What does the recent tumbling of seeds mean?
Whatever was the reason, from ‘legitimate’ flu of Djokovic to unexplained loss of Nadal yesterday, all this points to one direction - the number of variables you need to reign in to win consistently on the tour.
And there has been just one mortal in the history of the sport to have done that better than anyone else: Federer.
These recent ’seed woes’, makes Federer’s run even more conspicuous and impressive. It’s apparent now that just your game and talent is not enough to let you ride the four year plus run, Federer has been on.
Nalbandian wins at Madrid last year, then bombs in the first round at Basel, then wins at Paris and then is eliminated in the third round at the AO this year.
Djokovic wins at Montreal by beating the top three clowns in a row, then goes out in the opening round at Cincinnati. Reaches the final of the US Open, then is taken out in the semifinal at Madrid. As if that wasn’t enough, he loses at Paris in the opening round, not to mention the disaster at the TMC. And this year, he wins the AO and then is taken out in the second round at France. Then has to withdraw from Rotterdam.
Nadal reaches the final of Wimbledon after winning Roland Garros and an incredible clay season, then starts his slide by winning nothing on any other surface for the rest of the year - with an opening round loss at Cincinnati, fourth round at the US Open and quarterfinal at Madrid. He has still not won anything even after reaching the final at Chennai this year, and semifinal at the AO.
Who gives a rat’s ass as to what’s the reason for your erratic and inconsistent performance? How come Federer did not have any of your legit or made up excuses for almost five freaking years? He has been able to bottle it up or suck it up, whatever you want to call it, without making any big deal about it.
And these jokers win just one freaking title, and it’s like they have conquered the world. Until you are able to sustain the run for over four years, and keep your mouth shut while doing it, don’t even try to attract any attention your way by any other means. You are making yourself look bad, while shining even more brighter light on Federer at the same time.
This also rests any freaking theory of’ lack of depth in competition’ crap. It’s who is hot on a particular day that is getting these mortals the titles, not how they have raised the game at every tournament to bring down the guy in the zone on their way up. Read that again for it to make any sense.
Despite his virus, the new surface and virtually no match play, Federer was able to reach the semis where it wasn’t that he was blown away. It was still close, and could have gone either way.
It makes Federer’s achievement even more stark in comparison, especially what’s been happening at Rotterdam. I won’t be surprised if the trend doesn’t seep into the other two events soon - San Jose and BA.
What bewilders Sampras is not as much as how Federer has been able to win, it’s how he has been able to lose just five or six matches the whole freaking year for the past four freaking years. That’s not because of talent, that’s because of an assortment of pills too numerous to even list. They are both tangible and intangible. They are what can be learnt and ones that you are born with.
Unless you are in that position, like Sampras has been, you can never really appreciate the full gravity of the situation. Nadal has tasted the flavor, after having taken the tough lesson. Djokovic is still feeling the knocks to even comprehend the real depth of the well. Just getting that lesson is a privilege. Very few have ever taken the class, forget about passing the test.
Laver and Sampras are the only true tennis players who really understand what’s happening in real terms. Rest are just reading the papers and gloating. They have no clue and never will.
If this really is the last year of Federer’s brilliance on the court, this seed debacle makes it even more precious and invaluable. A run that we need to be thankful for in many ways. We need to cherish every moment, for once it’s gone, it will leave a gaping hole not just in the tennis world but in the whole sporting community worldwide.