Roger Federer: Then and Now

Dev AshishAnalyst IJanuary 22, 2009

While Rafael Nadal chose to simmer down his oozing "raw sexual appeal" for his fans and be a humble king wielding the thorny crown, Roger Federer is displaying his most secret and potent weapon on display at the arena: his emotions!

Nicknamed "The Silent Assassin" and "Iceman", for his colder-than-ice on court persona and stoic reflection during the games, Roger Federer, the champion, never let his emotions to get the better out of him. The calm and serenity in his eyes as he destroyed his rivals betrayed the ruthlessness of his assault.

Added his mythically perfect game, he made believers of atheists, and nothing suits more aptly than the quote from Hindu scripture Bhagwad Gita to describe his might :

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds"

But he was human after all and as a fact, to err is human.

He erred, in one way or other and lost his crown to Rafael Nadal, lost a few matches to Andy Murray, revealing his fallibility. At present, he is just another challenger for the title, without the invincible aura.

To me, it seemed natural that the evolution of a more clinical and ruthless assassin, redefining stoicity was near the corner and its a spine-tingling feeling, when gods are out to redeem themselves.

But with election of Barack Obama to the world's most powerful office, change has suddenly become a more positive and hopeful word.

In the first Slam of the year, a new Roger Federer has emerged. There's a change and it's pretty unsettlingly pleasant.

The Roger Federer, at present, is at peace with himself, relaxed and enjoying his game while, hold your breath, expressing his emotions!

There's the uncharacteristic pumping of fists, the wave of hand and the acknowledgement of the fans' appreciation with a wider smile. 

For many, this may not be of any significance and too early to predict, but all the fans who worship Federer know that this is completely uncharacteristic of his earlier dominating self.

While the world and players anticipated a charged-up hustling and stone-cold Federer, instead what they got was a friendly, humble and peaceful Federer enjoying his game.

He is done proving his credentials and now he is living[not resting] the credentials. But that's not an easy feat to accomplish, gauging the standards Federer has set for himself.

He is self assured and much more composed now that his head lies at peace without the crown. He acknowledges that he is Roger Federer, the winner of 13 Grand Slams.

He knows what he is capable of and where he falls short, which is pretty advantageous for him as he is now aware of his chinks in his armor.

This is important to note because now his opponents have a tougher job at hand, that of facing Federer, the man not the enigma!

Earlier, every point/set they won against him was a morale booster because he was "Mr. Perfection" but now though he will drop points and he will err, yet the points doesn't boost the morale since he is just a human, a human with extraordinary talent and skill.

Its a different game with Federer altogether now. He isn't in the race anymore. He isn't chasing anymore. He has risen his stature above the contenders, a legend in himself.

Beware tennis world, you are now witnessing the Roger Federer!