Agassi aside, it's time to Appreciate Federer. [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Agassi aside, it's time to Appreciate Federer.

angiel
09-05-2006, 07:40 PM
Agassi aside, it's time to appreciate Federer


Updated 9/5/2006 4:02 AM



NEW YORK — The U.S. Open was an international forum of slumped shoulders and sour pusses Monday, as life without Andre's agony began with little circumstance and no pomp. Men and women were at work on Labor Day, trying in vain to fill the Agassi void, and the popped-like-a-balloon crowd did its best to grin and fake it.


The hangover was hard to shake, a testament to the enduring appeal of a bleached-out punk who grew into a wise old man. But if Agassi's forced retirement in the third round temporarily sucked the life out of an event that prefers its star power dipped in shades of red, white and blue, it should provide Open spectators an opportunity available to no other fan base:

The appreciation of Tiger Woods' equal.



While Woods was busy smacking around Vijay Singh for his fifth consecutive victory, Roger Federer was enjoying a break from the Grand Slam grind, hitting some practice balls, roaming the locker room, and waiting to Tigerize the next poor soul standing in his historic path. At 25, Federer is the only man alive who has a shot to win more majors than the 30-year-old Woods, and yet you'd never know it as a casual U.S. Open fan. In fact, if on-site buzz and prime-time schedules were your primary measuring tools, you would assume that Federer, two-time defending Open champ, was ranked somewhere between Justin Gimelstob and Mardy Fish.

Federer was finally granted a featured night match, scheduled for Tuesday, and somewhere in Manhattan he was heard saying hallelujah to that.

• Fact: Federer has won eight Grand Slam titles in the last four years, twice as many as Woods.

• Fact: Federer has a shot here to go 3-for-4 in majors for the second time in three years.

• Fact: The USTA would prefer that James Blake or Andy Roddick beat him.

The It factor has always scored heavily at the Open, which might explain why the ever-photogenic, all-American Blake was given the Arthur Ashe stage the other night while Federer was nudged over to the old place, Louis Armstrong.

Nothing against Blake, a perfect model of decorum in a sport traditionally overrun by divas and boors. But let's face it: He's never even advanced to a Grand Slam semi.

Federer? "It's not a question of if he'll break my record, but when he'll break my record," said Pete Sampras, who set the standard of 14 major championships. "I see a lot of good players out there facing him, but no great players."

Sampras was a great player who didn't "sell" until he aged. He wasn't profane and didn't throw rackets and didn't carve his career around some rebel-boy campaign dreamed up on Madison Avenue.

By all accounts, Federer is the same kind of gentleman. A substance-over-style guy. A terminator who terminates with dignity and class.

He hasn't lost a set in his first three matches. But if American tennis officials believe that dominance is boring, their convictions are hardened when the dominator is packing a Swiss passport.

It's no secret the Open coddles American stars, and that a California-bred Federer wouldn't be left to wonder in a news conference how much he'd have to do to get his night in the Arthur Ashe lights.

The Swiss Can't Miss has handled his lounge-act standing with ease, and all but reveled in the Agassi love-in, telling tales of how he watched Andre's night moves from under the covers of his hotel bed, shivering from the nerves.

Maybe it's because Federer recalls that he hammered Agassi, and all of his home-field advantages, in last year's final. Maybe it's because Federer realizes his on-court goals are so much bigger than any Agassi attained. "We all dream about a career like (Agassi) had," Federer said diplomatically.

Of course he's already had Agassi's career, matching his eight majors with a bunch more to go. After Sampras retired, Carl Munnerlyn, the Open's locker room supervisor, handed Federer the keys to Sampras' locker.

Federer did a double take over the disclosure of his new home. "Oh really," he said. "That's nice."

"Pete was the man," Munnerlyn said, "and now Roger is the man. He deserved to have that locker."

With Sampras and Agassi gone, Federer deserves to be appreciated for all his prime-time talents. He deserves to be treated as the only athlete on the planet who belongs on Tiger Woods' course.

Ian O'Connor also writes for The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News

r2473
09-05-2006, 07:47 PM
Agreed. But for me, it is hard to cheer for Federer. I mean, it's like cheering for the Harlem Globetrotters or something. With Woods, you know his consecutive win streak will end (and soon probably). But with Federer, you are simply shocked when he loses (except maybe to Nadal on clay).

ExpectedWinner
09-05-2006, 08:16 PM
Agreed. But for me, it is hard to cheer for Federer. I mean, it's like cheering for the Harlem Globetrotters or something. With Woods, you know his consecutive win streak will end (and soon probably). But with Federer, you are simply shocked when he loses (except maybe to Nadal on clay).


Don't worry. The latest recearch shows that male tennis players start losing their speed at 22. Sometime around 25-26 it becomes rather apparent. Some players are able compensate it with experience/tennis smarts/ wise schedule. But domination after 26 is almost impossible to achieve.

Byrd
09-05-2006, 08:23 PM
Some players are able compensate it with experience/tennis smarts/ wise schedule. But domination after 26 is almost impossible to achieve.

He has those, and more.

revolution
09-05-2006, 08:23 PM
I will only cheer for Federer at Roland Garros.

federated
09-05-2006, 08:29 PM
I'm a diehard fed fan. I want him to beat Sampras' record and win the french. I'll be rooting for him until he he takes his 15th slam.

Pfloyd
09-05-2006, 08:32 PM
Hmm, I would agree with that article, except that Murray recent beat him, so...I dunno :p

ExpectedWinner
09-05-2006, 08:34 PM
He has those, and more.

You missed the point.

tennisgal_001
09-05-2006, 08:38 PM
Well Fed finally gets to show off at primetime on Arthur Ashe, and it rains! USTA Jinx?

cmurray
09-05-2006, 08:40 PM
Roger's tennis is impeccable. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy watching the brilliance, because I do. His raw ability is unimaginable...but I just don't like the guy. I NEVER want to cheer for him.

LleytonMonfils
09-05-2006, 08:54 PM
me and my roomate love him. his game is just so sick, we love watching him play because that's the guy you want to play like. those are the nerves you want to have. that's the cool, calm, and collect demeanor everyone shoots for. federes is loved for the same reasons he is hated. but man is he fun to watch!

tennisgal_001
09-05-2006, 09:01 PM
Roger's tennis is impeccable. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy watching the brilliance, because I do. His raw ability is unimaginable...but I just don't like the guy. I NEVER want to cheer for him.

Thank you, for giving credit where it's due. It's nice to see someone acknowledging his brilliance, every once in a while, even if they're no fans of his, instead of the pointless bashing gibberish.

mangoes
09-05-2006, 09:03 PM
Don't worry. The latest recearch shows that male tennis players start losing their speed at 22. Sometime around 25-26 it becomes rather apparent. Some players are able compensate it with experience/tennis smarts/ wise schedule. But domination after 26 is almost impossible to achieve.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Please add in that John McEnroe never won another major after 25.......

ExpectedWinner
09-05-2006, 09:16 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Please add in that John McEnroe never won another major after 25.......



What are you laughing at? I'm afraid you missed the point too. I did not say that players can't win matches after 25.

As for the last GS, you never know, it can come at 21 and at 31.

mangoes
09-05-2006, 09:46 PM
Yep, I think I missed your point.............

Radek Stepanek
09-05-2006, 10:41 PM
I'll appreciate Federer when he retires, hopefully that's soon.

Daniel
09-05-2006, 11:47 PM
Roger :hug: