Ah, I see the trolls and haters have all shown up right on schedule.
I'm going through Wimbledon withdrawal. No more getting up at 6:00am to watch tennis all day long? No more Luke Jensen? No more 9-hour VHS tapes to buy? I feel the shakes coming on.
Just to give this place a shot of positivity, I found some nice articles that I thought some here might enjoy:
Dignified loser A-Rod wins hearts
by ALAN PATTULLO
ANDY Roddick came out of the traps like a hare but ended up fulfilling the role he was supposed to play as the universally-regarded underdog. It was never a meek surrender, though. How could it ever be with Roddick, who turns every performance into a passion play and who came out yesterday afternoon pumped up to the eyeballs with an adrenaline which seemed not simply to supply him with extra vigour but also served to banish fears?
Three aces in his first service game was the A-Rod’s way of introducing himself to Federer, although even before this he had flung back returns of service as though there were traces of gunpowder smeared across his racket strings. Roddick recently starred in a Dennis the Menace storyline in the Beano, and was perhaps picked because his style of play lends itself to cartoon depiction. "Thwack" goes the ball as it connects with racket, "whoosh" is the sound it makes as it clears the net with little to spare. "Ooof!", though, was Roddick’s reaction after it was revealed that so much effort, so much drama, had been for nothing, or, more accurately, for the £301,250 pocket money which is banked by the loser.
The boy from Omaha in Nebraska, the birth place of the late Marlon Brando, was never likely to go quietly, nor without panache. He wore the mantle of the loser quite magnificently having given Federer the game of these championships. "I threw the kitchen sink at him but he went to the bathroom and got his tub," said Roddick to loud applause afterwards. In the end he was left to deliver his own version of the "I could have been a contender" speech delivered so famously by Brando in On the Waterfront. Roddick could have been a Wimbledon champion if only he’d sustained his earlier accuracy that was married to awesome power, and - curse the gods! - if only there had been no rain breaks, which, certainly in the third set, acted to deflect the American from his purpose.
He was a break up in the third when the rain came, prompting the second delay of the afternoon. Federer emerged from this unscheduled interval the stronger and while before Roddick’s play had been shot through with courage there seemed a certain desperation about him as his opponent clawed back the third set from the brink of defeat and then took the fourth after breaking Roddick in the significant seventh game. It had been a scintillating two and a half hours of tennis, as we had the right to expect from the No1 and two seeds, the first time this has happened in a men’s singles final at Wimbledon since John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors in 1982.
There was sorrow that there had to be a loser, but with Federer in the house there is no shame in coming second. And Roddick grew in stature yesterday, reacting to defeat in the same dignified manner as deposed ladies’ singles champion Serena Williams the previous day. Both have remained true to the principles of Wimbledon, declaring they lost to the better player on the day.
Roddick, clearly, has not turned out the way we expected him to. When he exploded onto the scene three years ago, the boy from the Nebraskan badlands was supposed to be the new brat on the block. With his cap flipped the wrong way round, and, wearing a month-long growth round his chops as he was yesterday, he certainly looks the part. But yesterday he was sportsmanship personified. The Centre Court loved him for it, and he received - and accepted - a rousing standing ovation.
There remained, though, instances when the child in him reared its head. At one stage an abrupt loud noise, emitted from behind Federer by a falling camera, shattered the hush of the Centre Court, and momentarily ate away the nervous tension. Roddick fanned his behind with his racket, and shouted out: "Sorry!" Later he spoke of his annoyance at missing out on the first dance at the Champions’ ball with Maria Sharapova, even though this is no longer the practice. "I just want to know how long her skirt’s going to be - is it going to be short, is it going to be long? I might just crash the party. I’ll bring the beer, man. Let’s go."
He won hearts, if not the title, and with Federer around that is perhaps as much as the best of the rest can hope to do.
Wimbledon: Federer's potential awesome
Andre Agassi and John McEnroe say he could be one of the greatest ever.
WIMBLEDON, England - You heard it here first: Roger Federer will eclipse Pete Sampras' record for career Grand Slam singles titles.
Admittedly, that's an awfully premature prediction. After all, Sampras walked away with 14 trophies from tennis's top tournaments, two more than anyone else.
Federer? He owns three major championships after beating Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-4 Sunday to win Wimbledon for the second straight year.
So Federer would need to average 1 1/2 Slams a season for the next eight to top Pistol Pete. Yet that doesn't seem so far-fetched right now, frankly, given Federer's age (22), talent, versatility, commitment to improving and mental toughness.
"Federer, in my mind, has clearly separated himself from the field," Andre Agassi said. "He's a guy who has proven he can get the job done."
And Agassi spoke last week, before watching Federer absorb Roddick's best and figure out a way to beat him.
"He's got every shot imaginable. There's not a shot he hits that's not very well struck," John McEnroe said. "He's got a chance to be one of the greatest players who ever lived. He's got a ways to go to reach Sampras' 14 Grand Slam titles. I don't think he'll do that, but he's got a chance to win a lot of major titles."
There are all sorts of variables and potential roadblocks, from injuries to sudden inconsistency to new challengers. For every Pete Sampras who fulfills his potential, there's a Marat Safin who squanders it.
Federer knows that.
"I don't set goals for 10 years' time and say I want to stay No. 1 for 10 years," he said. "It is not realistic, because I know if I have one injury I will lose it straight away, and it's the same for Grand Slams."
Up to now, he's managed to avoid serious health problems, and he was fortunate to come along in an era of parity. No man has captured consecutive titles over the past 18 majors, an Open era record.
Roddick, the U.S. Open champion, is the closest thing to a rival out there - and Federer's 6-1 against him. Sampras' main foil was Agassi, who's won eight majors; in other words, there's room for Roddick to collect a ton of titles and still leave the bulk to Federer.
In 2004, Federer is 46-4 with six titles that have come on grass, hard and clay courts. He won the Australian Open, so he now owns three of the past five Slams and is the first man since Agassi in 1999 to win two in a year.
Sampras won seven Wimbledons, five U.S. Opens and two Australian Opens, but he only once made it to the semifinals at the French Open in 13 tries.
Like Sampras, 14-4 in major finals, Federer now knows how to win the big ones. That wasn't always the case. Federer lost his opener three of his first four trips to Wimbledon. He lost four of his first six tournament finals.
Since May 2002, though, he's 15-2 in finals, 3-0 at Slams.
"For me, winners stay, and losers go," the Swiss star said. "I don't want to be one of them who goes."
Of course, you never know when another great player will emerge. The women's Wimbledon champion, Maria Sharapova, was just 17, seeded only 13th, and never before got past the quarterfinals at a major. She hits the ball hard, covers the court superbly, and even occasionally plays left-handed.
Maybe that's next on Federer's "To Do" list. Not much needs fine-tuning, although he says he needs to work on volleying.
He doesn't have a record-busting serve (Roddick hit second serves faster than Federer's top first serve), but his placement is perfect. His forehand, backhand and return can end points. He conjures up winners with shots no one else would consider. His defense is dispiriting to opponents.
"He understands how to put the ball in a place where you can't hurt him," said McEnroe's brother, U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick, adding: "Sampras said, 'I'm going impose my game on you, and that's it.'"