer needs in order to prove to everyone that his ability to win over and over again at one time is not actually a thing of the past.
Federer has certainly had a non-outstanding 2013. His consistency to continuously come out on top faded. He even had a glaring loss at Wimbledon by having to step away from the game in only the second round where he lost to an opponent many felt was far lesser than Federer was.
Federico Delbonis was the abuser of Federer in Hamburg, Germany last month; and people are still reeling about that because Delbonis didn’t even qualify for the 2013 U.S. Open.
Is this inconsistency the ultimate decline? Hmmm…remember Tiger Woods? Remember that guy? The one who was the fan favorite and won everything? Well, he was said to be over. Old, kaput, done in by age and actions. Yet, oddly enough, every time he’s walking those lovely greens and takes home yet another trophy and a gazillion dollars, there are crowds of fans still cheering him on letting the world know that even though Tiger was down, he’s back.
Fans may forget that Federer won the Gerry Weber Open two months back. They may also forget how he played perfectly against Rafael Nadal – who is the Open’s bet to win it all this year.
In tennis, seven matches is all you need to win to be the ultimate winner. (And he has #7 on his shirt. Coincidence?) Pete Sampras was yet another who came into the Open in 2002 without having won any tournament that year. He’d been kicked out of Wimbledon far too early with a loss and then headed to N.Y. and pushed everyone out of the way to win it all. (Again, another coincidence?)
Federer played his first-round match on Tuesday and showed fans that he was still here. 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 – over. Federer gave the crowd some serious photo ops by going to the net 21 times and winning 20 of the points he went there for.
Seven is a lucky number, people. And it may just be the ‘sign’ to one and all that Roger Federer is not going into that goodnight anytime soon.
Until Next Time, Everybody,