I've been writing for the sports section of my school newspaper The Beacon at Florida International University. Today, I got to publish something on Roger Federer and his wonderful accomplishments. I've enclosed the article below as well as the link. Hope you enjoy.
Also, to all Swiss fans: If you have a few minutes and can take a survey about Switzerland, it would help me a great deal as I write a research paper on the country. Here's the link:
Federer Betterer Than The Rest
By Joshua Rey
Roger Federer of Switzerland lost to David Nalbandian of Argentina in the final of the Tennis Masters Cup on Nov. 20.
It was headline news around the world. But not in America.
Internationally, Federer is recognized as the greatest athlete alive. Entering his match with Nalbandian, Federer was playing for his 25th consecutive victory in a tournament final.
He was two points away from tying John McEnroe’s 1984 record for the best season in tennis history. With the loss, Federer finished the year at 81-4; McEnroe was 82-3 in ’84.
That’s why this result was so important. It finally confirmed Federer as human.
ESPN2 broadcast the match on a 12-hour tape delay, half-a-day after the rest of the world knew that history had been made.
The next morning, the Miami Herald printed a seven-paragraph summary of the match in an article that also featured marathon, bowling and field hockey news.
Wait a minute.
This man was one win away from equaling the greatest season in the history of tennis. I think that’s a tad more important than Mike Scroggins bowling a 245 and Emily Kroshus running in her first race.
Roger Federer is the No. 1 tennis player in the world – has been for 96 consecutive weeks.
There’s a reason why Martina Navratilova called him a magician, and Pete Sampras said “he can do just about anything he wants with a racket.”
He is and he can.
Federer owns every shot in the book, and has even written in a few new ones.
With one fluid motion, he whips a topspin forehand, sending the ball inches over the net before it bounces twice in front of Lleyton Hewitt, who has lost nine straight matches to Federer.
From the backhand wing, Federer slices the ball cross-court with so much sidespin that after bouncing inside the lines it tails completely off Wimbledon’s Centre Court, where the Swiss has won three straight titles.
He plays a brand of tennis that has amazed everyone around him – fans, journalists and players alike. Don’t believe me?
“There’s only so long you can deny it. He’s the best I’ve ever played against,” said Andre Agassi after Federer defeated him to win the 2005 US Open.
America’s top-ranked player Andy Roddick has a 1-10 lifetime record against Federer. As he so eloquently puts it, “The dude is sick.”
McEnroe held the ATP record of 12 consecutive finals won before Federer doubled that mark in Bangkok, Thailand this past October. Johnny Mac called Federer “the most gifted player I’ve ever laid my eyes on.”
Federer’s tennis has even captured the attention of seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong.
“He has totally a complete game: A good serve, can play from the net, everything,” Armstrong said. “He’s awesome.”
Awesome indeed, though it seems like America has yet to realize it.
Americans are hung up on baseball, basketball and football, but consider this:
The 2001 Seattle Mariners posted the best record in MLB history by finishing 116-46. In his last 162 matches, Federer is 152-10.
The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls set the all-time NBA mark with a 72-10 record. In his last 82 matches, Federer is 78-4.
The New England Patriots recently broke an NFL record by winning 21 consecutive games. Since June 2004, Federer has had winning streaks of 23, 26, 25 and 35 matches respectively.
From November 2003 through January 2005, Federer won 24 matches in a row against opponents ranked in the Top-10, beating the likes of Nalbandian, Hewitt, Agassi and Roddick.
Imagine Southern California’s football team winning 24 straight games against Top-10 opponents.
Federer won three Grand Slam championships in 2004 without a coach.
Imagine Tom Brady winning his three Super Bowl rings without Bill Belichick.
So Federer lost a final to Nalbandian in a 5th-set tiebreak, after four hours and 33 minutes of grueling tennis. The Swiss finished the 11-month tennis season having played in 12 different countries, not exactly the Miami-to-Oakland road trip Dolphin players are always complaining about..
Federer won all four American tournaments he played in 2005, including the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne. He was named one of the “Sexiest Men Alive” in People Magazine’s Nov. 28 issue, but there’s another magazine title Federer deserves.
Sports Illustrated will name the Sportsman of the Year in its Dec. 12 issue. Federer is in contention to become the first non-American winner since Norwegian speed-skater Johann Olav Koss in 1994, and the first tennis winner since the late, great Arthur Ashe in 1992.
“I’ll just be who I am: Roger Federer,” he said. “If people like me, that would be nice. I’m not going to force the issue.”
Roger Federer has spent too much time among the marathon runners and field hockey players of the world.
In dominating tennis, he has dominated sport.