Rafa's Victory over Federer: Through the Eyes of a Roddick Fan
I guess there have been so many match reports with regard to the Australian Open men's final that I need not post another one for the sake of it. Unless you've been somewhere on Pluto and beyond for the past couple of days, the outcome of the match is nearly common knowledge now.
Now, even those who had unfortunately had to miss the final and all its excitement will probably have read or heard about Roger Federer's breakdown during the trophy presentation. The man of 13 Grand Slam titles stood on the podium as he received the runner-up's plate from the legend Rod Laver, opened his speech and choked up with tears in a couple of sentences.
This may not please the Federer fans (and to be honest I have no intention of paying particular attention to doing so), and while I respect what this man has achieved in his career, I've never been a fan of his. The title of this write-up probably says it all.
I am a Roddick fan. A self confessed Roddick fan. A long suffering Roddick fan. A proud and dedicated follower in the Roddick camp who has had to endure her star being labelled a 'one slam wonder' because of his sole win at the 2003 US Open.
As I watched Federer cry on Sunday while Nadal stood to watch in a muted celebration, the very first thing that came to my mind was: Now you know how Andy feels.
Like it or not, I owe grievance to the very man with 13 Grand Slams.It really isn't hard to see why. Twice, Roddick made it to the Wimbledon final, both times, he lost to Roger Federer. In 2006 he made the US Open final, and again it was Federer who thwarted him. Between and beyond, he has had the misfortune of being on the same side of the draw as Federer for Slam after Slam, and the record is now 2-16 against Andy.
And there's more. It was Federer who took away Roddick's World Number One ranking and held it for the next 237 weeks, Federer who whipped Roddick in a humiliating Aussie Open semi two years ago, Federer who outaces the world's fastest server in each of the matches they play.
It is because I'm a Roddick fan, that I am unable to fully and honestly attach admiration to the achievements of this man.
Call me unsporting or bitter, it's the truth, and I'm certain all fans will somehow or rather be able to identify with that. Just ask any Federer fan how they feel about their great champion being reduced to tears after coming so close yet failing once more. Ask yourself, if you've supported Roger all your life, just how you feel about his conqueror, Rafael Nadal.
Just how difficult is it to wish for him to go on and become the Greatest Player of All Time, the very title Federer has been statistically gunning for for the longest time now? It is one thing to admit a rival's superiority, but to celebrate it?
For me, I can never take Federer winning another Wimbledon title without a slight sick feeling knowing very well it is the missing lifelong goal Andy Roddick set for himself.
To be sure, if Federer does indeed win a 14th Grand Slam and equal Pete Sampras's all time record, like he so desperately wants to, I will applaud him.
But I can hardly bring myself to marvel at it, when his greatness has been at the expense of my own hero.
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