Monday, January 30, 2006

Federer: Great. Everyone else: Not so much

I think Roger Federer is a great tennis player. Yep, I'm talking tennis today. Let it be known that my high school athletic career didn't just include winning football games with my foot (allright already, so I never won a game, but once I nailed a guy in the nuts on an onside kick and he didn't get up for a couple of minutes. Still a highlight for me) . ---That's right, I was on the tennis team. A wicked forehand and a rush-the net style of play earned me a front row spot in the team picture for the yearbook (unfortunately the lack of a backhand also earned me a resounding defeat every year at the state tourney). So it shouldn't surprise anyone that I occasionally follow the sport and even watch a match from time to time. And I've noticed Roger Federer is very good. But is he too good? Or does everybody else just suck?

Federer just won his 7th Grand Slam title with the Australian Open. He's getting a lot of praise for his dominance and it's looking like he could easily make a run on Pete Sampras' 14 Grand Slam titles. The only problem with this little fairy tale story is the serious lack of rivals. Bjorn Borg had Mcenroe. And while Sampras was quite dominant himself, even he had an Agassi to occasionally snatch a title away from him. Pete's trouble surface was clay. The French Open kicked his ass on a regular basis. Maybe the French Open will also be Federer's annual gift to other players. Federer is only half-way through his career so it's not a given, but he hasn't won the French yet. In fact he hasn't even made it to the finals there. Still, he has won Wimbeldon the last three years in a row, the U.S. Open the last two years in a row, and the Australian Open two out of the last three years. If he wasn't such a nice guy all this dominance would be very annoying.

Quick, can you name another male tennis star other than Federer or Andy Roddick? Really I'm being generous in calling Roddick a tennis star. If he wasn't American, we wouldn't hear aobut him. Luckily for him he has a few things going for him. He's from the U.S., has a freakishly strong serve, has won a U.S. Open, and most importantly hangs out with hot chicks and dates pseudo-stars like Mandy Moore (personally this one's the star clincher for me). The thing is, he's Federer's bitch. Roger owns Andy with a 10-1 advantage. It's usually not even close matches.
Think of any other tennis stars yet? You're trying to name that Spanish guy that wears chick pants (capris) and won the French Open last year arent' you ? That is Rafeal Nadal. Yeah he might be good. He's good on clay anyway. And he's beat Federer in two out of their 3 career matches. But why the hell can't he wear shorts like everyone else? And anyway, I just don't think he's going to make noise at any other major tournement other than the French Open. It would be nice to have an American who could give Federer a run in the next few years. But right now it's Roger's world. I guess that's why he's always crying. Even he wants a rival.

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