Category Archives: Roger Federer

No doubt, the greatest ever in tennis

Roger Federer’s favorite color is gold. His large bag glitters that color. If you examine his tennis shoes, gold is laced all around them. Same with his T-shirt and its trimmings, including the Nike swoosh and the inscription, “RF.” More so with his pre-match jacket and long pants. All trimmed with gold.

Fittingly, when the Wimbledon finale that needed more games than any other Grand Slam final was over, he carried on his fingers the trophy that glimmered with one color: Gold.

picture-16

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant) Continue reading No doubt, the greatest ever in tennis

In the battle of No. 1s, does tennis beat golf?

Tonight at 9 p.m. (RP time), over the Star Sports network (SkyCable channel 22), when Andy Roddick and Roger Federer meet in the final of the world’s oldest tennis tournament, the winner will defeat…………. Tiger Woods.

What??? Let me explain. I’m proclaiming Sir Roger as the champion. Yes, the game is yet to be played. True, the yellow ball is round and it can twist and turn in varying directions and thus reward the underdog the trophy. Yes, Roddick owns the fastest ever recorded serve at 249.5 kph and will out-ace the Swiss Ace. And, true, 48 hours ago, Andy The American beat Andy The British in an upset. So, Andy can upset Rog— Continue reading In the battle of No. 1s, does tennis beat golf?

Tennis’ first, there is only one Wimbledon

It’s called “The Oscars” of its sport. If the game were American football, it would be the Super Bowl. If soccer, the once-every-four-years World Cup. It is comparable in stature to The Masters of golf, the NBA Finals of basketball, the Olympics of the 100-meter dash. Such is the popularity of this 14-day-long event that one British man once quipped, “Tennis is not popular in England. Wimbledon is.”

picture-42

Why? Why is this event held at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in the London suburb of Wimbledon considered so revered? For one, it is “the oldest tennis tournament in the world.” And isn’t being the first—like that first kiss, the birth of your first child, one’s first job and paycheck, a first-time trip abroad—always special and extra memorable? That’s W. Continue reading Tennis’ first, there is only one Wimbledon

Federer to win France? Roger on that!

picture-13

“Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.” Those words were first uttered by an 18th century philosopher named Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was born in Switzerland but later moved to Paris, France.

Another great man, in this 21st century, also born in Switzerland but now in Paris, France, will try to remember those words today. Patience is bitter…. but it’s fruit is sweet. For, true enough, hasn’t Roger Federer been most patient? At the French Open? On clay? Learning the game of tennis at the age of eight, he grew up playing on Basel’s clay courts. Then, starting in 1999, he joined his first-ever Grand Slam event. On clay. He lost that year at the French Open. And the year after. And each year ever since up until 2008.

Today, June 7, 2009, the French-speaking Swiss is back. Today, as painstaking as it was losing the past 10 years, he’ll attempt to grab the sweetest fruit of all: the Roland Garros trophy. Continue reading Federer to win France? Roger on that!

Roger humbles Rafa

picture-23

Just when I had written a story on Roger Federer’s demise, he goes on to win his first 2009 title (Madrid Open) and, yes, defeat The Unbeatable On Clay in his home country soil with a score, 6-4, 6-4. True, Rafael Nadal supporters will say, their Spanish Red Bull played 4 hours-plus the day before against Novak Djokovic and was fatigued and worn-out. But, still, a win is a victory. All this means two things: Chinggay Utzurrum and Michelle So of Sun.Star are euphoric and, come Sunday when the French Open begins in Paris, watch for a Confident Roger against a Vengeful Rafa.

Rafa is smashing, Roger’s at break point

What’s with Mr. Federer? Almost unbeatable from 2003 until last year, he amassed ATP victory after tournament win after Grand Slam trophy (13 in all). During that span, the entire tennis world declared the Swiss Master—tennis’ version of a glittering Rolex watch—as “The Greatest.”

Then. Now, I’m doubtful. Consider what happened last Saturday. Against the world’s 3rd-ranked player, Novak Djokovic, the newly-married Roger lost. That’s fine. Every so often, even Tiger Woods misses a three-foot putt and LeBron James misfires on an open free-throw. My shock had to do with how Roger lost.

picture-4

(Getty Images) Continue reading Rafa is smashing, Roger’s at break point

In R and R final, the champ is Mr. Relentless

b_nadal_1_03

(Getty Images)

Has there ever been an athlete as untiring and inexhaustible?

Finishing his semi-final against Fernando Verdasco in 5 hours, 14 minutes, he’s only allowed one day’s rest before beating Roger Federer in 4 hours, 22 minutes. In total, that’s 24 minutes shy of 10 hours of scampering for drop-shots, leaping for overheads, pouncing for volleys, swiveling from left to right for backhands…

Has there ever been a man wearing tennis shoes as unflagging and indefatigable?

While everyone, including Star Sports announcers Vijay and Allan, concluded that he’d be wearied and debilitated last Sunday—the opposite happened: the Spaniard was perky, hyper, vigorous. He was a Spanish ball of fire who, amidst the warm Melbourne air, burned and melted the cool Swiss Alps. Continue reading In R and R final, the champ is Mr. Relentless

Rafa? Roger? Cebuanos take their pick…

55552008

Bobby Aboitiz: Tough one, John… Federer’s control and methodical and reliable play vs. Nadal’s brilliant moments and passion… Its like Germany vs. Brazil in a soccer World Cup final… Stats would favor Federer, but my heart is with Nadal.

Steve Benitez: My pick is Roger. He has worked hard to gain back his form and confidence after going through a humbling experience of setbacks. He is now more driven to prove that, indeed, he is the best ever, and he needs this win to prove that.

Fabby Borromeo: I want Rafa to win but the odds favor Roger after Rafa’s 5-set semis match that must have drained him. I also think they should schedule both the men’s semis on Thursday cause it’s unfair to the winning player of the 2nd semis. Vamos, Rafa!

Fr. Joy Danao: I’ll go for Rafa cause he’s hungrier and he has improved his game vs. Roger; though he humbly respects the master magician and his enormous talent. Go, Rafa! Continue reading Rafa? Roger? Cebuanos take their pick…

The Fantastic Four: Novak, Roger, Andy and Rafa

When Jasmin and I watched him play last August, he was a disaster. Facing the unheralded Lu Yen-Hsu (yes, Hsu is this guy?) of Taipei, Andy Murray lost 7-6, 6-4. In the first round. Representing the great Great Britain. During the Beijing Olympics. Minutes after that loss, I recall stepping out of Court One of the Olympic Green Tennis Centre and seeing Andy’s mother, Judy Murray, walking alone. I considered approaching her to say hi but, after that desolating loss, I’d bet she was in a foul mood for a chit-chat.

Continue reading The Fantastic Four: Novak, Roger, Andy and Rafa

R and R and the Rest of men’s tennis this ‘08

With 14 days left before New Year’s Eve, I reminisce on one of the most electrifying seasons in tennis…..

(Finney/Getty)

Remember Wimbledon 2008? When the world’s top two stared at each other’s eyes from across the net? I wrote a column on this space last July entitled, “The Heavyweight Championship of the World.” It was true. The rivalry of Roger and Rafa is one of the sporting world’s most watched—and one of tennis history’s best, right alongside Borg-McEnroe and Sampras-Agassi. Continue reading R and R and the Rest of men’s tennis this ‘08